Wellness expert shares advice for healthy lifestyle

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 22, 2015

In the middle of a hectic workday, most Americans choose to prioritize convenience and speed over nutritional value when it comes to what they eat for lunch.

With a rice cooker, a bag of quinoa, a can of black beans, and some handy herbs and spices, even the busiest of workers can produce a fast and healthy meal for themselves, all without ever leaving their office.

Corporate wellness expert Evelyn Kissinger shared this 30-minute recipe and many other quick tips to balancing a busy lifestyle with a healthy and active one with the members of the Dowagiac Rotary Club during their weekly meeting Thursday afternoon at the Elks Lodge. The director of Lifestyle Matters at Work, Kissinger discussed several simple ways that working Americans can improve their diet and health.

Simple, but not always easy, that is, Kissinger said.

“In our minds’ eye, technology is always on the verge of liberating us from personal responsibility and discipline,” Kissinger said. “Only it never does, and it never will.”

Stress, be it from one’s professional or personal life, is one of the main factors that leads to a decline in overall health, the registered dietician said. High stress levels leads to inflammation of the body’s internal organs, which can lead to heart disease, cancer or other diseases.

“One of the deals in this society is that we are worried, we are hurried and pretty soon we’re going to be buried,” Kissinger said. “Our society is just so full of stress.”

One way to combat the pressures from these strains is to enjoy a full night of rest. Brains that are well rested have increased blood flow, allowing someone to make better decisions about their diet and lifestyle, Kissinger said.

“If you’re trying to lose weight, trying to make healthier decisions — get enough sleep,” Kissinger said.

Another thing that people should do is to push back from many of the surgery, fattening staples of the typical American diet, such as cheeseburgers or sodas. Instead, the health-conscious should incorporate foods high in fiber, such as green vegetables, whole oats and beans, Kissinger said.

“When you’re hooked on sugar, and hooked on high fat, plain food, healthy food, food as it comes in nature, just doesn’t have as much pizazz,” Kissinger said. “It’s possible to retrain the taste buds, so that you actually enjoy healthy food instead of constantly craving the fat and the sugar.”