jacqui justice feature - photo by lina sawanya - Shutterstock

An Apple A Day – Five MORE Questions For Nutritionist Jacqui Justice

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Jacqui Justice holds an M.S. and C.N.S. in Clinical Nutrition, as well as a certification in Functional Clinical Nutrition from Designs for Health Institute.

One of New York and Connecticut’s leading nutritionists, Jacqui has been in private practice since 1996. Her other offices are in NYC and Westchester County. In addition, Jacqui is the Nutrition Director of Dr. Kealy’s Medical Weight Loss Center in Harrison NY.

Jacqui Co-hosts a weekly radio show on WVOX “It’s Not Your Fault, It’s Your Hormones” and is a weekly guest on the Debbie Nigro Show “Wellness Wednesday” on WGCH Greenwich Radio. She has been featured in various publications including the New York Times, The Journal News, Women’s News, Reader’s Digest, Redbook,  Foxnews.com, Westchester and Serendipity Magazines, and has been a guest on various local and national radio and television talk shows.

Specializing in weight loss resistance, digestive wellness, energy enhancement and menopause management, Jacqui creates truly customized nutrition plans based on her clients’ individual test results (i.e., comprehensive blood chemistries and food sensitivity testing). Her main focus is on identifying and addressing the root cause(s) of her clients’ wellness issues and then designing a realistic plan to quickly and easily get them to their best possible end result. Jacqui is passionate in her belief that success is dependent on adopting the proper mindset.

In addition to her private practice, Jacqui is a contributing author on the DailyOm with her best-selling Mojo Weight Loss 8-week on-line course, and the soon to be launched “Shedding Your Menopausal Middle in 21 Days.”

We’re glad to have her back, answering another five questions about nutrition and health.

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An Apple A Day: Five More Questions for Jacqui Justice, M.S.

Jacqui Justice (Credit Jacqui Justice)

Age: 59

Occupation/Expertise: Nutrition Director of  Dr. Kealy’s Medical Weight Loss Center in Harrison, NY

Hometown: Yonkers, NY

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1. What’s the best way to lose weight and ensure that you keep the pounds off?

Not going on a diet but making a lifestyle change. Diets are viewed as temporary and are generally not sustainable for the long run. Making healthy changes in your diet and fitness routine is the best way to approach weight loss. In addition, working with a nutritionist who practices functional medicine and can create a customized plan for you based on your individual biochemistry, nutritional needs, and lifestyle is the best way to achieve permanent results.

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2. What advice can you give to women going through menopause and women who are about to go through menopause? Elaborate as much as you like.

This can be a difficult time for women, especially when it comes to stubborn hormonal weight gain. Hormones are our most powerful messengers in our body and when then fluctuate, as in perimenopause, they can wreak havoc – causing a cascade of symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia, etc. Not fun!! Again, finding a nutritionist who understands what you are going through and can do the necessary testing to see what is out of balance is paramount for getting results.

I work mostly with perimenopausal women experiencing weight loss resistance and all the symptoms that accompany it. My plan includes a 3-step approach to naturally balance hormones through hormone-friendly foods, supplements, and stress-reducing techniques. Because the gut and liver are intimately connected with hormone balancing, Step 1 is healing the gut and Step 2 is detoxing the liver. Step 3 focuses on stress hormones by nourishing the adrenal glands. Addressing all three is essential to reversing menopausal symptoms and shedding weight gain, primarily belly fat, that is reported to be the most problematic symptom of all.

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3. What are telltale signs of a great doctor?

Obviously having compassion and a great bedside manner are extremely important attributes of a great doctor, but having a functional medicine approach to wellness by focusing on getting to the root cause of their patients’ wellness issues instead of just putting a pharmaceutical band aid on them to me is the most important.

 And what are telltale signs of a great hospital?

A state-of-the-art facility where the focus is on patient-centered care.  Integrative therapies, such as nutrition, acupuncture, and meditation are integral to healing and the patient is treated holistically (body, mind, and spirit).

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4. What health tips or suggestions do you most recommend to close family members?

Stay away from GMO foods (Genetically modified organisms)!! They are chock full of toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals that encourage weight gain and inflammation. They have been called “Frankenfoods” which should give you a good idea just how “un-natural” they are. The food industry does not have to list on labels when GMO foods are used but they can list on labels when a food is non-GMO. The most common GMO foods are the following: corn, soy, canola oil, beet sugar, wheat, cottonseed oil, alfalfa, milk, and zucchini and yellow squash. Make sure if you are going to eat these foods that they are organic and say non-GMO on the label.

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5. What’s your favorite trend, study or medical discovery this year? Is it the one from Washington University School of Medicine concerning eNAMPT?

I’m very excited by the results of this study. It’s long been known that NAD is important for heathy and “youthful aging.” I hope to see further research on this (hopefully some human studies if possible) in the future.

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BONUS: What’s your favorite dessert? Do you stop yourself from eating it? Any insights on how dessert and junk food lovers can work to improve their internal willpower?

My absolute favorite dessert is a gluten-free chocolate lava cake that we get at one of our favorite restaurants. The owner is a fabulous baker and makes all of the deserts. I only have it once in awhile and share it when I do. I also eat it slowly and enjoy every single bite – guilt free!! If you are going to indulge then make it worth it!

In my 24 years in practice, I rarely meet someone who doesn’t enjoy sweets or occasional junk food. The problem with them is, if eaten too frequently, they move you farther, rather than closer, to your goal. I recommend practicing mindfulness when eating – especially sweets and junk food. Take a pause and ask yourself if eating that food is helping you to lose weight or contributing to weight gain. Also, I highly recommend keeping a food journal and writing down everything you eat and drink at the moment you are doing so. This not only makes you more aware of what you are eating but creates the necessary pause to possibly make a healthier decision.

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PHOTO CREDITS

  • Lead-In Image Courtesy of lina sawanya / Shutterstock;
  • All Other Images Courtesy of Jacqui Justice.