March is National Nutrition Month, this year's theme is "Put Your Best Fork Forward". Good nutritional habits are a major part of the foundation of good health. Overall in the US, fruit and veggie intake is low among adults. The goal of this month is to help us all take small steps to make big changes in our health.
While I cannot sit here and pretend to be the best eater, I definitely have found some things that have helped me to become a better eater. I'm going to share my best eating tips with you.
1. Try your hand at gardening
When I moved into my house, I decided to corner off a small part of my yard for a veggie garden. Now, I have never, ever in my life had a green thumb. I am the place plants go to die. But I decided that I was going to do this anyway. Remember, with any new thing you just have to start where you are. I planted several different veggies: cherry tomatoes, green peppers, yellow squash, and spinach. The only thing I got were an abundance of tomatoes...and 1 baby pepper. My squash bloomed beautiful flowers, but never gave me the actual veggie and my spinach were non existent. But I was so proud of my tomatoes! And the next year, I planted again and got more veggies. I'll be planting my garden for this year in March or April and I hope for even more success. Even if you don't have a yard, there are options for your own garden. Herbs like basil and cilantro grow well inside the house and some veggies only need a small space to grow. Check out your local garden store for help. Also, if you live in an urban area, check to see if there are any community gardens that will allow you to rent a plot.
Come through little tomato!
2. Plan your meals
The only day of the week that I cook is Sunday. Sometimes Monday if my weekend is especially busy. I can tell you that aside from saving a lot of money by prepping my meals, I always feel a lot better physically and mentally when I do. When I don't prep, my week goes left quickly. I spend unnecessary money on food. I eat things that don't feel good for me and sometimes don't taste good either. I eat things that I would never cook for myself. For that reason, every Sunday, I put together my menu, go to the grocery store and cook/prep breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyday of the work week. There are a few things I have to have to make this easier for myself. I buy the precut veggies in the store, I use cast iron skillets that can go from stove-top to oven, I use my crockpot and I have 5 snap top bowls for lunch. Other helpful things, I purchase my meats in bulk from BJs. The chicken comes in packages with enough for me to cook one pack each week. When I purchase shrimp, I get a large amount and separate it into individual portions before freezing. Anything to make the process easier.
Shrimp teriyaki for lunch
3. Stay away from your triggers
I have not always had a good relationship with food. In fact, I had a bad relationship with it for most of my life. I was one of those people who had to deliberately destroy food at a restaurant to stop myself from overeating. I used to hide when I would eat and often would binge out on things. As my relationship with myself has gotten better, so has my relationship with food. Now, when I go out to eat and know that I will have some leftovers, I will often ask for a box as soon as my food comes out or early on in the meal. Even though I live by myself, I try to make a habit of sitting at the dining room table to eat dinner. Because I spent years of my life hiding food by eating in the car or sneaking into another room, this is an important habit for me. Finally, I don't buy any foods that may trigger a binge. Sadly this means no cookies. Because delicious cookies make me loose my damn mind. I will literally eat them until I am sick and miserable. Instead, if I am craving something sweet, I will buy ice cream, because as delicious as it is, I can control myself with it. My other dessert favorite is wine. A nice sweet Moscato d' Asti or Riesling is the perfect end to my day.
This girl loves her wine!
These are 3 of my best tips for eating better. The key is to do what works for you. Make small changes toward your goal. If you don't think you're ready for meal prep, try cooking one meal for the week instead of three. If you normally eat out everyday for lunch, try planning to take lunch once a week. Change doesn't have to be all at once nor does it have to be all or nothing. Take small chunks toward your goal. One of the goals I discussed in my Walking into 2017 post was trying a new veggie each month. At this point, I have failed to meet this goal, but March will hopefully bring something new. I want to go explore one of the local farmer's markets and hopefully find a great recipe with a veggie I've never cooked before. If you are looking for a starting point visit myplate.gov or find a local dietician or nutritionist to help you with your goals.
What are your tips for healthy eating? What about your goals? Share a comment below and then subscribe and share with your people.
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