March is National Nutrition Month, and it’s right on time. Every January most of us make a resolution to eat healthier, and we even do better for awhile. However, study after study shows that dieting doesn’t work for most people. In fact, dieting can slow the metabolism, increase stress, and lead to more weight gain. The best way to lose weight is to eat better food. That means more whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. It sounds simple, but if you’re used to eating fast food, or processed and refined foods, it can be a challenge.
Here are our top five tips for improving your eating habits for #NationalNutritionMonth.
- Make a Meal Plan – Having a plan is probably the #1 indicator for success if you’re trying to improve your eating habits. Before the start of a new week, plan every meal you intend to cook yourself, make a grocery list, and go shopping.
- Go Half Vegetarian – If you’re ready to commit to being a vegetarian – go for it. Vegetarians tend to weigh less and live longer. However, it’s easy to reap the benefits of being a veg head just by replacing half your meat-centric meals with vegetarian dishes.
- Eat the Peels – Fruits and vegetables with edible peels can be an excellent source of micro-nutrients. Making mashed potatoes? Just dice them up peel and all. Eat your apples right off the tree and cucumbers and carrots right out of the garden. The peels of citrus fruits are even healthier than what’s inside, so add some orange and lemon zest to dishes. Eat kiwis like you would a peach. You can even safely eat banana and mango peels – just juice the whole fruit.
- Stop Adding Salt – It only takes about two weeks to get used to the taste of unsalted foods. Once you’re off added salt, salted food tastes bad. You’ll never go back.
- Add Omega-3s – Increase your consumption of salmon, tuna, walnuts, tofu and flaxseed. Prepare your fish lightly grilled or baked, have a handful of walnuts as a snack, and add tofu and flaxseed to protein smoothies.
If you have a home freeze dryer, improving nutrition is so much easier. You can prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance, preserve your healthy harvest, and keep nutritious ingredients at hand. Got your own tips for improving nutrition during National Nutrition Month? Share them with our community on Facebook.