by Tracey Shaffer, RDN, LD
March is designated as National Nutrition Month® by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s a great time of the year to review your eating habits and learn something new about good nutrition. That’s where a registered dietitian can help!
It’s common knowledge that a healthy lifestyle decreases many risk factors and just overall makes you feel great. Unfortunately, most people have trouble figuring out what to do without planning a complete diet makeover.
During National Nutrition Month®, here are some easy suggestions starting with the basics, so you can start building your nutritional health from the ground up!
Focus on fruits and veggies:
Fruits and vegetables are the foods that should be eaten most often. For most people, this means more than doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat daily. Try adding a serving each day to one meal and increase the amount every few weeks. Look for local items; they taste great!
Make calories count:
Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Most food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients — and be lower in calories.
Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.
Make the most of family mealtime:
Eating meals together provides the opportunity to help children develop a healthy attitude toward food. It also enables parents to serve as role models, introduce new foods and establish a regular meal schedule.
Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness.
Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day. Remember every little bit counts, so get out there with the entire family and build a family exercise program.
By starting slowly and giving yourself a good foundation, you too can work towards a healthier lifestyle. Contact your local registered dietitian for more information to help you live an easier, healthier and happier life.
Tracey Shaffer, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian at the Blue Springs Hy-Vee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information is not intended as medical advice.
Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
1 3 pound broiler-fryer, cut into 8 pieces, skin and all visible fat removed
1/4 cup light soy sauce
3 tbsp. cold water
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 med. red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 med. green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces]
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Place chicken in a nonstick Dutch oven or heavy 12-inch skillet. Mix soy sauce with 1 tbsp of the water and pour over chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 40 to 50 minutes. Add garlic, water chestnuts, and red and green pepper. Cover again and simmer 10 minutes longer, until juices from chicken run clear. Remove chicken to serving dish, and keep warm.
Blend together cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Stir into juices in Dutch oven and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 2 minutes.
Serve chicken and sauce over cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta.