7 smart strategies for savoring the flavor of good nutrition and health.
Every March we celebrate National Nutrition Month® but the message resonates all year!
For 2016, the message to all Americans for National Nutrition Month kicks off by celebrating the theme “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The message itself sounds delicious and it’s a terrific reminder that flavor and health don’t have to be at odds with one another.
Nutritious and delicious can happen and we play an active role in deciding what and how we eat, move and live toward better health . . . a Healing Lifestyle!
Each year during March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors a national educational campaign to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
The Academy has celebrated National Nutrition Month® since 1973 to promote optimal nutrition and wellness in the population, while bringing attention to the organization and its more than 75,000 professional members as the most respected and credible sources of up-to-date, scientifically-sound information on diet and nutrition.
Every year I hit-up a number of nutrition experts, including my wife, Dr. Wendy Bazilian, for their top tips around the National Nutrition Month theme at their annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.
- Focus on adding, not subtracting. Focus first on adding fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, tea, and water, . . .not simply on reducing salt, fat, sugar or refined grains and high saturated fat meats. Have vegetables or fruit (or both!) on every plate. Real foods taste delicious if you prepare them simply and give them a chance to shine!
- Make smart swaps. Gradual replacements add up in a healthy lifestyle, bite-by-bite. For example, a glass of milk or a smoothie instead of a soda or sports drink reduces sugars and empty calories and replaces them with key nutrients. And swapping in plant proteins sometimes for animal proteins like meat, poultry and fish sometimes can add nutrition and variety to your menus. Beans like kidney beans or garbanzo beans, lentils, nuts like walnuts, and seeds, or high quality soy protein like non-GMO edamame or tofu.
- Add herbs and spices. Fresh and dried herbs and spices literally dial up the flavor of your foods without adding calories or extra salt, sugar or fat. And research has shown they are rich sources of phytonutrients too. Flavor plus nutrition to savor!
- Read labels. Before purchasing foods at your local grocery store look at the Ingredient List first to determine the quality of what’s inside the packaging. Then consult the “Nutrition Facts” label and compare different brands and options based on their nutrition stats.
- Exercise is essential, but it comes in many forms! Eating well is important but so is activity. A healthy lifestyle is about balancing the two, along with stress management, recreation and rest. A healthy lifestyle, not only incorporates flavorful, nutritious foods, but includes having a healthy exercise routine. Just 30 minutes on most days of the week can have a big impact on your overall healthy lifestyle. Find something you enjoy doing. . .or at least tolerate with a smile!
- Enjoy meal time. Savoring itself suggests spending some time with food and the company of others around a meal. Celebrate and create traditions around the table where you and your family and friends can savor the food, each other, and your lives.
- Schedule a session with an RD/RDN. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming when you’re trying to make changes. Consider scheduling an appointment with a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. All registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. RDs/RDNs are required to keep up their credentials and knowledge with continuing education. And sitting down with a credentialed expert can be a meaningful and personalized way to set and achieve your food and nutrition goals.
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right is a simple and practical theme that can have real impact in your life. Small steps and small changes do add up to real nutrition and exercise results. . .allowing you to tackle your healthy lifestyle goals bite by delicious-and-nutritious bite.
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