By this time, many people have discarded their New Year's resolutions and are back to snacking on reality-show smut while they scarf down a bag of Cheetos. Dietitian Judy Fischer is onboard with occasional indulgence: When in the mood for something sweet and creamy, she snuggles up with a cup of Baileys Irish Cream. After 18 years as a registered dietitian, Fisher decided to start her own practice — My Diabetes Dietitian (MDD) — in Matthews. For six years, aside from diabetic counseling, Fischer has offered additional nutrition and education classes to help inform eaters, overeaters and health-concern sufferers about how to correct their unhealthy eating habits — without missing out on eating the things they crave.
Creative Loafing: You're a New York native, but you've obtained field experience as a dietitian in both Boston and Charlotte. In your professional opinion, which of these cities suffers from the worst nutritional problems?
Judy Fischer: As someone who has grown up in New York, my opinion is that New Yorkers consume more carbohydrates in comparison to Charlotteans. In Charlotte, I've noticed more fats are being consumed. In comparison between Charlotte and Boston, I would say that fast food consumption is more prevalent in Charlotte. Also, before I moved to Charlotte, I rarely heard of people consuming as much sweet tea as they do here. Despite these cultural consumer differences, the nutritional problems in each city I've been in are pretty similar.
Charlotte is home to many Southern-fried eateries. Since fried food is against a dietitian's nutritional religion, what is your outlook on these types of restaurants?
I would compare it to a New Yorker loving pizza. Fried chicken is part of a culture here, so it's fine. Besides, it's not just the fried chicken but what you put with it, which is the issue. So when I have clients that come to me who eat a lot of fried food, or fried chicken and a side of salted fries, I just suggest that they clean up the rest of the meal. My goal is to educate people so that they are able to make their own choices.
How often do you go out to eat, and what types of entrées do you get when you go out?
My husband and I work together; we probably go out to lunch about two to three times a week. We work in Matthews so we'll either go to Kristophers or Cafe 157. When we go, we'll share the grilled chicken sandwich; he might get a side of fries and I'll have some. Most of the time, we order the sandwich and go back to the office to eat. At the office, we have a refrigerator where we keep a decent supply of fruit and yogurt, so we might have that with the sandwich instead of something from the restaurant. Eating out is super expensive and not as healthy, so if my clients do go out to eat, often I suggest they go out to lunch, as the portions are smaller.