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Happy 50th Birthday, EFNEP! Improving Family Nutrition Since 1969!
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National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Colorectal Cancer Month
March 3-9 School Breakfast Week
March 10-16 Chocolate Week
March 17-23 National Agricultural Week
March 26 American Diabetes Alert Day
National Nutrition Month®
Eat Right, Live Right, Feel Right
With today's hectic lifestyles we tend to hear the phrase "I don't have time to": workout, eat healthy, cook or go grocery shopping, but it doesn't need to be as difficult or time consuming. This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is celebrating National Nutrition Month® with the campaign: "Eat Right, Live Right, Feel Right", focusing on well being as a multifunctional aspect, incorporating nutrition and physical activity to obtain optimal health. Obesity continues to be an alarming subject in our nation and is known to be a mayor factor and contributor to chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease. It has also been reported to worsen some conditions such as osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and other breathing disturbances as well as depression and mental illness. So, what can we do to prevent chronic illness? While the phrase "lifestyle changes" may sound drastic, there are small changes that we can make in our daily life that will help us "Eat Right, Live Right, Feel Right".
- Did you know that by engaging in physical activity for 30 minutes each day you meet the minimum physical activity requirement for adults? The Center for Disease Control advises adult to engage in 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
- Some ideas to keep you active are:
- 30-minute walk per day; use your break time! You can also separate it into two 15-minute walks
- 30-minute bike ride
- Engage in sports such as volleyball, tennis or basketball
- No time to cook every day? MEAL PREP! Prepare a big enough portion of food that will allow you to eat leftovers for an extra meal or two. Magazines and websites also provide quick and easy ideas for meal planning. Cutting and storing food items such as onions, peppers, carrots, cucumbers and garlic can also shorten your cooking time.
- On the go? Unexpected day out? No problem! While fast foods tend to offer a large amount of foods high in calories and fat, we can always make the BEST choice. Chose items that are not fried such as baked chicken, baked potatoes, soups, chili and salads. Portion sizes have increased in the past years, so obtaining a larger drink or side dish may not be necessary when eating at a fast food establishment. Try to chose water above any other beverage. Need that fizz? Try sparkling water, even splash it with a small amount of lime soda to give it a kick but try not to waste your calories on your drink, which are usually very high in sugar.
- Need something sweet? Go for naturally occurring sugars such as fruits. Adding fruits to yogurt or milk is a great sweet option. You can even blend it together. Just remember that fruits are sweet enough, you do not need to add any sugar to them.
- Portion control can be overwhelming. Using the MyPlate diagram makes portion control easy. Make sure that half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables while the other half is half carbohydrates and half proteins.
- Wondering how well you are doing or what can you improve on? Writing your physical activity and meals consumed in the day for several days can serve as a reflection and increase awareness of your strengths and opportunity for improvement.
- Finally, take time for yourself. Engage in some activity that helps you ease your mind and enjoy.
Remember that there is no "one-size fits all" plan but these basic tips will help you get closer to your health goals. If you want further help registered dietitian can help you personalize your own meal plan according to your goals, beliefs and likes. Also make sure you look into your community resources that may provide activities such as healthy cooking classes, physical activity groups, nutrition classes among others.
Being "healthy" should not be a burden, it is providing your body what it needs to function at its best, allowing you to enjoy the most of your life.