March is National Nutrition Month. In honor of this glorious month which also holds my birthday, I give you:
My Top Ten Tips for a Nutritious Life
1. Don’t follow diet trends.
Trends are transient for a reason. They don’t promote long-term success.
2. Forego the fake.
Substitutes just leave you longing for the real thing. I may eat Tasti dLite, but nothing hits the spot like some Ben and Jerry’s. It’s better to just quash the craving and move on. The authentic product is more natural and contains less artificial ingredients.
3. Set goals.
Having a visible end point will motivate you to make the necessary changes to meet your goal. Make sure it is clear, simple, and attainable.
4. Don’t eliminate foods.
Unless medically necessary, there is no reason to take out healthy items, such as gluten grains, from your diet. A healthy diet contains a balanced portion of products from all food groups.
5. Eat foods in their whole form when possible.
Eating potato chips is still, in essence, eating a potato. However, eating the product in its whole form gives you all the nutrition and none of the addition. Processed foods contain unnecessary additives that may be detrimental to your health. The more ingredients, the more opportunity to trigger unpleasant symptoms.
6. Only take advice from credible sources.
Misinformation is clouding our judgment and leaving us confused. Look to credentialed experts, Registered Dietitians, for direction in diet.
7. Remain adequately hydrated.
Proper hydration is necessary for adequate function of all body organ systems. Dehydration will leave you tired, sluggish, and unproductive.
8. Reward yourself.
All healthy all the time is not sustainable. Eat that cookie. And only that cookie. Unless it’s fresh out of the oven chocolate chip and it’s Sunday. Then eat two.
9. Don’t think of foods as “bad” or “good”.
Categorizing food will make you feel guilty when eating “bad” foods. There is room in the diet for everything, just be conscious of portion control.
10. Stay active!
Physical activity promotes heart health, lean muscle gain, and release of endorphins. We all want to feel energized, toned, and peppy. So go for a walk, lift some weights, or take a roll in the hay. Or just blow dry your hair. If you’re not sore after holding the blow dryer for 20 minutes you’re doing something wrong.
Visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for more on National Nutrition Month and everyday healthy eating.