March is National Nutrition Month! This month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The purpose is to encourage people to learn about nutrition to make informed choices and form healthy habits. With so much information available today, it can be overwhelming to know where to even begin. Here are some healthy tips and tricks you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle!
It can be hard to simply “eat healthier.” A simple way to motivate yourself is by reading up on different nutritional facts. For instance, if you learn why you should reduce added sugars, monitor portion sizes, or become more active, it may be easier to actually implement those actions in your daily routine. Another item you may want to familiarize yourself with is nutrition labels! Understanding what each item means can help you make more informed nutritional decisions. The first step to achieving a healthier lifestyle is informing yourself on the why.
Include More Fruits & Vegetables in Your Diet
Did you know that the CDC recommends that adults eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day? If you struggle to consume the proper amount of fruits and vegetables, know that you aren’t the only one! In 2015, only 9% of adults met the recommended vegetable intake amount, and only 12% met that of fruit. With that said, there are many different ways you can try to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
Make a smoothie that incorporates both fruits and veggies like avocado, spinach, or kale. Additionally, pre-cut up the veggies and fruit you buy for the week. This makes it a quick and easy snack for when you get hungry throughout the day. Another idea is to try to focus on cooking meals that utilize a large volume of vegetables like stir fry or bowls. Eating more fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be boring. Think of creative ways you can sneak more into your diet!
Try to Cook at Home More
Cooking at home not only saves you money, but it’s also likely a healthier option than ordering takeout or going out to eat. Even if you are to select a more nutritious choice from a restaurant, restaurant meals typically contain higher levels of sodium and calories than a home-cooked meal, and they also often are a larger portion size. On the other hand, using fresh ingredients and cooking food at home can help you have direct control over what you’re consuming and how much you put on your plate.
Step Out of Your Recipe Comfort Zone
Cooking dinners and lunches during the week can get repetitive and boring. However, eating a healthier diet doesn’t mean you have to stick to salads all the time! In fact, there are a variety of healthy and delicious recipes on websites like Pinterest. Rather than feeling like a hassle, eating healthy can be fun if you can find tasty new recipes to try! Each week, make it a goal to try making a new dish, whether for lunch or dinner. Soon, you’ll likely have a stockpile of your new favorite healthy recipes.
Incorporate Movement in Your Daily Life
A healthy diet loses its impact without a healthy lifestyle. While it’s certainly important to eat a nutritious diet, it’s equally important to ensure you’re moving throughout the day. For those stuck at a desk from 9-5, this can seem like a daunting task. However, studies show that uninterrupted sitting for long periods of time can contribute to cardiovascular problems down the line. With that being said, it’s important to make sure you’re taking some time out of your day to get moving! That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym for an hour every day. Instead, take the stairs over the elevator, take a quick walk around your workplace once you’ve completed a task, or go for a brisk walk before or after work.
With these healthy tips and tricks, you can begin to incorporate healthier habits into your daily lifestyle. What better time to start than National Nutrition Month? You can learn more about National Nutrition Month HERE.
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