March is Nutrition Month and dietitians are on a mission to help Canadians across the country take a small step toward better health. Go to www.nutritionmonth.ca for great tips and meal ideas.
Try Something New! Consider swapping ingredients in recipes to keep things interesting and help you stick with your plan.
Try new vegetables, different grains or legumes and different types of cheese or spices.
- Boost protein and fibre in your berry smoothies by adding cooked red lentils
- Make a simple salad of fresh arugula, parmesan shavings, sea salt, lemon and olive oil.
- Snack on a small bowl of cooked barley mixed with frozen blueberries and flax seed with a hint of maple syrup or cinnamon.
- Toss slivers of raw purple beets, green pears, feta and flax in a lemon vinaigrette for a salad bursting with colour and crunch.
- Squeeze lime juice onto grilled pineapple for dessert
- Sautee apples in butter and cinnamon and top with toasted oats, crumbled walnuts and creamy yogurt for a hearty breakfast.
- Add nutmeg to vegetables such as carrots or squash to make them interesting.
- Add curry to lentil soup or stir fry vegetables
Instead of take-out, make your own speedy meals at home.
- Cook create-it-yourself meals such as tacos, fajitas or salad bar. Get the family to help.
- Make your own pizzas which whole grain flatbreads, tomato sauce, leftover grilled chicken, cheese and veggies
- Have sandwiches for supper.
- Try baked eggs with lentils tomatoes and peppers for an easy home-cooked meal.
- Check out Cookspiration.com for delicious recipe ideas and get the free App.
Make it Stick! Planning how you’ll manage your healthy eating roadblocks before they happen is key to success.
- Think about what might get in your way of healthy eating.
- Brainstorm solutions to get around roadblocks.
- Put supportive strategies in place such as enlisting friends to help
- Remember that a slip in healthy eating is normal and provides an opportunity to learn, readjust and get right back on your plan. For help staying motivated get eaTracker at eaTracker.ca
Lack of time, eating out, holidays and stress are common challenges that can sidetrack our healthy eating plans. Here are some strategies to help your small changes stick.
Short on time? Be prepared with nourishing grab and go foods. A little planning helps you eat healthy even on the run.
- Stock your kitchen with good for you snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, seeds and whole grain crackers.
- Cook big batches of soup, stew or chili on the weekends to eat for dinner during your busy weekdays.
- Cook once and eat twice. Cook more than you need for one meal and reinvent it for another.
- Shop for healthy convenience foods such as plain frozen vegetables and fish fillets, shredded cheese and canned lentils.
Stressed? Bored? Sad? Eating for reasons other than hunger can lead to mindless munching. Eating when you are distracted like when you are watching TV can also lead to eating more than you think. Turn off screens when you eat and be mindful. If you’re not actually hungry, distract yourself by going for a walk or folding laundry, call a friend or have a bath.
Party time? Have a snack before you go and you’ll be less likely to overindulge when you arrive. Don’t stand at the food table and use a plate if there is a buffet so you can visually account for what you are eating.
Travelling? Pack healthy snacks so you don’t have to buy foods at the airport or roadside stop. Whole grain cereal bars, unsweetened apple sauce, yogurt, and nuts are portable options.
Family Feast? Eat slowly, savour each bite and stop when you’re satisfied not stuffed. Practice saying “no thank you”. Put your napkin on your plate when you’re done. Offer to bring something healthy like a salad to add to the meal.
Need some help to get on track? A dietitian can help!
- Dietitians can help you make daily food choices and plan healthy delicious meals. They can translate scientific research into practical, real-life situations. Ask your dietitian for:
- tips and recipes to plan, shop and cook healthy meals
- information on how to read and interpret food labels and the latest headlines, trends and diets
- help improving your relationship with food
- customized meal plans, individual counselling and advice.