As part of the Employee Assistant Program’s Brown Bag Lunch series, Dietetic Intern, Jessica Maturrano, presented on December 5th about the topic of plant based diets. Throughout her presentation, Jessica reviewed common concerns that people often have about plant based diets, such as, muscle loss and anemia. Tips and meal plans were, also, provided for anyone interested in incorporating more plant-based meals within their diet. For those who may have missed her presentation, you are in luck! Below are some of Jessica’s tips.
Jessica’s Tips to Increase Plant-Based Foods in Meals
- Don’t just take out meats from a meal, but add something to it
- Experiment with a new grain
- Add vegetables to dishes you already enjoy
- Find a new recipe that interests you
- Plan meals ahead of time
- Experiment with soy products
- Use fresh or dried herbs and spices for extra flavor
Meet the DI: Jessica Maturrano
Before her presentation, I had a chance to talk with the Jessica. Check out our conversation below!
What got you into Nutrition?
JM: I’ve always been interested in nutrition and wanting to help others. It wasn’t until I started watching food documentaries with my cousin who was in culinary school, that I realized that there were people, dietitians, who worked in the field of nutrition. I was working at a pharmacy and saw so many people with nutrition related health issues, and how those health issues would progress with time. I decided to look into it more and found a basic nutrition course at my community college. Originally, I was deciding between math education or accounting as career paths, but after taking the nutrition course, I switched gears to work towards becoming a dietitian.
What area of nutrition do you want to focus on?
JM: This is kind of a tough question for me. If I had to choose one area, it would be working with children, and their families. Coming out of undergrad, I was pretty much dead set on working with children and families. I love kids, and they are our future, so I feel that by helping families and young children build healthy relationships with food, it will decrease the chance of future health issues. As I keep learning more and more, though, I feel like there are just so many different interesting areas of nutrition out there, and I kind of want to dabble in them all! So who knows, this might change with time.
What is a common thing people ask or say to you when you tell them that you are in the process of becoming a registered dietitian?
JM: Usually I get asked what I plan to do as a dietitian, how much longer I have in school, and more about the program I am in. I’ll occasionally get questions on diets, or for nutrition related recommendations on problems they may be facing. But for the most part, it’s just asking more question about my path and future in becoming an RD.