Brenda Leigh, MS, RD

Brenda Leigh

  • Registered Dietitian/Exercise Physiologist at Thedacare
  • B.S. Kinesiology, Florida State University
  • M.S. Exercise Physiology, University of Michigan
  • M.S. Nutritional Science, University of Michigan

I have been working in the area of Wellness for over 20 years. I became inspired by my grandmother to lead a healthy lifestyle.  My grandmother migrated to this country from Poland.  She moved to a small farm in Northern Wisconsin where she learned to grow her own fruits and vegetables, canning and freezing the produce for use during the long winter months.  My grandmother bought very little from the supermarket. She made everything from scratch including breads, noodles, soups, etc.  She knew little about the science of nutrition, but she did know that healthy food was important for longevity.  She also understood how to use plants to heal – anything from an upset stomach, so a skin rash. She lived into her late 90’s and at the age of 85 could still do a headstand! Today, as a dietitian, I often ask my clients, “How far from the field is the food that you are eating?”  Strive to eat food as grown, in its most natural form.  As Hippocrates stated so long ago, “Let food be thy medicine.”

What are your tips/advice for healthy eating?

I love the advice of author Michael Pollan, who says that healthy eating should be simplified.  We have made it way too complicated.  His 3 simple rules for healthy eating are:

Eat food – real food that is unprocessed and comes from the field, not the factory.

Not too much – portion control is essential.

Mostly plants –plant foods are the riches, most bountiful source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Make half your plate vegetables and fruits.

What are your tips/advice for active living?

A body in motion stays in motion.  Be active EVERY day.  Make an effort to increase your active steps throughout your day by parking farther away, taking the stairs, biking to work, etc.  Be sure to spend some of your active time outdoors. 

What are your tips/advice for life balance?

Give your attention to the things that matter – pick the areas in your life that matter the most – whether that’s time with your family, strengthening friendships or developing a hobby – and then focus your best energy on them.  Be sure to take time for YOU.  Keeping yourself healthy – mentally, physically and spiritually - is the first step in reaching your life goals.