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January 2022 | News, Nutrition Articles, Staff News, Staff Profiles

MRP Registered Dietitian/Clinical Dietitian Laura Creek Newman. Photo credit: Darin Kachanoski, The Wellness Institute.

“Setting goals is an important step in making positive habits, but it’s important to not get carried away. Make sure your goal is something that you can incorporate into your everyday life and you will set yourself up for a much greater chance at success.” Emilie Ford, Kinesiologist, KidneyFit Program.

With a new year often comes inspiration to make positive changes in our lives but success is often most influenced by planning and some self-reflection. As Manitoba Renal Program patients approach goals that are important to your health-care journey, the team at MRP is here to support you every step of the way.

If you’re looking to make positive changes in your diet this year, start with some self-reflection and set yourself up for success. “Sometimes we can get a little over excited and have all these plans – thinking we will do everything different,” said MRP Registered Dietitian/Clinical Dietitian Laura Creek Newman. “Instead, look at what you want to do and come up with specific goals. By choosing smaller things to start with and focusing on them first, you will have a better chance of enjoying some success that you can build upon rather than trying a whole bunch of changes at once.”

While making those changes, it’s just as important to be patient and kind to yourself, added Creek Newman. “Change is hard and when it comes to nutrition, every little bit does count. It’s not any one particular food or nutrient, it’s what we do day in, day out over the long-term so instead of looking at what you need to remove from your life, look at what you can add.”

Consider reframing how you view the changes. Instead of “limit this, cut that out, don’t eat X”, frame your change goals in a more positive way, perhaps to add no-salt products to your diet rather than to “cut out” salt.

“Negative messaging around food makes it hard to feel good about ourselves and can make it feel like we are failing before we even get started,” said Creek Newman. “Every step we take, every little thing we do, especially if we practice it and it becomes our new routine, will make a difference over time.”

Emilie Ford, Kinesiologist with the KidneyFit program. Photo Credit: Darin Kachanoski, The Wellness Institute.

When making goals for a new year, many people look to add moments of exercise into their schedule and lifestyle. Kicking off a fitness goal is something that inspires Emilie Ford, Kinesiologist with the KidneyFit program located at Seven Oaks General Hospital.

“We talk about creating S.M.A.R.T goals in our classes. That’s something that’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound,” said Ford. “When I’m talking to my KidneyFitters, we go into some of their goals, either for the short or long-term and I ask them to think about what motivates them to exercise.”

“This is an important step because motivation is going to look different for everyone so finding your motivation will help you maintain or achieve your goals.”

Setting goals is an important step in making positive habits, but experts like Ford say not to get carried away.

“When you’re just starting out, there can be these grandeur ideas like new year, new me. I always say, start off small. If you want to be more physically active this year, I think that’s a great goal, but start off small. Get outside and go for a walk, maybe it’s 10 minutes, maybe it’s 20 minutes then go from there.”

“Whatever you choose, it should be something you can incorporate into your everyday life, so that could be a gym or it could be in the comfort of your home.”

With the pandemic, options to exercise from home are widely available, including free KidneyFit courses that have moved online. Courses are available to a wide range of KidneyFit patients, including those on dialysis, renal patients and support persons.

Patients interested in joining KidneyFit, contact Krista Stewart at 204-631-3039 or by email at You will need to fill out a medical Par-Q+ form and be cleared for exercise by the doctor before participating.

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