National Nutrition Month- Cultivating Healthy Eating Habits

Along with Women’s History Month, March is also National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition Month highlights the importance of incorporating healthy eating habits for ourselves and our families. A healthy habit is any behavior that is beneficial to one’s physical or mental health. It is often linked to self-discipline and self-control. Creating healthy eating habits is not just related to weight control and maintenance, but it can also reduce you risks for many chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. Cultivating healthy eating habits can overwhelming and time consuming so it is important to simplify the process as much as possible. By implementing small changes, we can see big improvements in our eating habits. Here are

Here are a few of my tips to cultivate healthy eating habits.

Eat Mindfully – Slow Down

We are all rushing. Rushing to eat, to squeeze in an errand, meet a deadline, and get to an appointment. Let’s start the process of slowing down our eating. It is important to stop and sit down when you eat.  When we are rushing, our digestive system is in “fight or flight” mode and it generally does not work properly when it is stressed. Digestion is about transforming your food into fuel. When we get stressed, tired, or even nervous, our digestion system does not function properly and optimally.

Before we eat, it is important to remember to take a deep breath and be grateful for the food while checking in with our bodies. When you’re eating, sit and allow yourself to truly enjoy the flavors, the taste, aroma and texture of the foods.  This may not be possible all the time, but try to incorporate mindful eating as often as possible. This not only helps you to enjoy the taste of your food more, but it can help you to not overindulge and eat less.

Choose Healthy Nutrient Dense Food Options

It is important to eat simple and eat clean. Our digestive system takes a longer time to digest and process food. Choose colorful nutrient dense foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy carbohydrates to reap the benefits of vital nutrients.

Some healthy eating suggestions:

  1. Load up on veggies and salads before eating the higher calorie foods.
  2. Add More Greens- Add extra servings of green veggies in the form of salads, steam veggies or green smoothies.
  3. Choose Healthy Carb Options- Carbs are excellent source of energy and can give you fuel to perform throughout the day. However, not all carbs are created equal. Try to avoid carbs found in high sugar and refined grains which are fattening and instead choose carbs with more whole grains and fiber.
  4. Add More Protein- Protein is one of the three macronutrient (fats, carbs, protein and is the key ingredients to build muscles. Protein helps you to feel full by reducing your hunger hormone. It also boosts your metabolism and increases fat burning.
  5. Choose Healthy Fats- Fat generally gets a bad rap but our bodies need good fat for energy and cell growth. Good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can improve brain and memory function, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods high in good fats inlcude olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish.
  6. Reduce Meat Intake – it’s also a great way to explore new and to the delicious flavors available in vegetarian and vegan meals (See my dinner with jackfruit and quinoa yesterday). 
  7. Reduce Sugar Intake – Sugar taste good and has addictive properties. And it’s my number one weakness. So I’m always looking for ways to reduce my sugar intake. I try to choose fruits for and lower sugar options more and leave ice cream and cake for my treat days. 

Stay Hydrated

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Water accounts for 60% of our body’s total weight and we need to stay hydrated in order to keep this balance. Water is also necessary for several bodily functions, including lubricating our joints, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the cells, helping to flush out waste in the liver and kidney, as well as maintaining the cell’s fluid level. Drink plain or infused water throughout the day. One suggestion to help with getting more water in ii to add fresh fruits to water to enhance the flavor. Some flavors to add include lemon, lime cucumber slices, ginger slices, grapefruit, or fresh mint leaves.

Cultivating healthy eating habits takes time and can be overwhelming. Break it in chunks and choose one area that you would like to improve and focus on that first. You can then progress to other areas. The key is to be consistent. Book a call with us to get you started on cultivating healthy eating habits on your health and wellness journey.

Favorite Green Nutrient-Dense Smoothie

Green smoothies are perfect for getting your fruit and vegetable requirements for the day. They are nutrient-dense and full of iron, potassium, and vitamins. The best part is that they are simple and quick to make! You only need a few ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store in all seasons and they don’t cost a fortune. Green smoothies can be used as a meal replacement or a healthy snack and can easily be incorporated as a sustainable healthy habit.

  1. Blend 1 cup of spinach, or other leafy greens of your choice (kale, Swiss chard, mixed greens) with 1 cup of water and ice cubes. Blend well – until all leafy chunks are gone).
  2. Add in fruit, such as frozen mango, berries, pineapple, bananas in the blender.
  3. Add flax seeds or hemp seeds for a protein option
  4. Add avocado for healthy fat
  5. Add ginger or unsweetened peanut butter for extra flavor and taste
  6. Next, blend again until smooth and creamy. Enjoy !