I would like to introduce to you a super woman for real!
Charmaine Jones, MS, RDN, LDN is the owner of Food Jonezi. Her areas of expertise include nutrition counseling, child nutrition, school health, nutrition education, food labeling and marketing. She provides consulting services to individuals, businesses, and communities.
She has authored and co-authored nutrition articles for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Political Action Committee, the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ On the Pulse, and the D.C. Washington Informer. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at the University of District of Columbia.
In her own words, lets find out what makes her a boss lady!
Whom or what inspired you to become a dietitian/nutritionist?
After graduating from college, I thought I was going to be a “tree hugger.”
I majored in Environmental Sciences. However, it was when I landed a job at the DC WIC State Agency; I wanted to become a registered dietitian. I thought it was so inspiring to teach women of color how to make “soul food” healthier and still enjoy the zest and flavor cultural foods provide.
I enjoyed showing them how to plan and prepare well balanced meals for their families to ensure their children were meeting their daily nutrient requirements. I loved it! And, therefore, it became a goal to become a registered dietitian to inspire and improve the health of my community.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
Teaching! I love teaching students and my clients about proper nutrition in the simplest ways. It is also rewarding to students and clients when they change their lifestyle just because of the information or recommendation I offered. I smile when my students are able to tell others what they learn in my class, and it warms my heart when a client is over joyed because they were able to reach their weight or health goals through my recommendations.
Have you always had a love for helping people to feel their best?
Yes. I have. I love making people feel at their best through motivation. I believe that is my gift from God! And, honestly, that is what inspires me to work harder when I know someone depends on my talent that God has blessed me with.
Now is the time of year when people fall short of their new year resolution. Any good tips for anyone wishing to get back on track with eating right?
Keep going. You got this! You are human. We all fall short! You have tomorrow to eat a healthier meal and exercise. Always, surround yourself with individuals who can inspire you, hold you accountable and have the same goals as you. Do not overwhelm yourself. Take baby step. Incorporate one vegetable and one fruit a day. Start off with a 10 minutes exercise regimen and add an additional 3-5 minutes each day. And lastly, keep a food and exercise journal to help keep you on track!
One food rule a lot of women live by is the less you eat the quicker you’ll get to your ideal weight. Is less food consumption the way to go to lose weight?
Please, let me help clarify and put this myth to rest…You do need to cut calories to lose weight…but do not overdo it! When you eat less than you need to maintain basic biological functions, your metabolism diminishes… and eventually you may gain weight. The truth is out and hopefully has set someone free. The truth is, when you eat less than you need, your body naturally slows down to conserve energy.
If you are on an extreme “weight loss” diet such as a fasting diet (eating fewer than 100 calories per day), an individual will lose weight. However, you are taking a hard risk of not having good health. For example, this diet can cause an individual to result in hypoglycemia or having low-blood sugar, which can lead an individual to go into a coma.
Therefore, please eat! At least enjoy small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going so you can lose weight, and importantly sustain good health.
Please tell us about Food Jonezi, how is this amazing venture helping individuals to live healthier lifestyles?
Food Jonezi provides realistic recommendations that changes individuals’ eating habits for a healthier lifestyle. We strive to meet individuals where they are, by making healthy eating exciting and colorful without taking away cultural spices or zest that makes foods delicious and comforting.
We understand that food plays a significant role in people lives. Therefore, we work very hard to ensure that our clients have access to current and reliable food and nutrition information through our workshops and one-on-one counseling sessions.
Our clients never have to guess what is “right” or “wrong” nutrition.
Is Food Jonezi for all ages?
Yes. We see all individuals across the lifespan, including pregnant women! We are a general nutrition practice that focuses on whole health and wellness.
Where do you see Food Jonezi heading in the future? What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years?
We want Food Jonezi to become a global nutrition resource for individuals around the world. We want to be the “Oprah” of the nutrition community. We want both potential and existing clients to know that when you sign on as a “Food Jonezi” client that all your nutrition concerns are met through proper nutrition support and therapy.
We work hard to continue to build up our clientele (individual and corporations). We work hard to get our lifestyle brand T-shirts “And Healthy” to be worn by as many individuals as possible to inspire and promote healthy messages throughout our communities.
We work hard to improve our social media campaigns and messages to continue to spread simple nutrition messages around the world. You also aim to educate and work with children; therefore, for with the growing rate of childhood obesity, what steps can parents take to help their children remain healthy?
I love to encourage parents to continue to follow the US Dietary Guidelines 2015, which messages are continuously conveyed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Parents must be an example first! They are actually their child first “food-trend” setters! Parents should always have a positive attitude towards healthy foods.
Always try to introduce new foods and cuisines to children.
Parents should strive to have more family-style dinners (setting the table and eating as a family), rather than eating in front of the television. And, after dinner, having a family walk could improve and strengthen your family relationships and burn calories.
Parents should always avoid using the word “diet” in front of their children to eliminate any negative association with body image or a specific type of food. Parents should encourage family fitness activities to get a decrease in television, computer and phone time.
Parent should remember that children do not have to eat all their food! Children have the right to leave food on the plate when they are done. Encouraging children to “clean their plate” before the leaving the table promotes eating disorders, and a gateway to obesity. However, parents do have the right to choose, what, when and where children eat.
School lunches have come under fire regarding their nutritional value; what do you believe is the solution to the public school lunch situation?
School meals are so important, you know. It’s a shame that public school meals get so much negative feedback. School meals are sometimes the only well-balanced meals that some children eat throughout the day.
I believe that school administrative, legislators, health professionals, including registered dietitians really need to talk and listen to students to learn what they like and how the school system can improve meals to decrease food waste, and prevent students from purchasing foods/meals from the vendors or food companies.
Students know what they like and I’m pretty sure are willing to eat meals that are attractive, flavorful and colorful. In addition, the school should provide students with a variety of options, so they are able to choose, with help from a registered dietitian or cafeteria worker, healthier food choices to make a well balanced meal.
This advice should not only be for affluent school systems, but school systems that enroll children in low-income communities.
Lastly, for those who wish to utilize the services of Food Jonezi, how may they get in contact or enroll?
For anyone who is interested in receiving nutrition services or consultation, can contact Charmaine via e-mail at Charmaine@foodjonezi.com. In addition, potential clients and followers can subscribe at my website www.foodjonezi.com to receive the current information about our upcoming workshops or receive simple nutrition messages. You can also follow us at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook under our social media handle—FoodJonezi.