National Nutrition Month - A Time For Positive Change!
Every March in the United States, National Nutrition Month is observed. It is a time to bring awareness of the importance of making informed food choices while creating healthy and sustainable eating and physical activity habits that can last a lifetime.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of National Nutrition Month since the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created this movement. It started as a weekly event until 1980, when it was extended to an entire month of observance due to its popularity. The theme for 2023 is Fuel for the Future. It is a powerful way of saying, make the right choices today to fuel your body for a lifetime and future generations. What we place in our mouths now will have an impact on our bodies tomorrow. Good or bad, we all have a choice about how we fuel our bodies. Are we fueling the body with food that provides energy and vitality vs. those that cause pain and sickness? The choice is yours, choose wisely for a prosperous future.
Simple Ways to Fuel Your Future
1. Physical Activity
a. Over 42% of Americans are obese and the number is not slowing down and there are probably some people here in America that have not been counted which makes the number that much greater. Movement every day is imperative to lower weight or even maintain it. In addition, physical activity helps to prevent so many chronic diseases and it makes you feel good too. Physical activity increases oxytocin, helping to alleviate or prevent depression. Isn’t it time for you to get moving?
b. Perform calisthenics workouts or weight training at a minimum of 2x a week along with some form of cardio exercise.
a. The key to getting healthy is making a choice to do so, followed by making a plan, and then taking action soon after. If you don’t know how or where to start to improve your health contact an expert in the field of nutrition, health & wellbeing or even your doctor to get the answers you seek and those you may not know you need yet. Be proactive about improving and taking care of your health. You have one life to live, live it to the fullest every day.
a. Proper nutrition fuels you, so learn healthy ways to add more nutritious meals into your diet and start implementing it into your lifestyle. You can start by managing your portion size at every meal. One of the easiest ways to not over eat is to eat your meals in a bowl or divide them in half if you use a plate. Eat some food now and save some for later; don’t overeat and don’t eat when you are not hungry.
b. Opt. to eat more fruits and vegetables that are in Season.
c. Prepare more meals at home and make enough food to have as leftovers or to share with someone.
d. Take a multivitamin, one that caters to whatever cycle in life you may be in and your sex. An example, would be Women 40+ vitamin or a prenatal vitamin, teen, child, etc. This is an imperative step, even more so if you do not eat healthily. Also, make sure to have some elderberry on hand to stay proactive with keeping a healthy immune system 365 days of the year.
e. Consume healthy fats that are unsaturated vs. those that are saturated or have trans fats.
f. Monitor your salt intake; especially if you have diabetes and heart disease.
g. Monitor your calories to help you maintain or lose weight.
h. Monitor your sugar intake; prevalent for those with sugar concerns like pre-diabetes or diabetes.
a. The body is made up of over 60% water, make sure you are getting enough throughout the day because you lose it as you breathe, urinate, sweat, and defecate. Water helps you operate at an optimal level.
b. Hydrate with more water, at minimum half your body weight a day or more if needed. Water has 0 calories, add natural fruits to infuse it instead of drinking sugary drinks. Try seltzer instead of soda if you need to belch. Slow down when you eat and chew at least 30 times, this allows for better digestion of food and the savoring of every bite.
c. Drink water first thing upon rising to help rev up the metabolism and reduce calorie intake throughout the day. Add lemon to the water to enhance the process.
d. Water helps to keep you regular, hence the elimination of constipation.
e. Water helps cushion the joints, as well as keep the blood circulating freely through the body.
f. Temperature regulation within the body occurs when there is an optimal level of water in circulation.
g. The brain functions better when water is present at ideal levels because the brain is comprised of over 75% of water. Dehydration or lack of water can cause brain fog, memory loss and irritability.
5. Engage in Meatless Mondays
a. Saying No to meat one day a week on Mondays is a great way to help improve your health, the lives of animals, and the planet. You will see a drop over time in your weight and cholesterol numbers and fewer animals must be slaughtered to prepare meals for you. Add more plant-based days to the mix and the numbers will improve even more quickly regarding your health and more animals will remain alive on the planet.
b. You can get your protein from nuts, lentils, seeds, beans, plant-based burgers or meats, and foods so you will not be lacking in that macronutrient department. You will also gain ample fiber from such foods.
c. Since it is lent, one can opt for salmon or other fatty fish with high omega 3 as protein on Friday's, if they are not vegan, vegetarian or plant based.
Throughout National Nutrition Month, open your mind, become more conscious of healthier habits you can adopt to improve your overall health and the ones you love. Be proactive now, so that you do not have to be reactive later. If you need holistic recipe ideas visit here (all recipes are meatless on Mondays.) There are recipes for the flexitarian and plant-based eaters.
If you need personal guidance this month, seek out the help of a health professional like an RD, Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach, etc. Many of these professionals offer events, workshops, etc., this month or throughout the year that you can join to help you get your life on track. Don't be left doing anything alone if you need guidance, there is always help available. Schedule a clarity call with us here or reach out to us at the end of the month when there will be more availability if you would like to speak to us.
How will you begin to fuel your future this month?
How will you keep yourself accountable?