March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right! Eating right is not just about eating healthy foods, but also truly enjoying them and the people you’re sharing them with.
As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says on their website, “how, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods — that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!”
In light of this theme, here’s a list of seven ways you can “savor the flavor” this month and every month.
- Eat slowly and be mindful of the food you’re putting in your mouth. It takes 20 minutes for our brains to catch up with our stomachs and let us know when we’re full. Eating more slowly also helps us enjoy the different flavors and textures of our meals, promotes better digestion and allows us to slow down in our otherwise hectic, fast-paced lives.
- Sit down to meals with family and friends. Eating with a group of people means we’re more likely to escape routines and try new foods, trade in on-the-go foods (e.g. fast food, frozen meals, etc.) for whole foods and slow down our eating pace to engage in good conversation with those we care about.
- Avoid the sad, lonely desk lunch. If you’re brown bagging it, get creative with your dinner leftovers and bring in food you’ll be excited about. Then grab some of your coworkers, find a communal table (outside if possible!) and chow down together, for the same reasons as above.
- Challenge yourself to cook more meals using local, seasonal produce. It’s easier on the wallet, tastier than using foods that aren’t in season and more nutritious because the produce is fresher and travels shorter distances. Not sure what’s in season? Here are a bunch of recipes featuring fruits and vegetables you’ll find at farmers markets right now.
- Explore new ethnic cuisines to mix up your dinner routine. A healthy, balanced plate can include foods and flavors from around the world. We’ve got a number of Mediterranean, Mexican, Asian and Italian recipes to choose from.
- Add flavor to your meals by incorporating a variety of spices and herbs. Aside from their countless nutritional benefits, you’ll be able to achieve big, bold flavors without all the fat, sodium and sugar!
- Select a wide variety of fresh, whole foods each week for a well-rounded diet packed with all of the nutrients and antioxidants our bodies need to function at their best.
How will you be savoring the flavor of eating right this month? Let us know in the comments below!