Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Getting Healthy and Eating Right with Chef Jess
By Amen Oyiboke, Staff Writer
Published January 28, 2016
Chef Jessica Swift

Chef Jessica Swift

We are a month into the New Year and sticking to New Year resolutions of a healthy lifestyle has either followed through or fallen off for some. Like many, I have committed to adopting a new lifestyle change of watching the things I eat and buy. However, the knowledge of what should be consumed and what not to eat can be tricky. That is why the guidance from a physician or registered dietician (nutritionist) is essential to finding the balance your body needs in nutrients.

“In order to lose weight people have to maintain the mindset that it’s not a diet or a fad that will be finished when they lose weight,” said Registered Dietician and Chef Jessica Swift. “It has to be a complete lifestyle change. Learn what foods are good for you and find ways to make it they way you like. It’s a learning process.”

Chef Jessica Swift, 30, also known as Chef Jess, received her Masters in Nutritional Sciences from Howard University and specializes in culinary arts, nutrition, and recipe testing. She provides healthy and delicious foods for those experiencing food ailments, intolerance, or disease in the Washington, D.C. area.

Chef Jess' vegan mushroom burger with side salad.

Chef Jess’ vegan mushroom burger with side salad.

“My experience first came when I help my dad manage his diabetes and literally shed almost half of his body weight,” said Swift.

After her father was diagnosed with diabetes Swift took matters into her own hands to help assist her father in adopting a new lifestyle. “I guess you can say my dad was my first patient with an ailment that needed help. Instead of him focusing on medication I showed him that it was really about what he ate. That really helped with his diabetes,” she said.

The Flint, Michigan, native focuses on diets as it relates to disease. She provides her services to many of her clients through her catering service and nutrition implementation for government programs.

“The main reason I started my business was because of the help I gave my father. Once I saw the positive change I made in his life I knew that I could apply that to other people who have health related sicknesses or want to change their lifestyle,” said Swift.

Swift has been featured on Food Network and featured as an expert for fitness with companies such as Beachbody, NBC, Discovery Communications and Essence Magazine.

Chef Jess' healthy choice of scallops.

Chef Jess’ healthy choice of scallops.

One of her keys to successful nutrition for those who are on a budget is to buy produce by the season. “Buying your produce in season helps a lot with your budget and keeps you aware of different options so you’re not eating the same veggies over and over again,” said Swift.

Here are some tips Swift gave to help shed the weight this year include:

  • Shop the perimeter of the store. “Most of what you need essentially is on the produce or refrigerated parts of the store, which is usually the perimeter. Start there first. Get all your fruit and veggies first. Then move on to the lean meats, dairy, and other perishable items you need. If need be, you can move into the center aisles for other grocery items.”
  • Eat Slowly. “It takes about ten minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that it’s getting full. So take some time eating and converse with whomever you are having food with. It will help you be aware of how much you’re eating.”
  • Make sure you have a support system. “Let at least one person know your goals. Someone who will be honest with you and help you stay on track.”
  • Look for health recipes to try out. “Don’t get bored and think that healthy food is mundane. Try new recipes or modify recipes that you already know with healthier items.”

Swift believes that once a person adopts these tips into their everyday lifestyle it will help with staying on track towards health goals.

“Don’t look at this as something that you will do short term. Look at all the changes your making and say ‘This is how I want to build my life’ and it will forever change your perceptive about food,” she said.

To learn more about Swift’s business visit www.chef-jess.com.

Categories: Entertainment | Family
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