Nutrition Month….Nutrition Year?!
In case you didn’t already know…March is Nutrition Month! Ok so I am guilty of plastering this all over every social media I own, so if you’re following me I have already announced this one thousand times. I’m really sorry! I just get really excited about food and nutrition.
So just in case you didn’t know, not only is March Nutrition Month but every year the Dietitians in Canada get together and decide on a theme for that particular Nutrition Month for that particular year! All the tips, recipes and information is designed to help you get all the information and resources you need to be successful in creating a healthier happier relationship with food.
This year’s theme is “Take a 100 Meal Journey-Make small changes, one meal at a time.” 100 meals might seem like a lot but on average a person consumes 3 meals each day and there are 30-31 days in a month so that’s almost 100 meals! The idea is that if everyone makes one small change it will be a lasting one and hopefully your new found nutrition month knowledge will carry out through the year (and hopefully much longer!).
So that brings me to the idea of our little changes and ties into my New Year’s blog about SMART goals. Everyone makes a New Year’s resolution. The trick is to make a change that is gradual and not drastic because it isn’t going to stick. Once or twice I’ve told myself I will give up chocolate and the little voice in my head laughs because it isn’t sensible. Instead I buy a bag of M&M’s and I have a few every day and I might even have a whole bag on the weekend! So I narrowed down what I wanted to accomplish and I made a goal to eat one more fruit and vegetable every day and I have my M&M’s for desert. It’s all about balance and having foods in moderation.
I will give you a little cheat….most of the clients I see have one thing in common, which appears to be their biggest enemy when it comes to healthy eating…that 4 letter dirty word…TIME! So let’s say that our little change for the month of March is to become more organized.
Here are some tips on how to arrange your time and kitchen to be more user friendly when it comes to preparing healthy snacks and meals:
1. Designate a snack drawer, cupboard, shelf or crisper.
2. Head to your grocery store, Wal Mart, or dollar store and stock up on containers of all sizes…zip lock baggies work too!
3. Sit down and figure out when you have 30 minutes in your week (for most people this is a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or evening). This 30 minutes could be your prep time. There are approximately 43, 200 minutes in a month! You can find time somewhere in there for your healthy changes.
4. Once you figure out when you have those 30 minutes in your week to spare, set out and start organizing. Boil 6-8 eggs for your week, bake double the amount of chicken breast you normally would, put on a pot of chili and freeze it, portion out 1 cup of veggies and fruits and ¼ of nuts into baggies, make oatmeal for 5 days or fill up some containers with yogurt, granola and fruit. All of these things will go into your previously purchased containers or baggies and be stored in your previously designated snack drawer, cupboard, shelf or crisper. Now you have ready to go food for those busy mornings and all you have to do is grab a couple of baggies and containers! No biggie!
5. It’s Tuesday night and you know Wednesday is going to be crazy busy, you’ve got ballet and hockey practice for the kids plus a stack of paperwork you bought home from work. What can you do? You’re already preparing food for supper Tuesday so cut up some extra veggies and put them in a container for the next evening and make Tacos Wednesday (probably the fastest and easiest thing to prepare ever). Always make extra!
6. Get the kids involved! This will cut your preparation time in half. Plus…studies show that if kids are involved in the grocery store selection and preparing of food they are more likely to try new foods. Bonus all around!
Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to making a few little changes for your Nutrition Month preparation! Whether it’s getting more organized, drinking one glass of water throughout the day, adding one more serving of vegetables to your daily routine, they all count! No change is too small!!!