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National Nutrition Month® – Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle

NNM_Logo_2015_hires_lg_r1Amanda Biondo, Dietetic Intern Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle is the 2015 theme for National Nutrition Month®, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and celebrated each year in March. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed choices and developing sound eating and activity choices

There is no such thing as a “super food,” magic diet pill, or cure-all “diet” to help you achieve a healthy life. Changing your lifestyle is the answer. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains need to dominate your plate. The more colorful your plate, the more nutrients you will get. Make your protein choices lean and your dairy choices low- fat. Include foods like chicken, fish, eggs, or lean meat. Plant-based proteins are a great choice and can save you some money on your food bill. Make a meal using beans, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas or tofu. Skip the sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit drinks, and stick with water. Choose snacks that pack a nutritional punch. The right snacks can keep your appetite in check, fuel your workout, and give you valuable nutrients.

If you are not currently active, start slowly and gradually increase the time you spend exercising. Begin by walking for 10 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. As you increase your endurance, you can increase the intensity of the activity (cycling, jogging or walking at a faster pace) and the duration (at least 20-30 minutes per day). To help you track your food and activity choices check out https://supertracker.usda.gov/#home
By choosing healthy foods and increasing physical activity, not only will you be able to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease, you’ll have the energy to tackle all of those tasks on your endless “to do” list. Celebrate National Nutrition Month® this March by making lifestyle changes to better your health!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has lots of great information on their website at http://www.eatright.org/

For some on-line fun, click on http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/games/#.VOOJFObF-Ag to access several interactive games and activities.