Refocusing on how you fuel your body
During March, Nutritionists celebrate National Nutrition Month. This is a great opportunity for these professionals to share tips with patients, friends, and the community so that everyone can make strides toward a healthier diet and active lifestyle. Making smart choices leads to better health and in turn a better emotional state.
Eat with the Environment in Mind
As you work to personally make positive strides in your nutrition, think about the world around you. As you do this, you can focus on having some meals that are solely plant based. This doesn’t mean that you become a vegetarian, but what if you did a plant based lunch a few days a week? This could mean salad but beans, seeds and legumes are also great options beyond salad. Consider the packaging your meals come in. Is there a way that you can reduce packaging waste to be more thoughtful of the environment? Another fun activity could be starting a garden. This may be a small porch container garden where you are involved in the life cycle of your food.
Nutrition by Life Cycle
Regardless of the stage of your life, you can follow age specific guidelines to help you achieve better health by planning a healthy diet. Nutritionl.gov has released the Life Stage, which allows you to select your phase of life from pregnancy through childhood and to senior adults. Each stage outlines nutrition requirements and even how to help children form a healthy relationship with food. If you need help forming a plan that is right for you, see a registered dietitian nutritionist. These professionals can help you understand your unique needs.
Plan your meals
As food costs rise, plan your meals and stick to a grocery list to save money. When you make your meal plan, shop your pantry before adding items to your list. Consider if there is a way that you can use leftovers to make a different dish. Try to include produce that is in season in your plans as it is often more affordable and sometimes fresher than other options. Have a healthy meal or snack before shopping so that you aren’t as likely to impulse purchase unhealthy items. If you qualify for community resources like WIC, be sure to take full advantage of those to complete your diet.
Eat a colorful diet
Variation in your food choices will have a positive impact on your health and help you to avoid getting in ruts. Try different cultural foods and flavors. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. If those are too costly, frozen produce is always a great option. Be very careful with any diets that put restrictions on what you consume. These may have great results at first but can harm your health long term if you deprive yourself. When you go back to those items, you often gain weight rapidly which is hard on your body.
Eat at home
If you find yourself eating out every week, refocus your efforts by attempting to eat at home for a full week. Find new creative dishes to make. Enjoy the time cooking with friends and family. This will give you better control of the foods you consume and also save quite a bit of money. Routinely refocusing on eating at home reminds that you are in control of what you put in your body and how you fuel yourself.
College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, and P&S Pharmacy are local pharmacies here in East Tennessee who have great resources to help you on your journey toward better health. If you are needing resources to achieve better nutrition, please reach out to our team. Our pharmacies can fulfill your prescriptions for pickup or delivery and also offer flu shots. Come by and see us.