Put Your Best Fork Forward with Iona’s Nutritionists!

March 3, 2022

Healthy aging encompasses a lifelong love of good food and positive food experiences. Every March since 1980, the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics leads a month-long celebration, National Nutrition Month®, dedicated to the role food and nutrition play in living a healthy lifestyle.

The theme for 2022 is “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” The overall theme embraces global cultures, cuisines, and inclusivity and reinforces the message that the best diet isn’t restrictive, and that meaningful, small changes over time add up to better overall physical and emotional health and wellness.

Here are simple ways you can shift your eating habits and lifestyle and put a new spin on aging:

  • Think positively about your relationship with food and your body
  • Be active—physically, socially, emotionally
  • Focus on your overall dietary pattern, not specific “superfoods” or trendy restrictive diets
  • As author, professor, and food activist Michael Pollan says: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” as advised by a Mediterranean diet pattern
  • Get cooking!
  • Eat less added sugar, desserts, sodas, and juice drinks, refined grains, sodium/salt, fatty meats, and highly processed or junk food
  • Eat more dried beans and legumes, whole grains, leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils such as olive oil
  • Address age-specific nutrient concerns
  • Try to eat seafood—fish or shellfish—twice a week to help get enough omega-3 fats
  • Stay hydrated
  • Explore new foods and flavors

Try this healthy recipe!

To help get you started on your healthy eating journey, get cooking in your kitchen with one of our favorite recipes from Around Town DC’s virtual chef Susan Barocas: Sweet and Savory Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. This vegan dish is delicious, hearty, colorful, packs a lot of nutrition, and is sure to become a regular in your dinner rotation.

Looking for additional food and nutrition supports?

Iona’s critical food and nutrition programs include:

  • Weekday community lunches at Around Town DC at St. Alban’s
  • A Food Pantry Plus program to provide shelf-stable food, household essentials, toiletries, and nutritional supplements to food-insecure Iona clients
  • Liquid nutrition supplements for our most vulnerable, frail clients
  • Assistance with benefit programs such as SNAP (formerly food stamps)
  • Enrollment in Iona’s Home Delivered Grocery Plus program, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank
  • Enrollment in Iona’s SHARE food network monthly “grocery basket” program, in partnership with Blessed Sacrament Church and DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL)
  • Healthy food demonstrations at the monthly St. Alban’s Farm Market and virtual cooking programs and nutrition education sessions though Around Town DC
  • Referrals to DACL Home Delivered Meals
  • Home delivered holiday meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Personalized nutrition assessments for Iona’s highest nutrition-risk clients
  • Advocacy efforts on behalf of reducing senior hunger and malnutrition in DC

Learn more about Iona’s Nutrition team and their credentials

  • In 2008, the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics designated the second Wednesday in March as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day to commemorate the dedication of RDNs as food and nutrition experts and advocates, and to increase awareness among the public and the media that RDNs are trusted sources of science-based food and nutrition information. This years’ RDN day is March 9, 2022.
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are licensed health professionals with specific science-based dietetic/nutrition degrees from accredited colleges and universities. They have a Master’s degree and complete highly-competitive 1000-hour post-graduate internships with supervised practice and pass a national exam.
  • There are several academic pathways to becoming a Licensed Nutritionist (LN). Iona’s LN, Chris Brentin, has a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition, 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice, and passed the national exam to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists use their training and expertise to help individuals and groups make meaningful, personalized, and positive lifestyle changes to maximize their food and nutrition situation.
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists work in varied environments such as public relations/communications, the food industry, health care, universities, research, public health, community settings, government, or private practice. They must be licensed to practice in the state where they work and maintain approved continuing education.

Now, it’s time to put your best fork forward and commit to making these small changes for a healthier future.

By Rose Clifford, RDN, MBA & Chris Brentin, CNS, MS

Rose Clifford, RDN, MBA has practiced as a registered dietitian nutritionist in the Washington, DC area for over 30 years. Her current primary work as the Senior Nutrition Program Manager for Iona Senior Services focuses on helping older adults maximize their nutritional health so they can live active, full lives in their own homes.

Chris Brentin, MS, LDN, CNS is a licensed nutritionist in Maryland and DC and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. She has spent the past 6 years working with older adults in DC improve their health through nutrition and increased access to healthy food. Chris is the Nutrition Program Manager at Iona Senior Services and manages the Food Security Program.

2 thoughts on “Put Your Best Fork Forward with Iona’s Nutritionists!”

  1. Rose Clifford,

    I am teaching Therapeutic Nutrition at UDC and I have a student Michele Jasso who is very interested in working with senior citizens. I would love to introduce you to Michele and see how she might help with some of your work with seniors. You can reach by my cell phone which is 202-669-6765. If I do not pick up, please text me your email. If you are interested, I would love to introduce you to Michele. She is great.

    Healthy regards,

    Nancy Chapman

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for reaching out! I will share your comment with Rose. Thank you,

      Rosie Aquila
      Iona’s Communications & Marketing Manager

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