National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? I didn’t either, but since I’ve joined Twitter I’ve been finding out that there are a lot of “holidays” I didn’t know about! Since my goal is to become an R.D. this month particularly interested me. I figured if I’m going to learn about it I might as well share what I find!

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Here’s what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics thinks we should focus on this month!

Get Your Plate in Shape

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  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
    • A colorful plate is a healthy plate! I try to make sure I have a variety of colors and keep things interesting by trying new fruits/veggies. There are so many unique and obscure finds out there!
    • One day I’d love to try purple cauliflower!

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  • Make at least half your grains whole-grains.
    • First off, what are whole grains? They are grains that contain all the essential parts and natural occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed such as the bran, germ, and endosperm. Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. So why wouldn’t you eat them!?
    • My favorite whole grains are millet and oats.
    • List of whole grains

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  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
    • Since I didn’t grow up drinking a lot of milk I have no problem drinking skim. Whenever I take a sip of Chase’s whole milk I’m appalled by how much it tastes like ice cream!
    • Trader Joe’s has some of the best fat-free milk I’ve ever tasted! It’s the only milk I can drink straight on it’s own. Highly recommend it.

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  • Vary your protein choices
    • This is something I need to work a little harder on. As a vegetarian, I tend to stick to the same sources of protein, mainly nuts and soy. To vary my intake, I like to browse blogs and pinterest to get ideas for meals with different sources!
    • Other great sources of protein: seafood, beans, lean meat, poultry, and eggs.

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Cut back on sodium and empty calorie from solid fats and added sugars.

    • I always drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep myself fully hydrated. I rarely go with juice (too sweet) or soda (too bubbly) because water perfectly satisfies me!
    • Where I’ve fallen into traps before is all the extra calories (and sometimes even sodium) that make their way into my espresso beverages! Pay attention to what’s actually going in your drinks!

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  • Enjoy your food but eat less.
    • I haven’t used a “regular” dinner plate in years because I always fill it with more food than I need. Using a salad plate cuts my calories down before I even take a bite! 
    • When I eat out I try to keep it to half of what is presented to me or sometimes even just 1/4th. That way I don’t overeat and I get to have leftovers the next day!

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  • Be physically active your way.
    • Sometimes my sister calls me up complaining about weight issues and the subject of physically activity always comes up. If she’s not doing it it’s because she doesn’t like the activity. It’s as easy as that! Find something you love!
    • I never ever thought I’d be a lap swimmer, but once I started doing it last semester I realized just how much pleasure I got out of it. Hell I woke up before 6:30am every morning just to fit it in! I never dreaded having to do it and that made all the difference for me to stick to my workout plans.

So lets all try to be a little more nutrition conscious this month and see what ways it can change our life! I am going to work on trying different fruits and vegetables and vary my protein sources!

What are you going to do differently this month?

More Info

(images from Google)

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