By Carolyn Renner, Dietitian/Nutritionist, SageWest Health Care
Eating healthy helps us get and stay healthy. And there’s no better time to adopt useful strategies for making good nutrition an essential part of your health journey than National Nutrition Month.® This year’s theme is “Celebrate a World of Flavors” – a great reminder that eating healthy and responsibly doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Small steps toward changing your food habits can add up to a big, positive impact on your health. Here are four steps to get you started.
Spice it up.
If variety is the spice of life, it’s also a great way to spice up your eating habits. Incorporating healthy foods from all the food groups into your diet is important because different foods give us different nutrients. By incorporating a full variety of healthy foods into your diet, you’re helping your body get the most nutrients possible.
You know what they say – planning is half the fun! And with nutrition, planning can go a long way to ensuring that you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet – without breaking the bank. Be thoughtful when it comes to grocery shopping. Take inventory of what you have to see what you need to consume first before purchasing more. Research healthy recipes that use items you already have, then fill your list with only what you need for the week. And set aside an afternoon or evening for meal preparation in advance. Preparing and portioning out your lunches or dinners for the week in advance can save time, help you maintain portion control and keep you accountable to your healthy eating decisions.
Many of us have experienced burnout and frustration – and yes, even boredom – when attempting to stick to healthy eating habits. Avoid falling into a rut by researching new flavors and foods you haven’t tried, learning new healthy recipes to incorporate into your rotation and turning food prep into a party by getting the whole family involved.
Ask for advice.
It’s important to know that you’re not alone on your health journey. If you need help creating a healthy eating plan or guidance on healthy food habits, a nutritionist can be a great resource for relatable, personalized nutrition advice to help you stay on the road to good health.
Establishing and maintaining healthy eating doesn’t have to be intimidating. Taking the first step to making small changes to your food habits is a great start. Those small steps can add up to big strides and can go a long way to improving your overall health.