March is National Nutrition Month, and to celebrate, I’m sharing my top 5 healthy habits that work best for my family. I’d also love for you to let me know some of your favorite ideas and have a small giveaway (see below)
- Stock up on what you want to be eating: Research says that the nutrition gatekeeper (ie. the primary shopper) controls approximately 72% of what families eat. That make sense on a lot of levels. Generally, it’s easier to say “no” once in the grocery store than to say “no” each and every day when the potato chips call your name. Besides, most of us aren’t motivated enough to get up, get dressed, get in the car and drive to the store for a minor chocolate craving, but if it’s a few steps away…
- Pack lunch the night before. Even if I’ve gotten a good night sleep, I’m not terribly lucid first thing in the morning. Leaving lunch decisions to the morning greatly raises the chances that I forget, run out of time, or end up with the quickest thing I can possibly grab, which is generally not nutritionally balanced. It’s much easier to plan ahead and get everything set after dinner the night before.
- Frozen veggies: we’ve always got a few bags on hand in case I run out of time or we need to make a last minute change of plans.. Unlike canned veggies, which are often heat treated and loaded with salt, frozen vegetables are often healthier than fresh in winter months because the nutrients aren’t lost as the veggies travel from, say, Peru or Chile.
- Make multiple servings: it’s extremely rare that I’ll cook just enough for one meal, or even two. If I make a chicken, it’ll be with veggies that night, and it’ll re-appear on a salad for lunch the next day, possibly as a stir fry for the following dinner, etc. If it’s a too much for us to finish without it going bad or getting reaaaly boring, it’ll be portioned out and become a frozen dinner for another day.
- Plan ahead for the week: For some people, that means writing out menus and/or a shopping list each week. For others, it’s always having ingredients for quick meals on hand. I confess that I’m not a list person, but I do always make sure we’ve got a variety of easy options. Especially when we’re out of town on the weekend or have a packed week, I make sure that I’ve got the basics on hand. I like Relay which has delivery of local and sustainable produce and meats. It even has a pick up option at the Eisenhower Metro, which is just up the road from my Alexandria office. Washington’s Green Grocer has a similar system and I’ve used it for years, but I personally tend to prefer Relay because I like knowing which farm I’m buying from. Also, getting non-perishables on Amazon can be a huge time and energy saver—we tend to stock up on things like beans, soups, snacks and paper goods that we know we’ll use and it saves me from having to run to 4 different stores to get what I want.
Giveaway: What are your favorite tips for staying healthy? Leave me a comment, and if it’s one of my favorites, I’ll send you a cute little .5 oz almonds tin from the Almond board (US only). It’s great for snacks…and shhh, don’t tell, it’s the perfect size for any kind of nuts or seeds you like to snack on.
- I was delighted to be on the Washingtonian’s list for best area nutritionists!
- A study shows that infants who take probiotics have fewer tummy troubles
- The Washington Post has a nice infographic of what happens when you sit all day.
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.
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