National Nutrition Month is a campaign run by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Did you know that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the foundation on which a healthy lifestyle is built? There's no perfect time to start anything, but March is as perfect as any other month to take the opportunity to learn about nutrition, and how it affects your body. Make this the month that you start making more informed choices towards your health!
This month, I encourage you to use some of these tips to start making strides towards a healthier you.
Learn to Read Labels- First and foremost, get familiar with labels so you can start making more informed choices towards your health. Don't know how?? Sign up to learn how by joining my group or monthly workshop here.
Eat Breakfast- Try to eat a breakfast that includes protein and fiber-rich carbs. You want to shoot for protein like eggs, breakfast sausage, or even yogurt. Then make sure to add fiber-filled carbs like whole-wheat toast, berries, or other fruits. For extra credit, add some veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, or cucumbers to breakfast.
Drink Up!! Consuming 1/2 your body weight in oz of water is key to starting your health journey. To do this, take your current weight and divide by 2 (150 divide 2 =75) you should be consuming 75oz of water daily. The best way to do this is to..
start your day with some lukewarm water, you can even add a little lemon for an added boost of vitamin C and potassium.
Find a water bottle and take it everywhere with you
Flavor your water with things like lemon, cucumber, ginger and more.
Eat More Fiber- Make sure you add fiber to every meal. The best way to do that is to add fresh produce like, fruit, vegetables, whole grains
Eat More Color-. Next time you are out and think about grabbing something processed, think about what colors you'll be eating and what colorful item you can swap it for. Have you ever noticed that fast food is very bland in color? Tans, creams, yellows and browns?? Most of the food you grab is not full of color. Next time you are in a situation where you need something fast, think about what's around you and what provides the most color.
Reduce Added Sugars- Start paying attention to how many added sugars you are consuming daily. Added sugar can contribute to many chronic diseases and should be limited to less than 24 grams per day for women and children over 2 years of age and less than 36 grams a day for men.
Move More- Moving your body can seem like too much after a long day with the kids or in the short amount of time you have between activities and all you have going on. Try to start by making small goals. Maybe you walk for 15 minutes in the early part of the day and 15 minutes in the latter part of the day. Find a friend and challenge each other or join a challenge group on Fitbit, Apple Watch or another online application.
Include Healthy Fats- Add some healthy fats to your meals to help you feel satiated for longer periods of time AND help your body absorb other important nutrients into the body. Eat a salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or add avocado to your meals. You can even add coconut oil or in moderation.
Portion Control-Portion control can be very difficult. Most don't realize that they are over consuming food. The nutrition label provides serving sizes but often they are misunderstood and consumers, consume more than just one serving of and item. Learn to read your labels and start prepping your snack foods in portioned out amounts. Grabbing a portioned out bag instead of a full bag of chips will lead you to consuming less and feeling just as satisfied.
Include Your Kids- Getting your kids in the kitchen will help them create healthier habits. I know that it is hard to get kids to eat well but it can be helpful to ask them questions like -
What kind of dinners would you like this week?
What vegetable DO you like?
What would you like to see in your lunches this week?
I hope you find these helpful and that you can incorporate 1-2 of these into your lifestyle during the month of March! If you need help, Reach out! I have tons of resources to help you get into a healthier and more informed space this month!