Dietitians get excited during March! Not only does it signal the beginning of spring, but March also is National Nutrition Month®. This year’s National Nutrition Month® theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The goal is to remind us to enjoy our food traditions, appreciate the great flavors, tastes and aromas of food, and take pleasure in the social interactions that accompany meals. In other words, the environments that we choose to eat in and the people we choose to eat with can be just as important as what we eat. Make your meals enjoyable!
The observance also focuses attention on the impact that making healthier food choices and increasing physical activity can have on our overall health and wellness. While enjoying our meals, we also want to make sure that the foods we consume promote health and decrease our risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. To do this we need an adequate and balanced diet, which can be achieved by following the USDA’s Choose MyPlate guidelines:
- Half the plate contains fruits and vegetables.
- A little over a quarter of the plate consists of grains (with an emphasis on whole grains).
- A little less than a quarter of the plate consists of a protein source (lean meat, poultry, fish, or legumes).
- One serving of dairy rounds out the meal.
The link below features instructional videos that explain each of the food groups and how to use them to build a healthy, balanced meal.
Tips for Increasing Physical Activity:
Convinced you have no time to exercise? Here are some easy tips to help you reach your exercise goals:
- Cook dinner in a Crockpot or a quick one pot meal. This will minimize time spent at the stove and cleaning up. Exercise while your main dish is cooking.
- Cook two meals in one night so the next night you only have to reheat.
- Do all your cooking in one day so you are set for the rest of the week. Sprinkle in some easy salads or soups that use leftover ingredients from other meals.
- Make an extra serving of dinner so you can pack those leftovers for lunch the next day. Then eat lunch at your desk, and use your lunch break to exercise.
Too tired at the end of the day to get out of the house? Here are some great tips on how to exercise in your living room.
Only have five minutes? Something is better than nothing! Yoga is a great way to exercise, stretch and relieve stress. Give it a try and then repeat for as much time as you have!