Meet the RD: Leah Baxter

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Hello, I’m Leah Baxter, and I’ve been a Registered Dietitian for 12 years! I’ve worked with Lifestart for over 6 years, and still completely in love with the challenges and rewards of working in corporate wellness. I am a firm believer that there is room for all foods in a healthy diet, and that moderation and variety are two key factors in the healthy lifestyle for optimal health.

I am a married mother of 3 young children, ages 6, 4, and 4. Yes twins, Yikes! My personal nutrition habits have changed as well as remained the same as different stages of my life occur. I feel like I can really relate to my clients as a result! As a dietitian, I can tell you that I love food!! I really enjoy eating healthy and love a variety of plant based foods, but I also enjoy treats and indulging once in a while. I want to share some of my personal favorites, and strategies. Planning is key! When I have my meals and snacks planned, I feel like I can conquer the world! Starting with breakfast, I like to switch it up between an egg white sandwich on whole wheat, to a banana with Greek yogurt, to a nut based snack bar. I almost always enjoy yogurt at some point in the morning. With having a very active job during the typical lunch hour, I always like to fuel up later in the morning. This can be a Greek yogurt, banana with peanut butter, or cottage cheese with fresh berries. Packing my lunch is essential as it saves time, money, and calories! I’m always a little more tempted when I’m purchasing something on the go! If I don’t have leftovers or something packed like a salad with chicken or tuna, I like to buy the premade salads with dressings and toppings included. They are so quick and tasty! One trick I love with lunch and snacks at work is to bring in multiple servings at once. If I can bring the whole bag of carrots, and the whole container of hummus, then that is a healthy snack for the whole week! I only had to think and plan for it once!

Dinner is such a struggle, like it is for most families! I have two tips and strategies to share that really work for me! I always cook two meals when I have the time. This allows me to make something extra for when I’m working later. My husband is on pick up and feed dinner duty, so if he can heat up something I’ve made earlier for the kids, I’ve noticed our choices are a little better at the end of the day. This year, I got a combo pressure cooker and air fryer, and I love it! I’ve been hearing my clients talk about them for years, and finally saw an opportunity to meal prep and save time by using one! I’ve been able to do some simple slow cooked meals done so much faster! My favorite meal to prepare in it is chicken burrito bowl with brown rice, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and topped with avocado slices.

One final strategy I try to use is a 12 hour fast overnight. It sort of goes with the old fashioned idea of not eating after 7:00pm! There is some interesting research with conflicting ideas on intermittent fasting. This is one side I can completely get on board with! The typical evening eating choices aren’t the greatest, so if you can limit them by using the clock, then that is great tool!