Once again, it is National Nutrition Month! The novelty of New Years Resolutions has likely worn off, and it is time to reset yourself on a path to health. If you haven’t already, consider following our 52-week challenge. It’s never too late to start!
At eatright.org, you’ll find that the theme for National Nutrition Month is “Put Your Best Fork Forward”. Just as our 52-week challenge suggests, it’s all about making small changes over time that lead to new behaviors in the future. Often, the hardest part is just getting started. Start by making a plan. When life happens, and you find your self wandering from you plan, remember to put your best fork forward! Refocus, reset, and recommit to positive nutrition behaviors that will make you look and feel more healthy.
As you get started, a great place to focus is on your own personal kitchen at home. Consider these five steps to give your kitchen a makeover.
- Use up, give away, or throw out. We would be lying if we said we didn’t sometimes enjoy food that isn’t so good for our bodies. To make your kitchen healthier, use up, give away, or throw out these items. You can still enjoy them occasionally, but you will have to make a special trip to get them instead of mindlessly snacking on them from your pantry at home.
- Make a list. You may have heard the saying, fail to plan then plan to fail. If you don’t plan to have healthy foods at home, you won’t have healthy food to eat. A shopping list will help you focus your grocery shopping, helping you stock up on healthy options for your kitchen at home.
- Eat what you like. If you don’t like kale, don’t buy kale. If you don’t like carrots, don’t buy carrots. If you love berries, go ahead and buy the berries! You get the point. Don’t torture yourself by eating things you really don’t like. You may be surprised to find that once you get accustomed to eating healthier foods, you actually like foods you once thought you didn’t.
- Always include fruits and vegetables. We have a rule at our house that anything you eat has to be accompanied by a fruit or a vegetable. Cereal at breakfast is served with apples or grapes. A sandwich at lunch is served with carrots or cucumbers. String cheese and crackers for a snack comes along with a bowl of berries. Casserole for dinner is packed with frozen beans and corn. If you make it a rule, you will likely get all your servings of fruit and vegetables in a day. Having plenty of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables in your pantry and freezer helps ensure you’ll have them on hand when you need them.
- Make food inviting. Apples and oranges tucked away in the back of the refrigerator don’t look nearly as appealing as a fresh fruit bowl right out on the counter. A bowl of plain broccoli may not look as tasty as steamed broccoli with seasoning and melted parmesan cheese. Take steps to make food visually appealing and you are likely to enjoy them more.
Get started by enjoying a side of Garlicky Green Beans.
With just three ingredients, it is quick and easy to make. Those three ingredients sure do make green beans look tasty and they pack a flavorful punch. Enjoy!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant