Cookies or carrots? Let a YMCA dietician get you on the right track

Published 8:27 am Monday, March 14, 2022

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March is National Nutrition Month, and while a focus on nutrition is important throughout the year, this month provides an opportunity to examine and maybe reevaluate dietary habits.

At the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina, the approach to overall wellness is always at the forefront for staff who can help members and the community reach wellness goals and live healthier lives.

“The variety of food we eat are just as important as the amount and type of physical activities we incorporate into our daily lives,” said Diane Shenberger, a registered dietitian at the YMCA of NWNC. “By eating a healthy variety of foods we fuel our bodies to perform at their best, give our immune systems a boost, and build long-term, healthy habits.”

Shenberger is one of the dietitians on staff at the YMCA of NWNC who can help people in their wellness journeys much like a personal trainer would.

“Oftentimes, it is incredibly beneficial to have someone by your side to give you the skills and knowledge to make better nutritional choices and stick to plans that will have short- and long-term benefits,” said Cheryl Bey, a registered dietitian at the YMCA of NWNC.

Here are a few tips from dietitians at the Y to help people make improvements to their diet:

• aim to include at least 3 food groups at each meal and vary choices as much as possible;

• read nutrition labels to learn what’s in the food you eat (If interested in understanding food labels a little better, let a staff dietician help.); and

• meal prep and plan so you have healthy meal components conveniently ready each day.

For anyone interested in setting up a nutrition counseling session with a registered dietitian at the Y, contact Tim Gribble, senior director of community integrated health at the YMCA of NWNC, at