Happy March! What a great month. We’re over the winter hump (better be) and counting down to the first day of spring. We’ll soon trade in our down jackets for spring coats and hot soups for cool smoothies. March also happens to be National Nutrition Month, a nationwide campaign initiated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate and celebrate eating right.
This year’s theme is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right. This could be my motto and I’ll tell you why. Yes, eating healthy is incredibly important, I practice and preach this daily. Food has superpowers, it can literally improve our health, energy, sleep, skin, hair, strength, mood, and so much more…all while preventing disease and feeling better, inside and out. Yes, nutrition is hugely important. But…
What’s the point of eating healthy if we don’t enjoy it? Life’s just too short. Not only do we eat to survive and fuel our bodies, but humans are programmed to eat largely for pleasure. Taste drives our food choices. We all crave certain foods, we all have our favorite restaurants, and we rotate our staple recipes. Pleasurable food is associated with celebration, memories, family, heritage, feelings, etc. We need food and we deserve to enjoy it. National Nutrition Month is all about combining taste and nutrition so that, as individuals and a nation, we’re eating better and enjoying it.
So, how do we do that? Through education, change, awareness, and balance. People ask me all of the time how do you always eat so healthy? I honestly don’t think twice about my lifestyle anymore, I actually crave fruits and vegetables. Seriously! I enjoy educating myself about nutrition, eating what I know is good for my body, stocking my kitchen with fresh, whole foods, cooking from scratch, listening to my body, feeding my cravings, experimenting in the kitchen, and even choosing broccoli over french fries and beans over burgers. Some people get it, others think I’m full of it.
I can understand why lots of people shake their heads because I didn’t always love eating healthy. Ten years ago, I probably wouldn’t have tried a green juice if you paid me. Now, I have one almost everyday and my body craves green juice. Why and how did this happen? Through education, change, awareness, and balance. With awareness of what we put in our mouth, how it makes us feel, and what food can do for our health, things will click. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advocates for education, change, awareness, and balance because these things can make our society drastically healthier.
So, let’s celebrate! National Nutrition Month isn’t about going on a month-long diet, it’s about finding pleasure in eating healthy. Step one is education. In order to know what ‘eating healthy’ means, looks likes, and tastes like, it takes learning, learning facts about nutrition and learning to question what we’re told by the FDA daily. Contact a nutritionist or self-educate through research. There are endless resources right at our fingertips, for free! Check out eatright.org and please come back to One Healthy Hamptons for tips, recipes, and making food FUN.
A little change here and there is a really big reason to celebrate. Learn what’s in the foods that you’re eating. Trust the signals that your body is giving you. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Fuel your body and your mind with superfoods. Be aware of how you feel. Note what you ate when you feel energetic, happy, powerful, mobile, strong, and light. Note when you feel sluggish, deflated, unmotivated, depressed, jittery or unfulfilled. Try new things. Lessen salt and sugar. Use herbs, spices, and citrus for flavor. Trade processed foods for whole foods. There are a million changes you can make, start with one today and make March your month for healthier food choices. Your taste buds will adapt to crave healthier foods, you’ll feel fabulous heading into spring, and you’ll learn to celebrate the healthier you.
One Healthy Breakdown: Eat what you love. Love what you eat. Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.