Okay, it is Nutrition month, how excited are you?
Many of us would like to eat better, but it is confusing. Is that item labeled “healthy” really healthy? Is there really a magic food which will solve all of your nutritional issues? Finding a simple way to think about the food you eat would help, wouldn’t it?
Here are some ideas:
Quit Looking For the Magic Food!
No one food item is going to be the key to a healthy diet – no matter what the ads or emails tell you! Fill your plate and refrigerator with Grow Foods (items the sun shined upon, grew out of the dirt, and are as close to how they left the farm as possible). Add a salad and a smoothie to your day and load up on the fruits and veggies. Eat a variety of fresh or frozen items and put color into your diet! The darker and brighter the fruit or veggie, the more nutrients it contains.
Don’t Demonize Food:
Just like no one food item is the key to a healthy diet, no one basic food item or category is the cause of all the trouble, unless, of course you have an allergy. Dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, and yes, even carbohydrates are healthy choices in appropriate portions. Again, choose to eat these items as close to how they came off the farm. A grilled chicken breast is more healthy than a breaded and deep-fried one.
Sometimes it’s the box (or can) that is unhealthy!
Choose the least processed version of your favorite items. Often what started out as a grow food becomes much less healthy as it is packaged for your convenience and for profit. Turn the package over and read the ingredients and avoid added salt, chemicals, and sugars.
Just because it says organic, diet, light, low fat, whole grain, all-natural or “healthy” doesn’t mean it is good for you!
Food packaging is all about getting you to buy – not telling you the facts. Be a savvy shopper and look at the ingredients list. It may say whole grain, but is whole grain listed first or second in the ingredients? If not, it may not be a good choice for you. A product that advertises “0g Trans-fat” isn’t necessarily free of partially hydrogenated oils, it is just below what they have to report on the nutrition label (again, check the ingredients list). Many “diet” foods are higher in calories and salt than many “regular” choices. Organic cookies are still cookies – not health food!
Shop fresh, shop often, and follow a farmer.
Choosing fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy products rather than processed and more shelf-stable ones may require more trips to the store, but it is worth it to give your body the fuel it needs to feel great and live longer. If you are curious about the food you eat and how it is produced – get right to the source, ask a farmer. Find one here:
On Twitter: FollowFarmer, Agchat, FoodChat or this online database of farmers.
Happy Nutrition Month!
Eliz Greene survived a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggled to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and searched for a way to hold on to the perspective and passion she found in her near-death experience. Drawing on her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.
4 Responses to “Busy Woman’s Guide to Nutrition Month”
These are wonderful tips on making small tweaks to eat more healthy foods. Like you say, there’s no “magic food,” despite popular belief.
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This post was mentioned on Twitter by elizgreene: hey @followfarmer, @agchat & @foodchat, mentioned you in my #nutrition month article! http://bit.ly/9FfYXM #agchat #followfarmer…
Thank you so much for leaving this post! It is wonderful to receive advice on how to pursue nutritional wellness through cultivating healthy and realistic attitudes toward food. I really appreciate the holistic approach to heart health and think that posts like this will help people to more fully realize the ways in which the small daily choices we make can having meaningful effects on our lives.
Simple and very doable tips all of us could use given the kind of health threats we are faced with. Of these, i find making frequent trips to the produce stand or grocery store most troublesome. but you’re right, finding time is a must if it means keeping myself healthy.