Savor The Flavor!
March is National Nutrition Month® created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s message is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.”
For those of you who remember a World before technology, it may seem that this new world is moving in warp speed. It seems that the faster technology moves, the faster we must move to keep up. Multi-tasking and information overload has become the norm. It may even seem that stopping to smell the proverbial flowers may only be an option some time in the not so distant future.
Starting to feel stressed already, maybe because you think you should be doing 10 other things rather than sitting here reading this?! Ok then STOP for a second. Clear your mind, take a deep breath and breathe… in and out. Relax. One of the most important things you will do in your life, no matter who you are… is to learn to be in the moment! Yes, this moment. Not the past, not the future, just this very precious moment. A moment that no matter what, you will never be able to get back.
Being in the moment, (some refer to as mindfulness) has been shown to not only reduce stress and improve overall health, but also to add quality and richness to the tapestry of one’s life. One way to practice being in the moment is by taking time to enjoy food traditions, appreciating the pleasures, great flavors and the social experiences food can add to our lives!
Choosing healthy, nutrition-packed and flavorful foods, while practicing mindful eating pattern is the best way to savor the flavor of eating right while improving the quality of your health and your life experiences.
How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Begin practicing to become aware of the sight, sounds, memories and interactions associated with eating.
A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs, while providing tips for mindful eating.
Here are some tips you can incorporate today!
• Eat primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas) and nuts.
• Plant foods should make up the MAJORITY of your meals. They should NOT be processed (fresh and whole) are best.
• Include veggies and fruits in every meal and include in snacks. Snacks may be: carrots, apples and bananas or Fruit salads.
• Switch to whole-grain bread and cereal, and begin to eat more whole-grain rice and pasta products.
• Nuts and seeds are good sources of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Try blended sesame seeds (tahini) as a dip or spread for bread.
• Try olive or coconut oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine. Lightly drizzle it over vegetables.
• Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
• Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month, if at all. Eat fish and organic poultry at least twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grill, bake or broil fish for great taste and easy cleanup. Avoid breaded and fried fish.
• Also avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat, processed meats.
• Enjoy meals with family and friends (as opposed to eating alone and in front of a TV/computer)
• Become aware of the various flavors, textures, smells and mouth feel of the various foods while chewing slowly and thoroughly rather than inhaling your meals.
• Consider discussing the idea with your family and open up a conversation by sharing opinions on various foods and meals.