March is National Nutrition Month, and this year it’s all about taking simple steps towards healthier eating… one forkful at a time.
Earlier this week, I dished about simple swaps on WFMY News 2 to make healthful eating super-easy and do-able. Because if isn’t easy and it’s not practical, it doesn’t matter how small or big the steps are… it won’t stick.
Try these tips to turn this Spring into your healthiest one yet!
- Amp up the nutrient factor in your snacks. Most of us snack (about 94 percent of us, actually) but our top 10 picks tend to be filled with calories, refined grains, sodium and/or added sugars (think: crackers, chips, cookies, candy and energy bars). Reach for whole grains like popcorn, vegetables, fruit and good-for-you proteins like tuna, salmon, nuts and seeds, yogurt and eggs. Or, make these No-Bake Chocolate-Zucchini Energy Bites, which make a perfectly portable and tasty snack or breakfast-on-the-go.
- Vary your proteins. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), most Americans eat enough protein, but not enough protein from seafood and plant-based protein sources, like beans, nuts and seeds. To get more vitamin E-rich nuts and seeds in my diet, I top oatmeal and yogurt with walnuts or almonds, snack on pumpkin seeds and add both nuts and seeds to anything I’m baking (like bread or muffins). Canned beans are a staple in our house, and we add them to whole wheat pasta, quinoa, soups and salads. As for getting more omega-3 rich seafood in our meals, my trick is adding it to favorite recipes… pouched tuna to spaghetti sauce, salmon on salads, cod in tacos and canned salmon as burgers. Here is my go-to salmon burger recipe:
- Replace refined grains with whole grains. Just like most Americans don’t eat enough of a variety of proteins, the 2015 DGA also say most Americans don’t get enough whole grains. Most of our grains are refined or heavily processed, which means we are missing out on the dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins in the whole variety. Swap out at least of half of your day’s refined grains with whole grains, like oats, brown or black rice, farro, bulgur and whole wheat pasta and bread.
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite ways to sneak in extra nutrients into your busy day? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!