March is National Nutrition Month, but really, what month isn’t a time to eat right and get fit?
Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, came out with some guidelines to lead us in the right direction.
Let’s chat about each one:
1. Eat right by creating an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods.
Listen, the vast majority of us can’t eat Whole30, Paleo, Ketogenic, etc. for the rest of our lives. We need to each find our own balance that not only keeps us energized and fit, but also keeps us motivated to eat well day-to-day.
What does that mean?
Maybe try one of these regimens for a bit to pull in the discipline aspect. After doing something for a month, you should have the discipline down, and you’ll also likely realize that it’s not as hard as you thought!
After it all, feel free to add back in a few other healthy items that you weren’t able to have on the regimen. This might be beans, whole grains, or something else (but not brownies!).
2. Practice cooking more at home and experiment with healthier ingredients.
There are so many tips for eating healthy, and I’m sure you’ve heard at least 100 of them. I’ll share just a few:
- Drink a lot of water! Staying hydrated should remove some of the desire to eat when you’re not really hungry. Many times, people eat when their bodies are really just trying to tell them that they’re thirsty. Don’t let that be you!
- Prep your fruit and vegetables on one day of the week so that the healthy stuff is just as easy to grab as the non-healthy stuff.
- Find healthy brands that keep you eating the yum, but in a cleaner form! One brand I recently fell in love with was Zemas Madhouse Foods. I cooked up their Cocoa Teff Pancake & Waffle Mix twice this weekend! Seriously… twice! It’s gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, non-GMO, and free of artificial colors. It was pretty tasty, and my kids also loved them! I look forward to trying more of their products.
3. How much we eat is as important as what we eat. Eat and drink the right amount for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
Note that My Plates’ guidelines are just that – guidelines. There isn’t a need to have grains, dairy or fruit at every meal (or even at all). Ideally, I aim to eat vegetables with a side of protein. Have you seen the Whole 30? That way of eating dairy-, grain- and sugar-free keeps me running well!
4. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
This one is SO important. If you’re bored or if you dread your workout routine, you won’t stick with it. Here are a few tips to help you stay active and get fit:
- Switch up your routine often. Once you start getting in a rut and find yourself making excuses to not workout, it’s time to do something different. That might mean joining a boot camp, taking different classes at the gym, finding a workout buddy, joining a sport, or starting a workout DVD program.
- Let yourself take a break if you need it. I’ve been known to let myself lean back and relax for 1-2 weeks at a time about three times a year: right after Christmas, in early Spring, and when traveling in Summer. During those times, think about what you’ll want to get into next.
- Make a goal! Do you want to run a 1/2 marathon, do a mud run, or attack the before and after assessments at a local boot camp class? Make a goal and dive head first into it. Accountability matters, so make sure someone is either doing it with you or checking in with you.
- Know that you don’t have to be structured. You might find that your exercise is running around the house cleaning it like mad one day, and then running after your kids at the park the next day, and walking all around the zoo (with a few lunge walks as you go) on another day. Think about everything you do as an opportunity for fitness, and be proud of yourself for the progress you’ve made.
5. Manage your weight or lower your health risks by consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
There are a lot of DiY programs out there, but if you aren’t finding success, it’s important to find someone who can guide you. there’s a lot more at play than just what we know about ourselves on the surface.
Here are a few resources if you’re interested in taking the next step:
- Find a Registered Dietician near you
- Become Ketogenic and feel like your best self with Shawn Mynar’s Fat Burning Female Project
- Whole 30 Real Plans and other support
- Amie Valpone’s Eating Clean 21-Day Detox
Alright, so what are we waiting for? Let’s make one small commitment together to eat right and/or get fit.
It doesn’t matter when you’re reading this. Share below and motivate others with what you plan to commit to this month (big or small).