Guest Blogger, Rose Kaplan, on National Nutrition Month

Healthy Habits for National Nutrition Month

eat right 

January is for new years resolutions and February is when we break them—sounds familiar, right? Well the good news is that March brings a fresh opportunity to give those resolutions another go. March, or as most nutrition professionals know it, National Nutrition Month, is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually every March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in order to draw awareness to making healthier choices. The 2015 theme, “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle,” is meant to encourage individuals to adopt eating and physical activity habits that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and moving more to maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, below are 5 simple health habits that are worth adopting into your life. When it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices, small, gradual changes can add up over time. Try one of these, or all 5 as you take a “bite into a healthy lifestyle.”

  1. Drink 1 Extra Glass of Water per Day
    Think of water as a nutrient your body needs, that happens to be present in just about everything humans consume—liquids, foods and plain water. Consuming enough water is key to replace the large amounts your body loses each day. When water intake does not equal water output, you can become dehydrated. Your body is composed of about 60% water so adequate hydration is key to sustain life. For those of you watching your weight, water can even help control calories by helping to keep you full. Aim for about 2 liters of water a day, or eight, 8 ounce glasses.
  2. Jumpstart Your Day With Breakfast
    Would you ever go on a road trip without filling the car up with gas? Then why would you start your day without breakfast? Eating breakfast provides your body with the fuel it needs to conquer each day. A breakfast that is high in fiber and protein will help to keep you full and energized. Studies show that starting the day out with a healthy breakfast can lend to better eating habits all day long. Looking for suggestions? Try oatmeal with banana and peanut butter, or a veggie and egg scramble on a whole wheat english muffin. Both options are high in fiber and protein, and are perfect for providing your body with the energy needed to tackle a busy day.
  3. Move More!
    This may seem like common sense, but moving more can do wonders for your health. Government statistics show almost half of people report sitting more than six hours a day, and 65 percent say they spend more than two hours a day watching TV.   Those who sit have a higher risk for numerous health issues like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Studies have shown that walking briskly for even one to two hours a week (15-20 minutes a day) can decrease a person’s chances of having a heart attack, stroke, developing diabetes, or dying prematurely.
  4. Eat More Greens
    Incorporate lettuce into your meals to add nutrients and water into your diet. Lettuce and greens are high in fiber and water which helps you to bulk up your meals for not a lot of calories! The darker the color of the greens, the more nutritious and flavorful it is. Give kale or collards a try; both happen to be very trendy foods right now! Try eating a side salad with your lunch and pumping up the nutritional value of your dinner by throwing greens into your soup or chili. You can also search online for a new, creative way to cook with greens. The options are endless.
  5. Eat Less Processed Foods
    We live in a world where unfortunately, many of our food options come out of a box or from a drive-through. It may not be realistic to get all your food fresh from the ground (we’d all have to be farmers for that), but making a conscious effort to prepare more meals from scratch is a step in the right direction. Preparing quick, simple recipes using whole, nutritious ingredients is just one easy way to start eating less processed foods. Begin with a small goal—trying one new recipe each week, then build up from there! If you are short on time, prep meals in advanced—this will make it simple and quick to cook a made-from-scratch meal in a matter of minutes!

 

Looking for more information on National Nutrition Month? Check out NationalNutritionMonth.org/NNM.

References
11 Simple Health Habits Worth Adopting Into Your Life. (2014, December 14). Retrieved March 2, 2015

National Nutrition Month – March 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015

The Benefits of Physical Activity. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015

Head over to Rose’s blog for more great tips! 

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