Like many people nowadays, Barbara Wilson has stepped up to the plate in the fight against unhealthy foods.
But Wilson, 56, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator, doesn’t want to just nurture good eating habits for herself. She has launched a local in-home service to motivate others to do the same in Burlington and Camden Counties.
Wilson has been consulting and coaching people to lead healthier lives for more than 10 years. She always had it on the backburner to take her skills and parlay them into a more advanced connection with clients.
Over the years and through her consultations with patrons, Wilson discovered people want to make wellness decisions but don’t know how, and they find themselves with little knowledge on where to begin.
“When someone wants to change the way they’ve been eating, it begins in the kitchen,” says Wilson, a Merchantville native. “A lot of the effort is trying to get rid of old items, and start from scratch.”
Starting from scratch usually means reinvention of the kitchen.
When she embarks down the healthy road with a client, Wilson usually will discuss ingredients, food labels and food preferences.
“People forget to check foods for expiration dates, especially things like spices and baking items,” says Wilson. “For instance, bottles of salad dressings should be tossed after three months of opening them.”
According to Wilson, there is a vital need for people to do more cooking in the home, as many take-out eateries prepare meals with processed foods that research has shown affects people’s genetic metabolism poorly.
Yet the cooking implements we use can also alter our health.
“An old pot can have toxins that leak into our foods,” Wilson explains.
Wilson graduated from Rowan University, and later received dietetic certifications from the University of Delaware through a distance program.
She worked as a certified diabetes educator in California, when she moved west nearly 15 years ago for her husband Dennis’ job in food production. The couple then relocated to Massachusetts, where Wilson worked as an outpatient dietician for Hallmark Health Systems in Melrose, MA, for seven years before moving back to New Jersey three months ago.
Besides her in-home business, she still works as a dietician and diabetes educator, and leases space at Bridge to Balance Wellness Center in Audubon, an organization offering comprehensive health care programs.
Two years ago, Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was during her treatment and through her remission that Wilson became well-informed about the prevalent use of and harmful effects of insecticides.
“In many circumstances leafy greens, kale and some fruits are dirty with toxins,” says Wilson of the agricultural products known to contain insecticides, which she says have been linked to nervous system disorders. She says she started changing her diet by first eliminating foods that had a “long paragraph attached to them,” and tries to buy organic as much as possible.
Rates for Wilson’s services begin at $200 for two hours; some insurance companies will cover costs.
“People have to stop and ask themselves if they want food manufacturers to continue to plan our menus and diets for us,” says Wilson. “We need to take more control.”
To schedule an in-home consultation, contact Barbara Wilson at 856-952-1766 or barb246RD@yahoo.com.