As a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator in Casa Grande for the past seven years, I have learned that being healthy isn’t always about food! Other factors impacting our lifestyle choices include habits, stress, time-management, family dynamics, failed dieting attempts eroding our confidence, lack of self-compassion, information overload… and the list goes on!

Eating four to five cups of non-starchy vegetables, limiting sugar intake to no more than six teaspoons, drinking water and unsweetened beverages, eating out only once per week and reducing stress is not easy! It is also difficult to be physically active at least 150 minutes per week. I tell my patients, “I don’t wake up every day excited to exercise!” Most days I have to convince myself to just put on my shoes and go. Or, if I’m feeling ill or stressed, I want comfort food, not vegetables! I never give up, though. I strive to look back and ask myself, “What did I learn from that experience?” and remember why healthy eating, being active and limiting stress are important.

I imagine that many of you are experiencing this struggle yourself or are witnessing it among your family or friends. If you are concerned about your health and have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes/diabetes or overweight/obesity, it is important to seek support from a professional and educate yourself about keeping your heart and other organs healthy. Most chronic diseases are managed through healthy eating, physical activity and limiting stress, and most insurance companies will pay for patients who have a chronic disease to see a registered dietitian. If your numbers are not where they should be and you need personalized support, have your doctor fax a referral to my office. Research shows that the more support someone has, the more successful they will be! Beginning in July, I will also be offering a free diabetes class from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays.

Yoga can also help manage chronic disease by improving insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, blood pressure and helping with pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome, just to name a few benefits. A consistent practice of yoga and meditation reduces stress, alleviates symptoms of disease and side effects of medications, boosts the immune system, and helps keep us more mindful regarding healthy lifestyle choices.

Starting in August, I am offering two series of classes: a six-week Weighty Matters and a 10-week Breathe Your Way to Inner Calm: An Introductory Series in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. If you feel like you need support with unwanted pounds or would like to cultivate inner calm, visit divinesourceyoga.com to learn more.

Whether through a physician’s referral, free diabetes class or yoga series, I look forward to helping you feel confident about living a healthier lifestyle!