Explore Nutrition and Weight Management with LiveWELL

Personalize Your Plate

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for this year is “Personalize Your Plate”. Healthy eating does not have to be “cookie cutter”, boring or eliminate all your favorite foods.  Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on how to include foods that you prefer from each food group, while boosting nutrition. Including a variety of foods can help you get all of the nutrients that are needed for good health. These tips can help you get started: 

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Get creative with produce by trying an assortment of colors and textures. 
  • Experiment with different grains. Try substituting whole grains for refined grains in recipes. 
  • Choose lean protein foods. Vary your choices to include seafood, beans, peas and lentils, as well as eggs, lean cuts of meat and poultry that are prepared in a healthful way, such as baked or grilled instead of fried. 
  • Complete your meal with dairy. Include low-fat or fat-free options like milk, yogurt, cheese or calcium-fortified soymilk. 

A healthful eating style can be as unique as you! 

Plan Nutritionally Balanced Meals

Latoya Mallard explains why nutritionally balanced meals are so important for everyone in the community

Mobile Food Pharmacy
Teammates can refer patients who need food by contacting Loaves and Fishes at 704-523-4333.
In the Kitchen with LiveWELL
Looking for more info about nutrition? Check out the MS Stream LiveWell Nutrition channel for healthy, affordable recipe options. #livewell

Planning Meals on a Budget

We spotlight the Mobile Food Pharmacy in the 2021 LiveWELL Calendar during the month of March. This is a great resource for community members and teammates who may be experiencing food insecurity by providing healthy pantry foods, fresh produce, meats and dairy to families in need.  You have to financially qualify for this program, but we can all benefit from making budget-friendly food choices.  Here are some tips for how you can eat healthy on a budget. 

  • Plan Meals 
    Planning meals for the week ahead of time helps reduce last minute and convenience purchases like take out and fast food.  Use your meal plan to create a weekly grocery list.  This will help you stick to your budget and avoid impulse buys from end of aisle displays and the check-out line. 
  • Shop Store Brands 
    Store brands are usually just as good as name brands at a fraction of the price.  
  • Use Coupons and Shop for Special Deals 
    Clip coupons from weekly mailers, use store apps or go online to see what deals are available.  For shelf stable and freezable items, consider purchasing extra at the lower price and storing it for later use.  
  • Shop Seasonal and Local Produce 
    Fruits and vegetables that are in season usually cost less and purchasing directly from growers at a farmer’s market can reduce the price even further.  
  • Start a Garden 
    You can’t get more local than your own backyard, easily grow staples like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and fresh herbs.  If you have limited space, consider a container garden using flowerpots.   
  • Buy in Bulk 
    Bulk food items are usually lower in price because they avoid the cost of excess packaging and marketing.  

How to Drink More Water

Water is essential for life and good health. In fact, 60% of the human body is made up of water. For example, water plays a key role in digestion, regulating body temperature and kidney function. How much water our bodies need can vary based on age, gender, size, activity level and even weather. A good rule of thumb is to stay ahead of thirst, one of the first signs of approaching dehydration. 

Get more water throughout the day by: 

  • Carry a reusable water bottle to work or when running errands. For cold water all day, freeze the bottle the night before. 
  • Choose water instead of beverages high in sugar like soda, sweet tea or juice. Just swapping one 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda for water will save about 240 calories.  
  • Choose water when eating out to save money and reduce calories. 
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water to improve taste. 
  • Sliced fruit like strawberries, oranges and watermelon are also good choices to add flavor 
  • For a milder taste add sliced cucumber or fresh herbs like mint and basil. 

We also get water from many of the fruits and vegetables we eat:  

  • Cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach and cooked squash are up to 90% water 
  • Bananas, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, carrots, cooked broccoli and avocados are more than 70% water. 

Teammate Spotlight

Through the ONE Charlotte Health Alliance’s partnership with Loaves & Fishes, Latoya and her team at the Mobile Food Pharmacy provide free healthy groceries and nutrition education to individuals facing food insecurity, which can contribute to chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. 

Latoya Mallard, MPH 
Project Manager, ONE Charlotte Health Alliance, Atrium Health Community Health 



Healthy Food Environment

All teammates can help support a healthy food environment. Consider these Atrium Health guidelines when planning to order food for your next event.  

  1. Offer at least one serving of vegetables or fruit with every meal.
  2. Offer modest portion sizes. Large items, such as sandwiches and pizza, should be cut
    in small portions.
  3. Avoid serving fried food options.
  4. Provide whole grain options when offering grain foods such as bread, pasta and side dishes.
  5. Water is the best beverage choice. Carafes of water, rather than bottled water, is the green choice. If a sweetened beverage is offered, provide at least one non-calorie beverage.
  6. Consider fruit in place of traditional desserts. When offered, desserts should be small servings.
  7. Provide vegetarian or vegan options if requested by attendees.

Atrium Health has worked with our vendors to ensure that healthier options like unsweetened beverages, low-fat and low-sugar snacks are available in each machine. These items are usually indicated by a green check mark. When in doubt, here are some healthier options to look for:

  1. Baked chips, Chex mix, pretzels and multi-grain snacks
  2. Healthy snack bars that are high in fiber and protein and low in sugar
  3. Dried or canned fruit
  4. Dry roasted nuts
  5. Trail mix
  6. Low-fat popcorn
  7. Water or other low/no-calorie beverages of your choice


Medical Nutrition Therapy

Atrium Health has Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists (RDN) available for outpatient visits to help you reduce your health risks through Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Teammates or family members who get an appropriate referral and are on the LiveWELL Health Plan can meet with a dietitian at no cost. Medical Nutrition Therapy is available only at select Atrium Health locations. 

Note: Teammates on a LiveWELL Health Plan may be eligible to earn the Physical Well-Being Incentive for Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Learn more about Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Weight Loss Programs

Teammates enrolled in the LiveWELL Health Plans can earn Personal Well-Being Incentive credit by self-reporting participation in a weight loss program in their Total Health Portal. Weight loss programs include: 


Nutrition Life Hacks