March is National Nutrition Month which promotes good nutrition. When you hear the term “good nutrition” what comes to mind? Eating healthy? No more junk food? Boring? Do you think about being a kid and your mom making you eat all the vegetables on your plate?
Do you feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out what “good nutrition” really means?
In our constantly changing world, it is sometimes hard to find the right information or have the time to look for it. There is so much chatter in the cyber world that the information can be confusing, misleading and misinforming.
As a Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Advisor for over a decade, what I believe good nutrition means is taking care of your body in a way that will promote proper and healthy body functions. In addition, providing your body all the macro and micro nutrients it needs to be healthy inside and out, down to the cellular level.
There are some basic concepts of good nutrition that you can incorporate in your daily lifestyle that are simple, inexpensive and readily available. One of the first things you can do is eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy grains, low fat milk and cheese, nuts, seed and legume. All these foods can be found at the corner grocery store. I advise my clients to eat foods that have the least amount of human intervention. Things that come in a box or a bag, mother nature did not make it! A simple meal of steamed broccoli, brown rice and chicken breast is a good example of a healthy meal.
Make sure to stop eating before you get the feeling of being full. We tend to over serve ourselves. Super sizing your meal and covering your plate food can cause our waistlines expand.
One thing I see all of the time is we forget to drink water. This readily available, extremely important macronutrient is overlooked by most. It is the always available, easy to access in the States and one of the most important keys to good nutrition. The surprising part is that most people do not drink enough water for sustaining health!
Visualize what happens to your favorite house plant when you forget to water it. It starts to get droopy, the leaves turn brown, they start to fall off, soil dries up and the plant might die. Not too good for the house plant! Like a miracle, once you water it, it perks right back up. Just think of what is going on inside of your body when you do not drink enough water… not so good either!
Water is truly the elixir of life. Water makes up more than 70% of your body. Every cell in your body, which the average person has 70 trillion or more, is made up of water! By keep yourself hydrated, your body can perform functions like regulating body temperature, remove waste and toxins, cushion joints, carry nutrients to the cells and protect organs. Don’t forget that water also a great way to control your appetite. Did you know that most people are dehydrated and not hungry? Just think if you had a glass of water instead of snack crackers, what that could do for your waistline?!
The most popular recommendation for individuals is 8X8 rule, eight 8-ounces glasses of water each day. I recommend that you drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of water every day. You can add lemon, oranges, lime wedges and mint to make it tastier. Room temperature is better for digestion and absorption. You can also eat water enriched foods like watermelon and tomatoes to support your fluid intake. The key is not to wait until you are thirsty, it is to drink throughout the day staying hydrated. You know the old saying, you can survive without food but not without. What if you made it a point of drinking your water this month? How would you feel and look? Let me know your feedback.
Keep it flowing!