Farmington, CT (March 2, 2018) – News stories about nutrition are often confusing and contradictory. One day coffee is safe to drink, the next it may cause cancer. For a while, any foods containing fat were villainous and carbohydrates were good. Then that was reversed. We hear wine in moderation is healthy, and soon after we hear it is not.
And who isn’t calling themselves an expert in nutrition these days? If your doctor isn’t giving you advice, your chiropractor likely is. Or your pharmacist, hair dresser, yoga instructor, co-worker, cousin, or neighbor. You’ve probably also seen information online, in magazines, and on television.
No wonder we are all so confused. Here it is, National Nutrition Month, and many of us haven’t a clue what we should and should not be eating. Or maybe we know but think it takes too much time to “eat healthy.” Let’s face it, fast foods and frozen/convenience foods are, well, fast and convenient.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Dietitians say eating healthy can truly be delicious, enjoyable, and fairly easy. How do they know? They have degrees in nutrition and pass a national exam to prove they know quite a bit about nutrition. Experience in the field and continued study keep them up to date and assure they know what they are talking about.
Try these ways to healthier this National Nutrition Month:
Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits in a variety of colors.
Try to include some at each meal and a snack. Prepackaged salad kits make it easy to have a salad at lunch and dinner. Frozen vegetables now steam in their own bag, making it a fast choice and one less dish to clean. Fresh fruits are available all year long and are the original fast food snack.
Cut out the soda.
Flavored seltzers are the new soda. There are many varieties to choose from and are generally 0 calories. By cutting out the sugary sodas and adding the naturally flavored seltzer water, it is an easy way to drink more water and cut out unwanted calories!
Bigger is not always better.
Watch your portion sizes. Bigger is not always better. Smaller portions over time can help you lose weight without sacrificing taste. Helpful hints: two tablespoons of peanut butter is equal to the size of a ping-pong ball, the serving size of meat or poultry is equal to a deck of cards, and one quarter cup of dried nuts is equal to a golf ball. Also avoid eating directly from the bag and try serving food on smaller plates.
Rethink your food delivery.
Instead of ordering traditional food delivery, take advantage of the new meal delivery services that send you all of the ingredients you need for each meal. This can help cut out a chunk of your shopping list and shopping trip. Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Green Chef, and Plated are just a few of the many options available.
Skip the fad.
Avoid fad diets or any meal plan that promises unrealistic results. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. The weight loss on these plans is usually just temporary, and many people often wind up even heavier than when they started!
You don’t, and actually shouldn’t, have to change everything all at once. Start with one or two changes and continue them over time. Think about moderation. Your journey to better health is a one-day-at-a-time project. Following a healthier lifestyle and eating well are actually their own reward. Before you know it, you will be looking and feeling wonderful!
Carol Peckham, BS, RYT
Carol is a seasoned health and wellness professional with 15 years of experience developing and delivering health improvement programs ranging from prevention to managing chronic conditions. Carol is very passionate about promoting health and wellness and motivating individuals to live their best lives possible.
Pat Kristen, MS, RDN
Pat’s life-long love and interest in food and nutrition are balanced by running, fitness, and active travel vacations whenever possible. She worked in a variety of healthcare settings as a clinical dietitian before joining Envolve PeopleCare. While she most often practices what she preaches, she is also known for (occasionally) baking tempting treats such as brownies and granola.
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