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Headshot of Jessica Bettick, Registered Dietitian Nutritionalist

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Jessica Bettick offers advice on staying well

March 2019

Have you ever considered wellness coaching or medical nutrition therapy? Both may be covered by some insurance plans. Whereas wellness coaching dives into a person’s interpersonal and spiritual lives in combination with stress-relief and setting healthy mindsets, medical nutrition therapy is a therapeutic approach to treating medical conditions and their associated symptoms.

Medical nutrition therapy uses a specifically tailored diet devised and monitored by a medical doctor physician or registered dietitian nutritionist.

In honor of national nutrition month, Jessica Bettick, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Dominion Internal Medicine, Blue Ridge Physical Therapy and Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Warrenton, answers some nutrition related questions.

Q: Why is it important for a person to be in the right weight range for their height?

Jessica: Staying in the right weight range keeps you out of most clinical danger zones. More specifically, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, or what we call metabolic syndrome (are some of these danger zones). Keep in mind, there is a range for a reason and many things come into play when figuring a healthful body weight. Genes make up 25% of your destiny, so go easy on yourself.

Q: What is your favorite super food?

Jessica: Broccoli, but not because it’s the obvious choice. I am expected to like it, being a dietitian! For me, it has to be jazzed up with dressings, oils, salt, pepper, herbs and seasonings. I like the challenge that eating broccoli brings me and how it helps me relate to patients, friends and family. Don’t feel guilty about not liking all the healthy stuff. A registered dietician nutritionist can help you find a way that you will enjoy most foods, no matter how selective an eater you may be.

Q: What’s the most important thing a person can do for their health?

Jessica: Prioritize you. Our culture places health, well-being and balance very low on the list of important things to do. Making that shift into taking care of yourself first, will help you to accomplish those goals and improve all areas of your life.

Q: How important is sleep to a person’s health, and why?

Jessica: Sleep is of supreme importance. Sleep regulates our metabolic hormones including our hunger and satiety response hormones. If you are sleeping too much or too little, expect to have changes in your body weight.

Q: Are daily multivitamins important?

Jessica: Vitamins are more of a catch all for filling in nutrition gaps, and that’s ok. My question to you is, are you eating comprehensively? If so, minimal supplementation is needed. Certain medical conditions require additional supplementation – primarily malabsorptive disorders. A registered dietician nutritionist can help you sort through it all.

Q: How can a person start a wellness journal? What should they include?

Jessica: Keep it simple. Start by recording 3-5 days’ worth of everything you consume. Either do this by way of old fashioned pen and paper or by one of the many apps that track food, fitness and sleep. Evaluate this journaling with a registered dietician nutritionist. Over-analyzing has its setbacks so, don’t overdo it with logging and recording unless you have a specific plan with a qualified professional who can continue to walk you through the process, over time.

To make an appointment with Jessica, call (540) 878-5408.


The information on this blog should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations.


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