Spring is here! Now is the time to start fresh and put yourself on the right path to a healthier and happier you this 2015. Below are 15 tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help you on your journey:
Eat Breakfast: Start your day off right with a balance of foods including lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For quick breakfast ideas go to www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets.
Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables: Not only do fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture, they also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to your plate.
Watch Portion Sizes: Are your portions super-sized? Try using measuring cups to see if you are on target. For more information on recommended servings visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
Be Active: Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and helps with weight control. Adults should aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes per week. Children and teens should get 60 minutes or more per day.
Fix Healthy Snacks: Snacks can help keep your energy levels up between meals. For a great combination choose from 2 or more food groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat/skim dairy, lean protein and nuts.
Get to Know Food Labels: The Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines on how food label terms can be used. To learn more about food labels, see “Shop Smart – Get the Facts on Food Labels” at www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets.
Consult a Registered Dietitian (RD) Consult the experts for sound, personalized nutrition advice to help you reach you health goals and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Follow Food Safety Guidelines About 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from foodborne disease each year. Proper hand washing, food preparation techniques and safe food temperatures are some steps to keep you safe. To learn more go to http://homefoodsafety.org.
Get Cooking When you cook at home there is no guessing game on how the food is prepared or what ingredients are being used. The collection of How do I... videos at www.eatright.org/howdoi will get you started.
Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals Nowadays you can usually look over the menu online, in advance. Plan ahead to make the healthiest choices. At the restaurant focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, broiled and grilled lean protein items instead of fried.
Enact Family Meal Time Research shows that eating together as a family promotes healthier eating habits. Get everyone involved in planning meals and meal preparations. For simple family mealtime tips, visit www.kidseatright.org.
Banish Brown Bag Boredom Do you pack the same meal for lunch everyday? Try whole-wheat couscous with chickpeas; whole-wheat tortilla filled with grilled chicken and vegetables or a baked potato topped with broccoli. Be creative!
Drink More Water Hydrate yourself with water instead of sweetened beverages. Remember to boost your intake during exercise and hot weather.
Explore New Foods and Flavors Experiment with new recipes or try a new fruit, vegetable or whole grain each week.
Eat Seafood Twice a Week Seafood contains a range of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, trout and sardines are three sources of these heart healthy fats.