We love March. The days are getting noticeably longer, the temperatures seem to lose their icy grip, flowers are showing signs of bloom with Spring right around the corner, and, of course, college basketball and March Madness take center stage! In March, we also celebrate National Nutrition Month and on March 13th we celebrate Registered Dietitian Day.
Started 40 years ago, National Nutrition Month is designed to educate people on the basics of nutrition. At Nutrition Pair, we believe that National Nutrition Month should be celebrated every month of the year! This year’s theme promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is, “Eat Right, Your Way, Everyday!” According to the AND, the theme is supposed to help people remember that healthy eating does not mean depriving yourself of some of you favorite foods. The key is moderating your intake of poor food choices while incorporating healthier options. Nutrition Pair works on the notion that any food can fit into a healthy diet if you follow the rules of proper portion size and you maintain a regular exercise or activity program. A great review of this concept was written in October 2010 by fellow RD, Jeff Novick. Check it out here!
So, you must have the right understanding of the word and meaning of “moderation”. That is where the problems usually start. The definition of moderation can be different to each person you ask. Normally, our first approach to working with clients is to educate them on the different foods available and the different nutrients these foods provide. Naturally, we like to start with Fruits and Vegetables as these foods are loaded with many protective nutrients. It is easy to change your diet by simply adding a piece of fresh fruit to your typical meal plan. Next, try adding a new vegetable. As you start to discover new fruits and vegetables you didn’t know you liked, you can keep expanding your tastes. Shortly, you’ll find yourself craving fatty, sugary and salty snacks less often! Sure, it’ll take some time and involve overcoming challenges but your health is worth it!
Let’s start this March and this Nutrition Month by truly striving to change our approach to foods. Try going a week without any fried foods or go a week without visiting a fast food restaurant. Or, plan a family meal and turn off all technology while you sit together, add that piece of fresh fruit or new vegetable to your meal. You could try drinking water at meals and during the day instead of sweet tea, sodas or alcohol. Whatever you start, you must have a plan. Dining out less, preparing more meals at home, eating more fruits and vegetables means that you will need to be doing some grocery shopping. Plan your menu, start a grocery list, stick to it when you shop and have some fun! We can turn this into a science experiment and discover new talents and knowledge! As my mother used to always tell my siblings and me, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!”, I pass that on to you. Let’s start new, today! Celebrate March and Spring into better Health….
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!