Take Charge of your Nutrition for the Win!
By: Dr. Karla Vital
March is National Nutrition Month® and a reminder that Spring is almost here. Then, it will be summer and a focus on the great outdoors. National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that focuses on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. So why not, start preparing now? Take action by changing just a few things in your daily routine. Most people will agree that exercise is important for good health. However, not everyone is physically able to participate. Thankfully, every individual can make small adjustments to your daily menu that will greatly improve your nutritional status. Focus on the following 5 for the win! 1) Track your daily intake for at least one week. It is surprising how many calories sneak in by snacking small amounts throughout the day. There are a variety of easy applications available for smartphone and computers, and journaling on pen and paper still does the trick. 2) Swap out your drinks with calories for water. Coffee additives, sweetened teas, milk, juices, and smoothies often have the same or more calories than sodas. It is possible to drink your calories, and still eat the same amount. Why not chew your calories, instead of drinking them? It is much more fulfilling. 3) Start your daily with some protein. It will help to keep you full for several hours rather than frequent snacking on the hour. Eggs, protein drinks, and nuts are all good choices for a quick breakfast. 4) If you can’t squeeze in a few bites of protein, start with fiber rich fruit, or a cleansing green juice. Whenever possible, eat your fruit instead of drinking it. Have fruit washed, ready, and visible for a quick snack at all times. 5) Include more vegetables in your daily routine. Commit to adding a new vegetable each week as a snack or side dish. Swap out one meat based dish each week with a salad, and load up on those vegetables. To obtain more recipes, resources, and meal planning ideas, please visit the website https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month. Dr. Vital can also be reached on Twitter @drkarlavital, and on Facebook @vitalhealthandwellness. She is the Owner of Vital Health & Wellness Center, and is also available to see patients via telemedicine at https://www.rowedocs.com/dr-karla-vital/