By Nicole Parmenter, Dietetic Intern for FitNutrition, LLC and Providence College Athletics and Katie Jeffrey, MS, RD, CSSD
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
What began as a week-long event in 1973, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, evolved into a month long observance in 1980, due to growing public interest in nutrition and wellness. The campaign was designed to create awareness about healthful eating and physical activity in regard to their role in weight maintenance and disease prevention. The Academy’s main goal is to “encourage Americans to return to the basics of healthful eating” (O’Malley). Each year the Academy creates a theme in honor of National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme encourages everyone to “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”
A healthy lifestyle does not come from a pill or a magic food. It’s about adopting a nutrient-rich eating plan that includes physical activity. The key to optimal health is eating mindfully, making thoughtful food choices and finding enjoyable ways to move your body. Any positive lifestyle change, no matter how small, counts and each change you make will build to create a huge difference in your overall health and well-being.
It may help to focus on the bigger picture—achieving optimal health for you—not just temporary lifestyle changes. A healthy eating plan begins with realistic goals. Start with small changes and track your progress. Eat mindfully using three simple but important principles: balance, variety and moderation. Balance refers to the importance of receiving all the nutrients your body requires for optimal health while variety refers to enjoying a variety of foods from each of the food groups and different foods within each food group since no one food provides all the nutrients your body needs. Moderation refers to the frequency and amount of foods you eat (May M., 2011). For a healthy eating plan and sound nutrition advice, contact a registered dietitian-nutritionist, as they are the nutrition experts. You can find a registered dietitian-nutritionist by visiting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org.
For additional information on mindful eating visit:
Celebrate National Nutrition Month with the following tips.
Tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
1. Eat mindfully and find an eating plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.
2. Plan your meals and shop weekly.
3. Keep nutrient-rich foods in your kitchen and pantry so you’re well prepared.
4. Enjoy a variety of veggies and fruit.
5. Have nutrient-rich snacks handy such as nuts and fruit, a low-fat cheese stick and fruit, or hummus and veggie sticks, so you never run on empty.
6. Stay active—move your body daily with activities you enjoy.
May, Michelle, M.D. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. 2011.
O’Malley, Ryan. “This National Nutrition Month Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Encourages Everyone to ‘Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.’” Eatright.org. The Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics, 14 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.