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National Nutrition Month - Personalize Your Plate 2021

March - National Nutrition Month

March – National Nutrition Month

The human body is designed to be healthy, however, external factors, and lifestyle habits, contribute to the development of chronic disease. There are things that we control to keep a healthy and one of them is nutrition. Food is the fuel that keeps us going. So why not dedicate a month to take a little bit more care with the things we eat? Our bodies will thank us! 

National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) as a way to help remind people about the importance of making informed food choices, developing healthful eating habits, and incorporating physical activity in their daily lives.

This year the National Nutrition Month campaign is about “Personalizing Your Plate” as there is no one-size-fits-all. We are all different and thus we all have different needs and goals.  Keeping this in mind will help us find the right approach for our own nutrition and health. For the following four weeks the National Nutrition Month recommends you consider the following:

  • Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day!
    • Eating healthy is about eating balanced meals and snacks that include, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats.
  • Planning meals each week!
    • Meal planning is a good way to ensure you are eating healthy all week. It can also help you save money and time. So, each week create a grocery list to shop for healthful food choices to make meals you’ve planned for.
  • Learn skills to create tasty meals!
    • Healthy eating does not have to be boring. Be creative, create a new recipe, add fruit to your salads, and try new flavors and foods.  Peruse Pinterest for some inspiration!
  • Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)!
    • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN to help you stay healthy. Seeing a RDN can put you on the right path to better health with personalized nutrition advice to help you achieve your goals. 

(If you want more tips on healthy ingredient swaps, check out the National Nutrition Month Handouts!)

Nutrition is not only about healthy eating, but it also becoming more aware of the food we put in our mouths. We are living in a fast-paced environment where it may seem challenging to take time out of our day to eat without distractions. Studies have shown that eating without attention leads us to eat fast and more than needed. Dedicating time and attention to our meals, on the other hand, can help us feel more satiated and eat less during the day.  

A great way to help us become aware and enjoy our meals is to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating is a strategy which involves being fully aware of what is happening within and around us. While eating, pay attention to the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food. This will help you enjoy and be more grateful for the food you have. 

Some heart-healthy inspiration just for you!

Want to check out what’s in season? These resources can tell you exactly what fruits and vegetables are available where you live, at what time of year, and what recipes they work perfectly in!

https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org

https://foodgeeks.com/seasonal?state_id=5

https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month 

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/97/4/728/4577025?login=true

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating

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