Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? That makes it a great opportunity to review your physical health and wellness — specifically, having the right mindset when it comes to the food you put in your body on a regular basis.
So, I thought I’d share some tips with you. Not just any old tips, but some ways to truly think differently when it comes to your meals and meal planning — starting with National Nutrition Month 2020.
Drink water first thing in the morning
When you go 7 or more hours without drinking any water, your body gets dehydrated. Keep a glass of water at your bedside to drink right when you wake up. You will feel more alert and your metabolism gets a jump start for the day.
Watch your portion sizes
See how the amount of food you put on your plate compares to an actual “portion size.” Also, try filling up half your plate with fruits and veggies and the other half with grains and lean protein. You might be surprised at how the plate looks compared to what you normally eat.
Get to know your food labels
As I’ve talked about in the past. the front of a label can say one thing and the back of the label can be completely different. Take the time to understand what you’re looking at — especially “added sugar.” Many companies use psychological techniques to manipulate how people view nutrition labels, sometimes called a “health halo.”
National Nutrition Month is a perfect time to give home cooking a try
Preparing your own meals can be healthy, rewarding, and cost effective. You may even want to try prepackaged meal kits. If you’re new to cooking (or just need some practice) they can be a fun way to learn the basics and get you started down the right path.
Don’t forget about Slow cookers/Crock-Pots
If you’re a busy person, setting a slow cooker (a well-known brand is Crock-Pot) to cook while you’re working all day can produce a nutritious, delicious meal with little effort. While the good old slow cooker may be old-fashioned, it’s been around for so long for good reason. Plus, it’s just the best smell to come home to. Slow cookers can handle everyday favorites, international-inspired dishes, and if you’re vegan or vegetarian… no problem. There are lots of recipes — even picture recipes — to check out online.
Try something new (or super simple)
Don’t be afraid to go with just soup or a staple like beans and rice. My wife recently made cauliflower stir fry, and I thought it was going to be the worst. Turns out I love it — crazy, right? No meat, all veggies, a little bit of soy sauce and “bam” — delicious. There are so many healthy recipes out there that I never thought I’d care for, so I encourage you to widen your horizons. Check out forksoverknives.com for some great healthy ideas.
Don’t be afraid of the “V” word
I can’t say that I’m vegan or vegetarian (never say never, but you know.) However, it turns out there are some awesome vegan and vegetarian recipes out there, some that would satisfy eaters of any palate. My wife makes vegan meals once or twice a week, in fact, just to reduce the heavy meat protein our diets are used to. Most of the time, I don’t even notice. National Nutrition Month is a great time for you to try that vegan pizza everyone is talking about, or maybe go with lentil soup instead of the cheeseburger next time. You may be surprised.
Fill in the gaps with some healthy snacks
For example: A handful of almonds, celery and peanut butter, raw veggies with hummus. Healthy, well-thought-out snacking can help your energy levels up between meals.
Overall, let’s just say that good nutrition doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Making small changes over time can make a huge difference in your health. Every little bit you try is a step in the right direction.