April 2022

In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, Dr. Mike Tokiwa provides some tips on how to eat healthier in the veterinary clinic.

By Dr. Justine Leee, DACVECC, DABT and Dr. Mike Tokiwa

Tips on Healthier Eating Choices for Veterinary Teams with Dr. Mike Tokiwa


OK, admit it. We don’t eat so healthy in the veterinary clinic. Here, a VETgirl video blog by Dr. Tokiwa on some simple ways of picking healthier eating choices for veterinary teams!

VETgirl’s hint? When in doubt, follow these tips!

Shop when you aren’t hungry and splurge on pre-cut veggies and fruit!
Aim to fill half your “plate” with pre-cut fruit and veggies at each meal

Buy a bag of quinoa or oatmeal
It only takes a few minutes to cook, and provides whole grain – a great fiber and protein source. Try to fill a 1/4 of your plate with whole grain foods!

Limit ordering out to 1-2X/week
When in doubt, double your meal that you cook at home, so you have leftovers to bring to work! By doing this, you kill two birds with one stone – you not only provide an easy to heat meal for you, which is healthier than eating out, but you save at least $15-20 for your wallet too!

Avoid highly processed foods — foods that are changed from their original food source and have a lot of other added ingredients. When your food is ultra processed, a lot of the vitamins and minerals are removed. So you know, all those things sitting on the veterinary clinic counter – fast food, cookies, chips, etc. Consider boiled eggs instead, brown rice, or bagged salad!

Splurge on a really nice water bottle – like the Hydraflask water bottles given away at VETgirl U 2021!
This will encourage you to drink and hydrate more, making your stomach feel more full while hydrating you in the process. Remember, when you finally go to urinate on that veterinary break and your urine looks like it’s > 1.025, you’re dehydrated! By hydrating with water (or splurging on a low calorie seltzer or Spindrift or La Croix), you feel full with “empty calories.” Stay away from fruit drinks, caffeinated sugary drinks or flavored coffees as these have a ton of calories in the form of sugar – while providing little to no nutritional value.

Try Meatless Money
By helping to reduce the amount of meat you’re eating even just one day a week, you can help reduce your carbon footprint while keeping yourself healthier in the process.

Eat smaller meals more often
Bring healthy snacks. If you only get to eat one meal a day at the clinic, you wait too long and often make unhealthy food choices! Keep easy-to-eat snacks in your office cubby or desk for emergencies!

  1. Our clients love us and bring us nothing but their best baked goods! I will be keeping these tips in mind!

  2. Ours do as well, and everyone loves a good chocolate break. But these are all great pointers. I especially like the small frequent meals and snacks since things tend to get so hectic some days that lunch doesn’t always happen

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