Most of us have good intentions to eat healthy, but when life gets hectic, it’s easy to choose convenience over good nutrition. We may find ourselves leaning on prepared or packaged foods and not getting enough fresh fruits and veggies in our diet, or cycling through a handful of basic meals and lacking nutritional variety. Since March is National Nutrition Month, it’s a good time to take an inventory of our eating habits and see where we can make some simple improvements. Here are 7 simple ways to boost your daily nutrition.
1. Follow the Plate Rule
This simple visual guideline makes it easy to eat more balanced and nutritious meals. Just make sure that half your plate is filled with fruits/veggies/salad. The other half can be divided between carbs (starchy veggies/grains) and protein (meat/dairy).
2. Blend/Juice Your Produce
A daily smoothie or fresh juice provides an instant boost of plant-based nutrition and gut-friendly fiber. For best results, use a colorful spectrum of fruits and green veggies so you can get a variety of antioxidants and nutrients. Use a blender for softer fruits and veggies and a juicer for harder ones. (Don’t have either? Add a scoop of our Raw Greens Whole Food Powder to some water or juice and shake it up in a shaker bottle.)
3. Swap White Starch for Whole Grain
White breads, white rice, and white pasta are highly processed and stripped of many of their nutrients. They are also metabolized quickly and can cause blood-sugar to spike. Whole grains are naturally rich in nutrients and fiber and take longer to digest, helping to keep you feeling satiated and to keep blood sugar more stable. Opt for whole grain breads and pastas, and try out different grains like quinoa, barley, or wild rice for side dishes and grain bowls.
4. Put Out a Fruit Bowl
Keep fruit within easy sight and reach. Have some whenever you need a snack. Change up the selection with fresh seasonal options. Need a little protein too? Try a sliced apple with some nut butter or cheese slices, or a cup of greek yogurt with berries.
5. Try Meatless Mondays
Whether you're vegan-curious or simply leaning toward a more plant-forward diet, Meatless Mondays are a great way to broaden your diet with more plant-based protein options. Beans, lentils, tofu, and mushrooms are rich in protein, low in fat, and bursting with nutrition. Once you discover how many tasty recipes there are that don’t require meat, you’ll want to start making them more than once a week.
6. Go to the Farmer’s Market
There’s nothing like picking out fresh, locally-grown produce to plan that night’s dinner. You’ll get new ideas from seeing what’s in season and come up with creative ways to use those ingredients. If nothing else, a homemade pizza with fresh seasonal toppings and a colorful side salad is always a winner.
7. Take a Cooking Class
When your diet becomes too routine and narrow, it’s time for some fresh inspiration. Taking a cooking class is a fun way to learn some new tricks and recipes to get you out of your rut, boost your confidence, and get you excited about cooking again. Try an international cuisine, learn more about vegetarian cooking, or whatever inspires you. You can find classes locally or online.Staying on top of our nutrition every day can be a challenge. A daily multivitamin can help cover your bases by providing a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to help meet your nutritional targets and keep your body balanced.