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Nina T. Washington, MD, MPH

Dr. Washington is a pediatric rheumatologist, writer, and world traveler.

How do you eat well?
I am a firm believer in the power of fruits and vegetables. I eat well by including fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in every meal. For me, fruit is nature’s candy. The sweetness from natural sugars helps keep blood glucose levels low and decreases cravings for artificial sugars. Vegetables are super filling and provide a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. I particularly love that vegetables can be prepared in so many ways – roasted, grilled, and sautéed are just a few of the ways to enjoy these healthy eats. I also enjoy whole grains such as barley, oatmeal, and quinoa. While I am not a vegetarian or pescatarian, I attempt at least one meat-free meal a day and limit my intake of pork and red meat.

How do you find time to exercise?
My personal philosophy on exercise is that if you find an exercise you love, you’ll find time to do it! I am a long-time fan of Zumba and over the past 5 years, I’ve also enjoyed Pure Barre and Orange Theory Fitness workouts. If it’s a beautiful day outside and the weather is nice, nothing beats a brisk walk-run! Knowing I’ll be moving my body in ways that I enjoy is what helps me make time for exercise.

How do you make time for you?
I make time for myself by listening to my body and checking in with my emotions. I tend to be a person who burns the candle at both ends so when my body says, “Hey! I need a rest day!” I listen. Rest for me means sleeping in late, or sitting on the balcony enjoying my current read, or binging on Netflix. I also strongly believe that emotions, whether grief, depression, anxiety, or even extreme excitement, can affect our psyche and productivity. When I find myself overcome with emotion, I take a moment to acknowledge those feelings and why I’m feeling that way. Journaling helps me to channel my emotions and is one of the more healthy ways I make time for myself. Taking myself to dinner or brunch are two of my more indulgent ways to make time for myself. In fact, there are so many ways we can be good to ourselves!

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