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5 Nutritionist Approved Healthy Eating Tips for National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nice time of the year to re-evaluate our health goals. This is especially important in case those we made in January for the new year have taken a back-seat to busy schedules, or we’ve slipped back into unhealthy food ruts for comfort or due to stress.
Everyone deals with schedules, jobs, social lives and other things that some people believe don’t allow them the time to live their healthiest life. But the belief that we don’t have time for health is simply not valid; everyone can live a healthy life when they break it down meal by meal, day by day, choice by choice. So, to inspire you to live a more vibrant life each day, here are some nutritionist approved tips you can start to work into your own routines today.
1. Eat More Plants
Sounds pretty simple, right? That’s because it actually is. When you choose to eat more plants at each meal, you crowd out the\ unhealthier foods like dairy, meat, eggs, processed foods, fast food, pre-made meals and stuff that really provides your body with nothing but inflammatory, dense sources of calories. Remember, calories equal energy. Plants contain fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that don’t just keep you full and healthy, but also satisfy your cells’ needs for quality nutrients they can put to use to fuel your metabolism better. Plants are also less inflammatory to the body which helps prevent disease that can slow your body down.
2. Be Label Smart
Generally speaking, if an item has a label on it with more than 5 ingredients, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. The healthiest
choice foods contain one ingredient or no label at all. For instance, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are all single food options that your body can use much better than a processed protein bar with 10 or more ingredients. Added sugars, fillers and preservatives, emulsifiers, and many animal based ingredients can all make their way into foods that aren’t necessarily easy to spot. When you choose simple labels, you’re naturally choosing healthier foods.
3. Get Enough Sleep!
Busy schedules, exciting nights out and stress can all keep you from getting the rest you need, but this comes with a huge price. Research has shown that even just 30 minutes less of sleep one or two nights a week can lead to weight gain, changes in insulin levels, and prevent quality mental focus the next day. Over time it can even lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
4. Eat a Fibre-Rich Breakfast
Most people know they should eat breakfast, – no news flash there – but what many people don’t consider is the importance of a fibre packed breakfast. A piece of fruit is nice in the morning, but it’s not going to do much for you an hour later. Your body needs a good bit of calories, ample amounts of fiber, and a little protein to get it going and to keep you full. Fibre takes a longer time to digest and also stabilizes your blood sugar. If you have a hard time adjusting to more fiber, start out slow but make it a point to increase it daily. A green smoothie, oatmeal, or some fruit chopped into a bowl with some coconut yogurt, flax, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all great options that might be easier on your stomach than large amounts of something harsher like wheat bran cereal. Increase your fibre a little each day and you’ll likely notice you feel more full during the morning while also having less severe blood sugar drops the rest of the day. This can keep your insulin levels healthy to prevent sugar binges or extreme fatigue. Fibre-filled breakfasts can even improve your weight since they change the way your metabolism functions over the course of the day.
5. Don’t Fall for Gimmicks
Gimmicks like strict juice cleanses, completely avoiding food groups (like fat and carbs), going on a liquid diet like some celebrities do, or feeling the need to only eat one food for days on end (like bananas) are not healthy, balanced ways to take care of yourself. If you want to have a green juice or green smoothie, then be sure you’re still eating meals and consuming a variety of other foods too. Balanced eating promotes a healthy body. Period. Explore all your plant based options so your body gets what it needs. As a result, your metabolism will stay fuelled, your brain will function better, and you can learn how much of what specific foods make you feel full longer and fuel your activity levels best. Don’t forget that exercise is also important. Since we depend on food to provide us with calories for energy, we should put those calories to use. Get moving by taking a walk, going for a jog, or taking a class at your local gym. Workout at home? Get some kettlebells and lift those instead of weights. Pick up an active hobby like climbing or hiking. You get the drill. When you move, you improve your mental health, physical health, and your longevity at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Source: By Heather McClees http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/nutritionist-approved-tips-for-national-nutrition-month/
20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables
Building a healthy plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. All this is packed in fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and fat. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Try the following tips to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day.
1. Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza toppings. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favourite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
5. Grill colourful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
6. Add colour to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.
7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Ready-to-eat favourites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.
8. Place colourful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the centre of your kitchen or dining table.
9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.
10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
11. “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.
12. Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yoghurt or toaster waffle.
13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.
15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagne, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.
16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.
18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colourful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soy beans). Top with low-fat dressing.
19. Fruit on the grill: Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.
20. Dip: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yoghurt, or graham crackers in applesauce.
Eat Right Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 Tbl vinegar, red wine
• 4 egg whites, hard boiled
• 2 cups lettuce, iceberg
• 2 medium tomatoes
• ¼ cup beans, garbanzo
• 1 cup cucumber
• ¾ cup carrots
• ¼ cup mushrooms
• ¼ cup onion
• 2 tsp oil, canola
• ¼ tsp salt, lite
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• ¼ tsp dried basil
Hard boil eggs, remove eggs from shell, slice in half, and discard egg yolks. Set egg whites aside.
Mix lemon juice, vinegar, and oil (and seasonings, as desired) to make a dressing. Toss with chopped vegetables and remaining ingredients. Garnish with sliced egg whites. Enjoy!
Per serving: 306 calories, 23g protein, 10g total fat, 31g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes