Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Topic: Nutritional Health to Fuel Our Comeback from the Pandemic

March is my birthday month. I have dedicated it to nutritional health, my dissertation topic. No doubt, the pandemic has been brutal of us earthlings. We all know of families this horrible plague in our homeland has affected. For me, it has been heart-wrenching seeing how vulnerable we are with the most fundamental realities of life, food. During a crisis, considering one’s nutritional health is a real joke…right? Survival by any means necessary raises to the top.

May I challenge you with this question? Is it possible to think about ways to fuel our bodies in a health-conscious way while we view the sun peeking through the clouds, delivering us from a year of awful anguish? We know one of our basic needs is food. Unfortunately, healthy foods are pricier than the go-and grab items, often high in fat, sugar, and calories, hampering the nutritional health narrative. May I ask that you consider small but deliberate steps toward healthy health practices? Depending on the situation and circumstances, we all can achieve healthy eating habits in some form.

They are usually inexpensive. They have high saturated fats, trans fats, high salt(sodium), and sugar — examples like muffins, coffee cakes, snack cakes, chips, and crackers. Canned soups, cured meats, and sausage per serving are killers. I know, I hear you asking, so what do I do, eat air! I would suggest taking these groups of foods and limit them. Your go-to should be fresh fruits and veggies over canned — chicken and fish over beef and pork. Make your own soups so you can control what goes in them. Eliminate each month something from your shopping trips known as empty calories foods. To figure out which foods contain empty calories, you need to read labels. Empty calories are mostly added sugars and solid fats. You can also drink empty calories in sodas, sports drinks, and many juices. Let me mention candy also filled with empty calories, good but empty.

I always say, if you don’t buy it, it will not be an obstacle in your way to entice you. I am not saying never have a sweet treat or a salty crunch, but make sure that it is a sweet treat and a salty crunch in moderation. The request is to start small. Remember Rome was not built in a day. Changing your nutritional habits will not occur in one day. Over time, if you make these small but mighty changes, you will see and feel different!

If you want to read my dissertation, see the link below:

Influences of Nutritional Food Label Understanding in African-American Women with Obesity (



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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.