Personalize Your Plate

Every March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to better nutrition, but throughout the course of 31 days, we can prioritize restarting, refreshing, and renewing healthful eating habits. For many of us, food can be comforting, and often times is influenced by our family history and culture. Our budget as well as our personal taste also plays a role. Every single one of us is unique, and that means what counts as a healthy diet for each of us will vary, too!

Luckily fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The combination of what we eat and the amount we eat is up to us. Make sure to include foods that you enjoy and a variety of different foods so you get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are needed for good health.

Here a few tips to help you:

Tip: Fill half your plate with fruit and veggies.

This is a great place to get creative. Try eating an assortment of colors and textures to enhance your experience. Stick with what you enjoy and try adding in something new.

Tip: Play with your grains.

Try substituting whole grains for refined grains in a recipe.

Tip: Go with lean protein.

Enjoying a nice big steak once in a while is great, but try to vary your protein choices to include beans, peas, and lentils. Eggs are a satisfying protein too and aren’t just for breakfast. When it comes to meat, remember to choose seafood, lean cuts, and poultry prepared in a healthier way (baked, roasted, or grilled).

Tip: Don’t forget the dairy.

Including low-fat or fat-free options like milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified soymilk, and various kinds of nut milk can help round out your healthy nutrition.

A healthy eating lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Keeping it simple and eating the foods you already enjoy can keep you feeling comfortable while adding in and experimenting with new flavors make eating healthy fun and exciting.

Try not to get pulled into the diet mentality. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle that you are comfortable with and that you can stick with in the long term. Enjoy your food, get to know how your body reacts the foods you eat and make your healthy eating choices as unique as you.