New Year, New You – Nutrition

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Kelly Saathoff, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Diet, Dietitian, Health & Fitness

It’s the beginning of the new year which means you might be thinking about ways to better yourself for the rest of 2022. Health and nutrition goals might be on your list. This is a great time to break bad habits and start following better ones! Take some time to think about how you can start prioritizing your nutrition. These tips are sure to help you start on a healthier journey for the year 2022!

Start Drinking Water

You probably are used to hearing how good water is for your body, but it’s the truth! Water has so many health benefits like normalizing blood pressure, giving your body vital nutrients and helping with digestion. The advantages of water are endless. If you are in the habit of drinking a soda or sugar-filled beverage, try substituting it with water. Your body is going to thank you for the fewer calories and sugars that are being put into your body.

Prioritize Making Homemade Meals

When you make food for yourself, you know exactly what is being put into your body. You don’t have to worry about additives or extra sugar. Once you start making more of your own food, then you can start getting creative. You can add in more healthy options and experiment with different recipes! The hardest part of this goal might actually be finding time to do the cooking. Once you get in the habit of putting a few extra minutes aside for creating your meals, it will start to become part of your routine. Maybe cooking and baking will become a new favorite hobby!

Don’t Skip Meals

You have probably heard the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It is super important to make sure you are eating breakfast! This first meal is going to control your energy levels and prevent hunger later in the day. If you are in the habit of skipping breakfast, it might be hard to get back on track. Try to eat something, even if it is small like a granola bar or yogurt. It is important to not skip lunch or dinner either – this could lead to fatigue and unhealthy snacking. Meal prepping can help people that often skip meals. Meal prepping consists of making part or all of your meals ahead of time. This assures that you always having something to pop in the microwave or eat right away. You don’t have to worry about figuring out what to eat and making it. For more information on meal prepping, go to this article from Kitchn.com.

Plan Healthy Snacks

“Try not to let more than five hours go by without eating”, says Cynthia Sass, R.D., from a WebMD.com article. If you are going longer without putting some sort of food into your body, you are going to lose energy and have a higher chance of overeating at your next meal. Finding healthy snacks that are going to hold you over until the next meal are vital. Check out this list of healthy and easy snack options at SnackNation.com. Some fun and simple ideas that are listed are tuna stuffed avocado, nuts, and frozen yogurt fruit bark!

Think About Adding not Subtracting

It is always better to focus on the positives compared to the negatives. It is important to think about all of the new things you can start to add to your diet instead of just trying to avoid the unhealthy items. If you only focus on subtracting foods, you aren’t going to be focusing on what you can replace them with. Start making a list of new and healthy meals or food items that you can start incorporating into your eating routine. A great goal is to introduce a new healthy item once a week! This thought process is sure to help you feel more positive about eating.

Create a Rainbow on Your Plate

Try to create a rainbow of colors on your plate. When your plate is full of different colors, that means you are covering multiple food groups and are receiving more nutrients within the food items. Fruits and vegetables are known to be the most colorful foods. When your plate is colorful, it probably means that you are eating a serving of fruits and veggies. It is important to remember that this tip is referring to natural food coloring. Processed and dyed foods do not count for a nutritious, colorful plate.

There are so many other aspects of having a healthier lifestyle, but these are a few good ones to start out with. Keep these tips in the back of your mind as you go through the new year. Try starting with one of these healthy tips at first, so that you don’t become overwhelmed all at once. Maybe you want to add a new piece of advice each month until you have adapted them all into your daily routine. Your nutrition is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle and what better time to start than right now!

For more information on nutrition and healthy eating, go to our website at https://www.fcmc.us.com/services/medical-nutrition-therapy/. Keep in touch with our Floyd County Medical Center Facebook page for weekly “Cooking with Kelli” healthy recipe videos as well!