National Nutrition Month

Nutrition has now taken over March.  Why March?  I don’t know, but the sentiment is clear.  Nutrition is a topic that is extremely important to our current national health problem, budget problem and our future as a productive population.  Healthy people will spend far less on healthcare, healthcare premiums would likely go down, people would lose less work time recovering from surgery and sickness (often brought about by our own bad habits), and a healthier population would likely be happier.

But let’s not just learn about nutrition in March.  Let’s take the challenge.  It takes about 18 times of doing something for it to become habit, which leaves plenty of time in March to form a healthy eating habit.  Webster County, Missouri has created a nice Nutrition Challenge Calendar that might give you some ideas for each day.  Here are my personal challenges:

1) Drink more water (and less soda).  Yeah, I threw that last part in, just in case you didn’t get what I was driving at.  I hate to be restrictive, but seriously.  Soda needs to go. 

2) Eat more vegetables.  Hate preparing vegetables?  Or you’re not sure how to eat them if it’s not a salad?  My most consistent meal is frozen vegetables, stir-fried in a pan with a little salt, olive oil and pepper and cut up chicken, beef or pork.  Cook the meat first, remove it, let it cool, and chop it up.  Meanwhile, cook the vegetables in the same pan.  Before the vegetables are done to your liking, throw the meat back in and cook them all together for a bit.  Now put it all on a plate and eat it.  It’s easy, quick and has a million options for you to experiment with adding sauces, spices, broths, beans and grains (whole, natural grains like brown rice or quinoa) with different types of vegetables and meat.  I really don’t even know what I cook half the time, but it tastes good enough for me.

3) Replace, don’t add.  Eating more vegetables, along with a whole bunch of candy, cookies and potato chips isn’t really all that helpful.  Yeah, you’ll get more nutrition from your food, but if obesity is the problem, you need to cut the other stuff out.  Hence, replace, don’t add.  Replace a bad meal with a healthy meal, rather than adding vegetables and fruit to a bad meal.