15 Apr Making Nutrition a Priority
Many wellness habits seem optional, such as exercise, you can schedule it into your day or not. Or financial, stress, and time management, you have the option to prioritize them or not. Whether or not you prioritize them, you will carry on with life. But the tricky part about developing and maintaining healthy nutrition habits is that eating is an every day (multiple times a day) part of life. For most of us, our body lets us know that we need to eat…often.
So while this doesn’t make exercise or the management of finances, stress, or time any less important, we’d like to continue last week’s conversation about healthy nutrition.
One of the biggest factors in being successful with your healthy eating goals is your access to nutritious foods. If you haven’t grocery shopped in a while, chances are your nutrient-dense food options are very limited because most of those are perishable. Here are a few tips to make the healthy choice the easier, more convenient choice.
- Meal and snack planning. Take inventory of your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you have on hand for meals and snacks. Once you know what you’re working with, focus grab a pen/paper or notes page and come up with a handful of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas. Focusing on one or a few categories is a great idea too and you can build your list over time. So if you know breakfasts are tough for you with the morning rush, look into overnight oats, make ahead egg muffins, yogurt parfaits, etc. to set yourself up for success. Same goes with snacks – if you wait until you’re over-hungry to decide what you want to snack on, chances are it’s probably an impulse grab, not a thought out snack. PRO TIP: Swap ideas with family, friends, and co-workers. You’ll save each other time and get to know each other a little more during the process.
- Keep it simple. Meal and snack planning doesn’t have to be complicated. Following the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate model, break up your meals and snacks down into categories. Ask yourself, “What is my protein? Carbohydrate? Vegetable?”
- Beat the lunch rush with prepped options. Check out this article for some fantastic ideas. And if you need a back up, there are several frozen pre-made meals that have reasonable portions, adequate calories, and moderate sodium.
- Out of sight, out of mind. We all have certain foods that call our names when we’re stressed, mad, sad, tired, etc. So in going along with the access to nutritious foods, remember, if it’s not in your house, it’s less likely you’ll eat it. Along those lines, the produce you buy can sometimes hide in the refrigerator then wilt away unseen, so when you unload your groceries, wash (and for some, even chop or portion) and keep those beauties in prime location of your refrigerator so they catch your eye and remind you they’re available to you when you want to grab something or plan a meal or snack.
By Victoria Emmitt RD