National Nutrition Month 2021: Personalize Your Plate
A healthy diet is the foundation to a healthy lifestyle. No matter how much you exercise, a poor diet will ultimately hinder your wellness goals. In an effort to promote education and information surrounding proper nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created National Nutrition Month® that we have recognized every March since 1980. Each year, National Nutrition Month® aims to help individuals make more informed food choices, as well as develop healthier eating and physical activity habits, and this year’s theme is Personalize Your Plate.
What it Means to Personalize Your Plate
Although there are staples to every healthy diet – like vegetables, for example – the truth is, everyone is unique, so what makes sense for one person may not work for you. By personalizing your plate, you are tailoring your nutrition plan for your body, health goals, background, and taste. The easiest way to figure out what foods are best for you is by visiting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Once a plan is in place, take the time to learn food prep and cooking skills that will help you create delicious, enjoyable meals. You should also try working ahead by meal planning, making it easier to stick to your diet wherever your day leads you. Be sure to add variety to your daily meals; nothing makes a nutritious diet fail faster than boring, repetitive foods!
Making a change to your diet should be a process, as trying to do everything at once can feel overwhelming. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have laid out a list of weekly goals to help you work towards a healthier you:
- Try to eat a variety of nutritious foods daily.
- Include healthy foods from all food groups
- Maintain proper hydration
- Learn how to correctly read the Nutrition Facts
- Avoid distractions while eating, such as the TV
- Slow down: take your time to enjoy the food
- Start a weekly goal of planning your meals.
- Use a grocery list when shopping
- If dining out, choose healthier menu options
- Choose healthier recipes when cooking at home
- Eat healthier when at school or work
- If traveling, create a healthy eating plan to stay on track
- Update your skills in the kitchen.
- Only keep healthy ingredients on hand to avoid temptation
- Practice proper food safety at home
- Eat meals together as a family whenever possible
- Reduce your food waste
- Try new flavors and foods
- Talk with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
- Talk with your doctor for a referral to an RDN near you
- Meet your goals with personalized nutrition advice
- Try to find an RDN who is specialized to work with your unique needs
Use National Nutrition Month to Kickstart your Goals
The coronavirus pandemic and cold winter months have undoubtedly resulted in many of us making some less-than-healthy choices when it comes to diet and physical activity. With spring on the horizon and a glimmer of hope thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time to get back on track towards a healthier lifestyle. Make more nutritious choices as recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, start participating in more activity such as a daily walk around the neighborhood, and ensure your body is healthy by visiting Midwest Express Clinic today for your wellness exam.
Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month together, and make 2021 the year you work towards a healthier you!