As a registered dietitian and foodie too, based in sunny Los Angeles, California my cousin is here to share ideas and help us with information on the importance of eating correctly and what best to do.
I've long held the belief in eating right and also enjoying your food. Food is not just there to survive but to cherish and can provide so many benefits. Let us let the expert take over and find out more about my beautiful cousin and how she can help.
Bio: Jami Zamyad is a registered dietitian and the clinical nutrition manager at Saint Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California. Jami holds a masters degree in nutrition science from California State University Northridge. She holds certifications in leadership, management and education. Her experience is multi faceted and expands over 15 years in food science and research, writing, private consulting and teaching. Her clinical goals focus on expanding the role of dietitians in the interdisciplinary care process and improving timely patient care. She has developed several administrative and departmental policies for nutrition support at Saint Francis Medical Center which have been adapted by sister hospitals. She is currently seeking a doctorate in clinical nutrition. Jami is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Her collective purpose is to provide optimal care and guidance with a common goal to educate, empower and enrich individual’s health and nutrition status.
She is a person who is fascinated by ingredients and its effects on human health.
What brings you the most pleasure at your job?
I love to teach clients, patients and students how simple it is to take care of themselves without the exaggeration of crazy fad diets, medication and supplements. The ability to educate and empower individuals lead healthier lives is most gratifying.
When did you decide to go into food and nutrition as a profession?
I grew up in a healthy home. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains plus fresh herbs, spices, nuts and seeds were prominent ingredients in our daily intake.
We rarely ate out or had any junk (processed or packaged) food around the house. My mom prepared most of our meals and she did an absolutely amazing job! To this day the way she prepares and presents her meals is artistic and full of love.
I believe that food is one of the best pleasures in life and one I have pursued with devotion.
This pursuit took on a different perspective when I became a mum. I began reading more on the quality of ingredients, content of nutrients and its effect on the well being of my children. I had lots of Questions:
What to feed them to keep them healthy and thriving?
How about when they get sick?
Healthy skin and hair?
Strong bones to grow tall? Keep them regular? make them sleep well??? and on and on.
Finding information was not difficult but deciphering the information between accurate and quackery was an immense task but I wanted to learn.
The turning point to study nutrition came during a conversation I had with my sister about going back to college for my masters and so the journey began.
Where is the best place to go for food in Los Angeles?
From the desert to the sea (haha, a local news caster used to say that) Los Angeles is the mecca of amazing eateries.
If you know what type of food you crave you can find it pretty much anywhere in LA.
Why do so many people fail in their food diets?
Diet by definition means everything you eat and drink on a daily basis. It's a lifestyle and not a temporary project you take on because of an event in your life.
The farther this "diet" is from who you are and who you are willing to be, the higher the chance it will fail.
A person who seeks to change their diet for specific or overall health reasons needs to make subtle and slow changes. There are no quick fixes! If it sounds to good to be true, it is!
Consider this: 1 lb of fat=3500 calories so in order to lose a pound of fat a week, you need to decrease your intake of energy dense foods and increase your intake of nutrient dense foods plus activity to reduce/burn a total of 500 calories daily for 7 days. Its that simple!
Extreme calorie reduction/starvation diets especially over weeks or months plummet the metabolism. Your cells learn quickly and slow the basal metabolic rate (the energy your body requires at rest) to accommodate the reduced available energy. This leaves you with less food to eat and your body with less nutrients to maintain minimum cell function. A poor functioning cell makes for a poor functioning tissue, organ and so on.
Now imagine adding a multitude of diet pills, supplements, powders, drinks, etc. to this equation of poor functioning cells?
Which piece of advice have you been given in regards to nutrition has helped you the most?
Nutrition is very important but there are other factors that contribute to good health.
Activity, stress management, sleep/rest, hydration, genetics and environmental factors are also influential.
Nutrition does have a cumulative effect on the body. Meaning the longer one continues with poor nutrition, the harder it becomes for the body to recover from the damage.
Increase your intake of nutrient dense foods (foods with lower calories but higher micro nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains in their most natural state) and lower your energy dense foods ( high in fat, especially saturated, processed and packaged foods which have low to no micronutrients).