Selected Podcast

Advice from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

March is National Nutrition Month, bringing awareness to healthy eating and celebrating registered dieticians. Joyce Marshall, Director of Nutrition Therapy, discusses Pullman Regional Health's offerings for National Nutrition Month.
Advice from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Joyce Marshall, RDN
Joyce Marshall is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and is certified in the state of Washington.  Joyce has a passion for treating causes along with their symptoms, treating the whole person, fostering wellness, and encouraging the body’s healing through nutrition.  She likes to incorporate hands-on learning and opportunities to practice new life skills into her practice.  Joyce embraces patients as partners in setting the agenda and goals in Nutrition Therapy.

Bill Klaproth (Host): March is National Nutrition Month so we want to hear what a trained dietician has to say about this month of food and nutrition awareness and how we should think about food throughout the year. Here to talk with us, is Joyce Marshall, a Registered Dietician and Director of Nutrition Therapy at Pullman Regional Hospital. Joyce, thanks for being on the podcast.

Joyce Marshall RDN (Guest): Heh Bill. Thanks for having me.

Host: You bet. So, let’s jump into this. So, what is National Nutrition Month?

Joyce: National Nutrition Month is a nationwide campaign meant to promote healthy eating and celebrate registered dieticians. We know that people who eat healthier also live longer, have better quality of life, have fewer chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers so, all in all, it’s great to celebrate our dieticians. Dieticians help people consider lifestyle changes that can drastically improve their lives.

Host: Yeah, that is all great of course, eating well certainly has its benefits. So, let’s drill down to the local level. How does Pullman Regional recognize National Nutrition Month?

Joyce: Throughout March, the dieticians here will be promoting My Plate and that’s a visual nutrition tool that helps create balanced meals. Education about My Plate will be offered at a table outside the Red Sage Café and in weekly hospital communications. On March 13th, the dieticians will also be providing samples of a plant based food outside the Red Sage Café. Historically, our National Nutrition Month celebration has included utilizing chocolate in creative, fun and healthful ways.

Host: Well we like utilizing chocolate. That’s a good one Joyce. We like that a lot. So, tell me what are some of the other benefits to using My Plate?

Joyce: My Plate visually divides the meal plate into five sections. The best thing about My Plate is that half the plate I made up of fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to see visually from My Plate that a diet rich in plant foods is the base for healthy eating. It’s interesting to note, one in ten American adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables and only one in seven American adults eat the recommended amount of fruit.

Other important food groups needed to meet nutritional needs such as protein, calcium and grains have a place on the plate. The grain section emphasizes whole grains. Compared to processed and refined grains such as while flour, white bread, white rice etc. reasonable portions of whole grains reduce disease risk.

Host: That’s an amazing statistic, one in ten people eat enough vegetables, one in seven eat enough fruit. We are not eating enough vegetables and or fruit Joyce. My goodness. So, let me ask you this, is there a disadvantage to using My Plate?

Joyce: Well it can be misleading applying the concept of My Plate to a person who might prefer different frequencies or might have calorie needs that are much lower or higher than average. One thing you might also notice is that desserts or other fun foods that you might want to eat occasionally are missing from My Plate. So, overall, that might not be super sustainable for most people.

The main benefits to My Plate is demonstrating a balanced proportion of foods that supplies the nutrients our bodies need the most. It’s a good basic tool but as always with nutrition, there is more to the story.

Host: That’s a very good point. Very hard to sustain a diet where you can never have a piece of cake now and then. So, thank you for explaining that to us. So, let me ask you this what advice would you give someone who is trying to adopt a healthier diet?

Joyce: You know these days consumers are bombarded with conflicting messages about nutrition, all based on the latest scientific study. The world of science is complex. At times, research can give us useful information. At other times, bias within the scientific community or poorly designed studies might actually lead us down the wrong path. I always try to look at scientific data through a more historical human lens and ask different kinds of questions such as have humans thrived on this food for thousands of years? Does this food meet human needs for enjoyment, wellbeing and social connection? In my mind, these are important considerations when evaluating the latest and greatest food or diet.

Host: Well that makes sense. So, how about fad diets. We hear a lot about fad diets, and they rank them all the time. It can be very difficult for a lot of people to understand which one is right for them. If someone is looking for a new diet; what advice would you have for them to find the diet that is truly safe and healthy to try?

Joyce: Yeah, I agree, it can be difficult to try and sift through all of that. Apart from does this diet meet basic nutritional needs; you might also look at the results, both long and short term. If the diet is new enough not to know the long term results; you might decide it’s not worth the risk. Also, you have to ask yourself is this how I want to be eating five years from now. You want to make food choices that are truly sustainable for you, that give you energy and help you live out your values.

Host: Well, that’s a really good point about making choices on a diet that’s sustainable for you. So, that leads me to my last question Joyce and thank you for your time. So, staying motivated to a weightloss plan or a diet can be difficult for a lot of people. What if someone is on a diet and they feel like their faltering or slipping you know how that happens; what’s your best advice to get them back on track or to get them to stick with a new nutrition plan they are trying?

Joyce: Ultimately, the diet has to be sustainable for you so we see this time and time again where people maybe commit themselves to a set of changes that might be easy to accomplish in the short term, but in the long term, it’s just not doable. So, we always try to work with what’s sustainable, what’s enjoyable and what’s kind of a moderate approach, with a happy medium.

Host: Well that makes a lot of sense. I mean I love how you put that. Sustainable. That really puts it into perspective on dieting. It’s not I’m going to do this for three months and then I’m back to my old ways. It’s something you’re going to do for a very long period of time. So, I love how you said that Joyce and thank you so much for your time today. this has been very interesting. We appreciate it and for more information, please visit, that’s This is the Health Podcast from Pullman Regional. I’m Bill Klaproth. Thanks for listening.