2013 marks the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month®, celebrated every year in March. This year’s message is to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” This message says that you do not have to give up the foods you love to eat healthy and you should not sacrifice your health for the foods you love. Take the time this month to discover what works for you. National Nutrition Month® is a time for you to experiment. Try new wholesome foods, but prepare them in ways that you are familiar with or take the foods you are used to eating and prepare them in a new way.
Here are some things you can do to take part in National Nutrition Month®:
1. Visit a registered dietitian
Many people do not realize how their food choices impact their health. Visit a registered dietitian (RD) to identify problem habits and behaviors and work together to make food work for you in a positive healthful way.
2. Add nutrients to your diet
Try adding an item to your daily meals that you have not had before. Be sure to choose foods that enhance your diet. Add more greens to your dinner plate or incorporate more plant fiber into your breakfast. These changes are small, but can have a big impact.
3. Learn to build a balanced meal
Mix and match the foods you like to build a more balanced plate. Half of your meal should consist of non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter with starchy vegetables or whole grains, and one-quarter with lean protein. If you load up on a large portion of grains at lunch, cut your portion in half and save the rest for dinner. Make your meals work for you.
4. Snack smart
Do not let processed snacks between meals derail your healthy lifestyle. Plan ahead and bring healthy whole food options with you for when temptation strikes. Having smarter options on hand at all times make you less likely to slip up and eat something you will regret later.
5. Make one big change for your health
Whether it is diet or exercise related, for your mental health, or to relieve stress, include one positive behavior in your daily routine. Walk to the subway instead of taking the bus or swap french fries for a roasted yam or sweet potato. Small changes pay off and lead to a healthier life.
Remember to make healthy choices “Your Way, Every Day;” take small steps to make a big impact.
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