Written by Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND
How will you bite into a healthy lifestyle this month? March is National Nutrition Month® (NNM), and this year’s theme challenges you to take at least a small bite toward healthful living. I LOVE NNM, really! I love the excuse to talk about nutritious and delicious food. I talk (and write) about health, nutrition, food and good habits all the time, but March affords me an extra excuse to stand on this soapbox of good health. This month, my challenge to you is to take a bite or two or 15 toward a healthy lifestyle.
A bite is that it’s just a small commitment. It’s not a gulp or a leap; it’s just one tiny taste of something new. View it as an experiment. If you like it, you can take more bites and then more. It’s possible to hugely change your health one bite at a time. To get you started on tiny changes, check out my list of suggestions. Choose one or several from my list or your own.
- Try Meatless Monday at least once this month.
- Practice eating slowly and mindfully.
- Eat breakfast.
- Pre-portion treats and temptations.
- Try a fruit or vegetable that you’ve never eaten or one you haven’t eaten in several years.
- Drink infused water instead of sugary drinks.
- Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as trout, tuna, salmon, herring and sardines.
- Prepare an unusual whole grain. Consider millet, quinoa, black rice, millet, wheat berries, barley and farro.
- Keep a detailed food record for at least one day. Review it for your dietary strengths and weaknesses.
- Practice speaking kindly to yourself if you “blow your diet.”
- Eat a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal or snack at least one day this month.
- Plan your meals one day in advance.
- Plan dinners for a week.
- Pick out 5 foods from your pantry. Read the ingredients label for added sugars.
- Pick out 5 foods from your pantry to identify the serving sizes, calories, fiber and the unhealthy saturated fats.
- Stop eating when full.
- Set a bedtime and sick to it.
- Use your phone’s alarm function to get you up from your desk once per hour.
- Add 5 minutes to your usual exercise routine.
- Add 30 seconds of high intensity exercise to your usual routine.
Check out more ideas via the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The list of possibilities is endless. So tell me, please. How will you bite into a healthy lifestyle?