National Nutrition Month
The National Nutrition Month® annual campaign was created 50 years ago by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is encouraged to learn about making better food choices and developing healthy eating and movement habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics introduced “Fuel for the Future” as this year’s campaign theme. Here’s what they say, “Eating with sustainability in mind is a tasty way to nourish ourselves during every phase of life and protect the environment.” Partner with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist like our friends at Wel to help you create healthy habits that are sustainable and meet your unique needs.
Five Weeks to Better Health
Last year we released our Ask a Nutritionist series in partnership with Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at Wel. This year we are bringing awareness to National Nutrition Awareness month with a five-week wellness challenge, Five Weeks to Better Health.
Five Weeks to Better Health Challenge
WEEK ONE: Eat a more colorful plate
WEEK TWO: Develop a support system
WEEK THREE: Meal plan for success
WEEK FOUR: Make more meals at home
WEEK FIVE: Create a routine of healthy habits
Join our five week health challenge to celebrate National Nutrition Month! We’ve developed a theme or challenge for each of the five weeks in March to encourage healthier choices when it comes to nutrition. Each week we will explore a simple topic and provide education along with practical ways to incorporate each theme into your regular routines. At the end of the month, you’ll find yourself on the path to better health through these simple lifestyle changes and healthier nutrition choices.
Week One: Eat a More Colorful Plate
Eat More Colors. Eating a variety of colors will increase your intake of different nutrients to benefit various areas of your health. Incorporate foods from all food groups into your meals to provide a range of nutrients to your body. Eating a variety of colors and food groups keeps your diet interesting with different flavors and textures.
Food is Medicine. Spend time learning more about what specific foods provide essential nutrients and vitamins to the body. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins, high in fiber, and contain plant compounds that can protect against a variety of diseases. One large kiwi can provide your daily recommended vitamin C needs and provide potassium, copper, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin E, and are high in antioxidants. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity among popular fruits & veggies and contain fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Week Two: Develop a Support System
Ask for Support. Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN or reach out to the RDNs at Wel. You’ll find personalized nutrition for your unique needs, health goals, and stage of life.
Look for Community. A community that provides positive, social support will make it easier to reach your health goals and become the best version of yourself.
Invite Others. Get friends and loved ones involved. Research shows that people’s health behaviors tend to mirror those of their family and friends. Invite them to join you, support you, and help you stay on track.
Week Three: Meal Plan for Success
Make a Menu. Plan a menu for the week that includes a majority of your go-to meals and one or two new recipes to try!
Make a List. Once you have a meal plan, create a grocery list. Whether you place an online order for convenience or shop in person, get all the items you need before prepping your meals.
Prepare Ahead. Meal prep looks different for every person and family. You may choose to make ALL your meals at once before the start of the week. You might also find ingredient prepping more helpful by washing, cutting, and storing each item you will need throughout the week. Both methods will save you time later in the week!
Week Four: Make More Meals at Home
Find Joy in Cooking. Feel empowered with your new skills around the kitchen and the positive impact it has on the health of your entire family. Asking your partner or kids to participate in the process is a great way to relieve stress, try something new, create conversation, laugh, and make fun memories!
Save Money. Following a meal plan and sticking to a grocery list can not only save time but also money. You’ll find you are purchasing only what you need and won’t spend extra on eating out during the week.
Make More Thoughtful Choices. Cooking from home not only saves you money, but also encourages thoughtful choices in the foods we eat, when we eat, and who we enjoy our meals with.
Week Five: Create a Routine of Healthy Habits
Start Small. Changing up your routine all at once can be overwhelming and won’t set you up for lasting results. Pick one small thing each week to work on. It could be adding something new and positive, or cutting out a bad habit. Small changes add up over time and before you know it you’ve incorporated all these little health habits into an easy-to-follow routine.
Make a Plan. We don’t all have the same schedules or responsibilities, so no two routines will be exactly the same. In fact, your routine may not even be exactly the same every day. Make a plan and anticipate obstacles. Doing things like prepping meals ahead of time will set you up for success even when you’re hurried or life gets crazy.
Follow the 21/90™ Rule. The Love Wellness team says, “It takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to make it part of your lifestyle. After you complete the 90 days, the habit will be as much a part of your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth.”