Fitness Facts: Celebrating National Nutrition Month

March 09, 2022 / by / 0 Comment
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By Emily Orvos
Campus Registered Dietitian

March is exciting for many reasons – spring break and summer are on the horizon, to name a couple. It is also National Nutrition Month, which adds another reason to celebrate.

In addition to National Nutrition Month, March 9 is also Registered Dietitian Day. On this day, it’s fun to reflect on conversations I have about food and how I can keep educating people on how to best care for their bodies.

In honor of Registered Dietitian Day, I compiled some of the best tips and tricks I have for building a healthy lifestyle. These are common themes I find myself discussing frequently with clients or patients as well as friends and family:

  • Eat breakfast: I know this is an easy meal to skip, but your brain during work will thank you for some morning fuel. Grab a banana and a protein bar on your way out the door to start small. Friendly reminder: Coffee by itself doesn’t count as breakfast.
  • Include a fruit or veggie at every meal and snack: This is one of the easiest ways to add more nutrients to your diet without changing anything else.
  • Plan out your meals and snacks: It can be much more challenging to stick to your health goals when you just “wing” your meals. Decide what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Create your grocery list based on those meals, then batch cook individual ingredients to save yourself time during the week.
  • Carb/starch + protein + color = balanced meal: This simple blueprint helps ensure you are hitting all your nutrient needs in each meal.
  • Eat the rainbow: Different colored fruits and veggies have different nutrient profiles, so be sure to switch it up between meals. For example, if you have a spinach salad for lunch, try roasted carrots with dinner.
  • Try a new recipe 1-2 times per month: Keep your food fun and exciting. Try a new recipe from a different culture, incorporate a new veggie you have never tried or try to re-create a restaurant favorite to spice up your meal prep.
  • You still need to eat, even if you are not physically active that day: People regularly tell me they eat only once or twice on days they don’t exercise or are physically active, even if they’re hungry. Your body uses a lot of energy for breathing, organ functioning and activities of daily living. You do not need to “earn” your food with exercise.
  • If you overeat at night, you may be undereating during the day: Do your breakfasts and lunches contain carbs, protein and color? Are you including snacks to avoid large gaps between meals? If not, your body may overcompensate later.
  • Snacks should look like mini meals: When we think of snacks, we think of things like chips, crackers or pretzels. Instead of taking these foods away, how about we pair these carb-rich foods with a protein or healthy fat to make them more satisfying? Pair your chips with salsa and guac, combine your crackers with cheese and grapes, and dip both pretzels and baby carrots into hummus.
  • Enjoy what you eat: Foods should be both nourishing to the body and satisfying to the soul. Choose nutritious meals you are excited to eat. Otherwise, it isn’t truly a healthy lifestyle.

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If there are tips on this list you already incorporate into your lifestyle, that’s great! Congratulate yourself on taking care of your body and see if there’s something new on this list you can try. I hope you celebrate National Nutrition Month with your favorite nourishing meals!


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