March is National Nutrition Month!
The 2017 National Nutrition Month theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward” The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Make Informed Food Choices
- Make half of the food on your plate fruits and vegetables. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins and minerals you need.
- Switch to fat-free, low fat (1%) or almond milk.
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains.
- Eat some seafood.
- Choose a variety of lean proteins.
- Compare sodium in foods.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Cut back on solid fats. Foods that use solid fats are cakes, cookies, pizza and ice cream.
Developing Sound Eating Habits
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
Mindfulness is usually associated with meditation and stress relief but it can also be a powerful tool when choosing what we eat, how we’re eating and how our choices affect our health and that of our environment. Just ask yourself who, what, when, where, why and how…
Developing Physical Activity Habits
Exercise and physical activity are not only good for you, they’re also a fun way to spend time — a chance to unwind, to be outdoors, to get social or to simply do something that makes you happy. Find a physical activity you enjoy and do it every day.
Better yet, find two or more types of activity to do to prevent boredom and overuse injuries. Pace yourself according to your age and fitness level. Start with a warm up and end with cool down. Increase time and intensity gradually. Consider exercising with a committed friend or involve your family.
A good general goal is to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. If you want to lose weight or increase your fitness level, you may need more exercise or at a higher intensity. Bottom line, all movement counts, not just exercise.
Opportunities to explore:
- Walk! Walking is the best exercise. With the Walk Away the Pounds program you never have to worry about the weather. It is always nice inside your home to take a walk.
- Take a break from sitting. Try standing, stretching or walking for minimum of 5-10 minutes every hour while at work or sitting at home.
- Activate your passion for food. Take up gardening. There is nothing like planting the healthy foods you love and nurturing them, watching them grow and then eating them. If a veggie garden isn’t for you then plant beautiful flowers. Treat yourself to the GardenHome 7. You’ll want to have the right tools to get you started with your new physical activity of gardening
- Move more, snack less. Instead of snacking when you’re bored, go for a walk, dance or try an exercise video.
- Pick up an activity monitor. A pedometer is a simple tool to track your daily steps. The best activity monitor is the Fitbit. I absolutely love this tracker. When it is synced with your computer it will show you how many steps, miles, stairs, you have walked. How many calories you have burned and how many minutes throughout the day you are active.
- Make leisure time active time. Instead of watching television, go bowling or play an active video game.
- Check out what’s happening in your community. Are there community fitness classes at local parks, schools or gyms?