Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month®, the annual nutrition education and information campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? I love the idea of dedicating one month to this initiative, but really we should never lose sight of our focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
This year’s theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right“, completely resonated with with me. More often than not I see friends and family completely disconnected from the food they put into their bodies. Food is chosen based primarily on taste and convenience, not the nourishment that it provides. In fact consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. Although social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most often or know the best. That’s why the key message for National Nutrition Month this year focuses on combining taste and nutrition to create meals that lead to better health without losing the flavor. After all, eating right never tasted so good!
Eating as close to the earth as possible.
Sure we all want food to taste good, but to enjoy the taste of eating right is to fuel our bodies with the nutrients it needs to THRIVE, not just survive. This means filling our plates with a diverse array of whole, nutrient-dense REAL food, not overly processed food laden with sugar and artificial ingredients. Processed food is first and foremost chemically designed to stimulate our taste buds, not nourish our bodies. I shop mainly the parimeter of the grocery store and support locally grown sustainable agriculture whenever I can, consuming only the freshest most nutrient-dense foods that are available in season.
Learning where your food comes from.
Knowing the source of our food is as imperative as the food itself. Food labels only go so far in describing how food was raised, grown, and processed, and what ingredients it contains. Not to mention food labels are often misleading, so it’s always best to learn first hand where your food comes from. Not only will you be able to make informed decisions about what food you purchase, but a whole new appreciation and taste for food develops once you meet the farmer who feeds you. Better yet, grow your own food. There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying a home cooked meal using the food grown with your own hands. The best tasting meal is a home cooked one!
exploring the world of food.
Be creative and go outside your comfort zone, food should never be boring! There are so many different types of meats, vegetables, and fruits out there, all offering their distinct texture and taste to a dish. Not to mention the plethora of herbs and spices that do much more than enhance the flavor of food. No one food contains it all. Consuming diverse foods and changing up what you eat is essential to obtain all the nutrients that your body needs. Trust me, your taste buds, mind and body will thank you.
Recognizing Your individual biodiversity.
There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to nutrition. What works for you may or may not work for someone else. What’s most important is to take responsibility for your own health and well-being. Find out from your doctor what your individual nutrient status is, you’ll begin looking at food in a whole new way. You’ll choose foods rich in the vitamins and minerals your body actually needs rather than just something that tastes good.
What is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” mean to you? Please share by commenting below.
This post is shared on: Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Foods Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Healthy Tuesday Hop, Healing with Food, Homestead Barn Hop, Let’s Get Real Friday, Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Family Friday, Natural Living Monday, Old-Fashioned Friday, Real Food Wednesday, Real Food Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Goodness Its Monday, Tuesday Greens, Unprocessed Fridays, Waste Not Want Not, Wellness Wednesday.
Lauren Brinkac, founder of DC Healthy Bites, received a dual BS in Biology and Biochemistry from Syracuse University and a MS in Bioinformatics from George Mason University. She is currently a Lead Bioinformatics Analyst conducting bacterial genomics research of infectious disease at The J. Craig Venter Institute. Lauren hopes to use her scientific background and the latest in scientific research to guide others in making informed dietary choices to optimize their own personalized health. Click here to read Lauren’s Story.