Personalize Your Plate is this year’s slogan for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month. Their campaign focuses on the fact that nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and that we all have different backgrounds, tastes, goals, and bodies, which is a GREAT thing!
This year our March Wellness Challenge expands on their messaging to:
- eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
- plan meals each week
- try new ways to prepare meals
- avoid distractions while eating
- to really enjoy your meals!
Each week you will have a new challenge to complete to create good habits that can help improve your nutrition for life. Remember to keep things simple and take time to enjoy your food.
Week 1 – Include nutrient-dense foods from a variety of food groups
Include your favorite fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins at meals and snacks. Start your day off with wheat toast with peanut butter and a banana for breakfast, enjoy an apple with cheese stick for a snack, pack leftover chicken with brown rice and veggies for lunch, eat carrots with hummus for an afternoon pick-me-up, and cook up your favorite pasta with meatballs, marinara, and broccoli for dinner.
Week 2 – Plan your meals for the week
Plan what you are going to make for dinners 4-5 nights a week, and plan for leftovers or carry-out a couple of nights a week to keep it realistic. If you have difficulty with breakfasts or lunches, try planning what you can use throughout the week for those meals as well. From your plan, create a grocery list so that you are able to get all the foods you will need to make meals throughout the week.
Week 3 – Try new ways to prepare foods
Do you tend to make the same meals over and over again? I do too. Try new preparation methods for your favorite foods. Do you have an air fryer or Instapot that you used right when you got it, but stopped using it? Try air frying sweet potatoes to get crispy sweet potato rounds or cook rice in your Instapot while making your favorite stir fry veggies for a meal that comes together in minutes. Or just try new seasonings or sauces for your favorite meals to mix up the flavors for some variety.
Week 4 – Remove distractions and enjoy your meals
This might be the most difficult challenge for some people. I know I am guilty of working while I am eating lunch, but it is important to remove distractions while eating to get in tune with your body’s hunger and satiety cues. Try to remove all distractions – TV, phones, computers, etc. while you are eating meals and snacks. Pay attention to the food you are eating, and really enjoy the tastes and textures of your food.
Ready to get started? Download our free Wellness Challenge Accountability Worksheet now >>
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