January 10, 2020 | by The Polyclinic

Achieving and maintaining good health can look a bit different for everyone, including health care providers. In this series, we spotlight a Polyclinic provider’s approach to their physical and mental health.

A Q & A with podiatry nurse practitioner Emily Pellegrini, ARNP

What are your go-to healthy foods?

“I love mangoes, old-fashioned oatmeal, avocados, and chocolate-covered almonds.”

What are your splurge foods?

“Salt & Straw ice cream!”

What are some of your favorite ways to move (and how often)?

“I try to work out five to six days a week. I always take at least one day off. I love running around the Arboretum and along Lake Washington. My boyfriend and I like to swim together every weekend. We love swimming in the beautiful Colman Pool in the summertime!”

What is some favorite healthful advice you received and why?

“Towards the end of my nurse practitioner training, I worked with a family medicine doctor who encouraged all of her patients to exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week, just like she did. I had not been doing that but it sounded pretty doable. She said the key was just being consistent. I told myself, if I worked out regularly for four weeks, I would reward myself with a present. It didn't matter what the exercise was as long as I did something. I stopped weighing myself and just focused on meeting that goal. After four successful weeks, I aimed for four more. I started feeling better and gained confidence meeting that monthly goal. The weight loss was slow but working out became a habit, and I've kept it up for the past year.

There have been times when I have been in shape and times that I haven't. I'm still trying to figure out what works for me. Recently, I've found that being consistent with working out has made a big difference. Previously, I had been in that pattern of working out a lot for a few weeks, not seeing any changes, and then giving up and not exercising much at all.”

What is some healthful advice you give to your patients and why?

“Find an exercise that doesn't feel like a punishment. There are lots of fun ways to work out. Likewise, eating well can be really enjoyable. There are so many dishes you can make that taste great and are also good for you.”

What did you learn in your medical training that inspires or reminds you to take care of your health?

“Healthcare professionals see firsthand how good lifestyle choices add up over time. It's never too late to start exercising and eating well.”

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?

“Exercising, hanging out with close friends regularly, and making sure I get enough sleep at night.”

Learn more about Emily Pellegrini and her podiatry practice.