Q&A with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Amanda Perrin
Amanda Perrin, RDN, has studied nutrition for over twenty years. Trained in both conventional and holistic nutrition therapy, she addresses whole body wellness with proper nutrition as the cornerstone. She opened her own private practice, Peace of Nutrition LLC, in 2011 in St. Augustine, FL. There, she fosters a friendly, casual counselling atmosphere with an attentive approach to the nutrition needs of her clients. She prides herself in navigating the maze of nutrition to deliver trustworthy, reliable, evidence-based information and dietary advice.
Well-versed in her trade, Amanda graduated from Bastyr University – an internationally renowned School of Naturopathic Medicine – with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Health Sciences and a major in Nutrition in 2004. She furthered her studies at the University of North Florida in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree and major in Nutrition & Dietetics in 2007. Finally, she attended the Florida Department of Health Internship Program and became a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist for the State of Florida in 2008.
Today, she teaches nutritional education to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. She truly understands the power that good nutrition has on lifelong health. We sat down with Amanda to dive into her nutrition know-how and best health advice.
What three things would you recommend people change about their diet to maximize their health?
Increasing awareness of what we put in our bodies, paying attention to the uniqueness of our personal needs and goals, and getting back to what whole foods have to offer!
What are some of the most common nutritional mistakes?
A common mistake I see is thinking one size fits all. We are all a little bit different and our dietary and nutrition needs vary based on our lifestyle, age and genetics. Also, keeping portion sizes and balance in control is a must. Too much of any food isn’t good.
What are some of the most common mistakes beginners can make when starting their fitness journey?
Trying to do it all at once! Start with one task, then turn it into a habit, and then add another one into the mix!
What is one nutrition-related myth you would like to bust?
I’d like to stop seeing ‘white-foods’ or ‘all-carbs’ vilified. There are many different types of carbohydrates, some of which are white, that provide nutrition and health benefits.
Do you see a shift happening in the public perception of nutrition?
Yes. There is an increased awareness about healthier foods and good nutrition for health.
What lifestyles do you think a healthy snack subscription, like SmartBox, would benefit the most?
People who have a full-time schedule with work, school, family and travelling can benefit from having pre-portioned healthful snacks to choose from to keep them going.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
One that is nutrient dense and as close to how we’d find it in nature as possible. Any snack that has added sugars or additives is not usually the best choice. There are more options out there!
Which of the food nutrient contents listed on a nutrition facts label are the most important to look for when choosing a healthy snack option?
Serving size! New labeling laws are helping with this, but it is not always clear how many calories are in the whole package. We must understand how much a food we are consuming before translating the nutrition facts label correctly. After that, the ingredients list is a good place to check for hidden dangers.
What are some ingredients listed on labels that are not good for consumers?
Typically, consumers should be wary of products with a long list of ingredients, but not always. This rule of thumb does not apply to bars or other combination foods made up of whole foods, but you should always carefully read the ingredients list! Even when the numbers on the nutrition facts label look reasonable, hidden red flags can hide in the ingredients list. How many packaged foods in your pantry that you thought were healthy have sugar as the first or second ingredient?
With the holidays coming up, it can be easy to indulge. Do you have any tips for keeping healthy eating in mind during the holidays?
Balance and portion control are key! I recommend using MyPlate to ensure all food groups are addressed in reasonable portions. Savor each bite of food to avoid overeating as well.
We love seeing SmartBox shared as a gift! Do you have any favorite food-related gifts to share with friends and family?
Portion controlled food items make great gifts! Sometimes, we all feel a little more adventurous during the holidays and willing to try new foods. This is a great time to experiment with healthier, pre-packaged options. Additionally, people love to receive experiential gifts – like a nutrition consult with a Registered Dietician. A gift that invests in the recipient’s health lasts longer than a spa visit and has the potential to give lifelong results!