National Nutrition Month Tidbits

Well, if you have any dietitians in your life it’s no secret that it is National Nutrition Month! That being said, this is a perfect time to plug the “reliable nutrition” card! If you are seeking nutrition advice or have nutrition questions, always go to your RD first! Registered Dietitians are trained and have education and extensive training on science-based nutrition information and how to apply the research and science to every day practice. Before you click “search”, reach out to one of us and pick our brains instead… please!

I also figured I would use this month as a chance to give a few basic tips to healthy eating and maintaining your healthy lifestyle within reason. There is a reason that fad diets are called fad diets… they tend to not last long or be sustainable for extensive periods of time (hens FAD). My biggest pet peeves when it comes to nutrition advice: cleansing, juicing, and over-consumption of nutritional supplements. Juicing, just to pick on one, takes a very important part of fruits and vegetables…. the fiber… and completely disposes of it. What is left though is sugar and plenty of it. Yes, it is natural sugar, but no that doesn’t give anyone the green light to over-consume it. What happens with excessive sugar and no fiber? Blood sugar peaks and dips which more than likely leads to feelings hunger soon after you’ve consumed your juice.

My tips are very basic and simple. They build upon my basic principles for healthy eating Β “Pick plants often, vary your diet, don’t deprive yourself, and enjoy what you eat!” that you see on my home page. Please feel free to ask me questions, I would love to answer them, and take this month as a good learning experience if there is something in the nutrition field that sparks your interest!

3 Tips to Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Changes:

1. Follow the 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your daily food choices healthy and nutrient dense. Allow 20% for leniency, “special” foods, treats, or things you know you probably shouldn’t have often. There is no harm in treating yourself every once in a while; no one is perfect! When we deprive ourselves of what we love, it often leads to relapse or over-eating.

2. Hydrate yourself with H2O! Each time you feel the hunger bug, take a second to think if you are actually hungry or thirsty. Often times we confuse hunger with thirst. Drink water throughout the day and skip the sugar-sweetened or caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can often be dehydrating, so after your morning coffee fix keep the caffeine to a minimum. There really isn’t an explanation for the sugar-sweetened beverages other than they aren’t necessary!

3. Move towards a primarily plant-based diet. No, I’m not asking you to get rid of the meat, but I am asking you to incorporate more plant-based foods at every meal. The nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds do wonders for your body in more ways than one. Whether it be reducing inflammation, boosting your immune system, or aiding in muscle or tissue repair, there is no denying how important the fruits and veggies are (as well as other plant-based foods!) to your body. It could be adding some veggies to your omelet in the morning, throwing a handful of raw almonds into your yogurt, having a piece of fruit with lunch, or filling half your plate with colorful veggies at dinner; just make it a point to pick plants often!

 

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