This week we are celebrating Lexington’s first ever #LexGetFit Week. This initiative encourages Lexingtonians to be more mindful of their health habits from movement to everyday nutrition. As the dietitian at Good Foods Co-op, I try to help my customers find enjoyment in eating and discover ways to nourish themselves that are healthy and sustainable for both mind and body. So here are my easy nutrition tips, one for every day of #LexGetFit Week. Maybe you’ve already got some of them on lock, maybe you see room for improvement. Whatever your goals, remember, eating well shouldn’t have to be stressful!
Easy Nutrition Tip #1: Choose variety
We all get stuck in our routines, especially when it comes to eating and food choices, but filling our metaphorical plate with many different foods helps us derive the most good nutrition we can from our diets. “Eating your colors” is an easy way to visualize variety, but this also includes aiming for foods that provide a variety of nutrients, from fiber to vitamins, probiotics to essential amino and fatty acids.
Easy Nutrition Tip #2: Try something new
Speaking of variety, trying new things is often how we get there. During summer/peak growing season, there are so many delicious local options to choose from. Get acquainted with a new-to-you food as often as you can whether that be a new vegetable, grain or type of fish. The Co-op is your oyster (have you ever tried oysters?)!
Easy Nutrition Tip #3: Eat more plant foods
Plant foods are jam-packed with the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we need to help fight disease and protect our health long-term. The recommendation is to fill ½ to ¾ of your plate with plant foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes) and even more if you are following a plant-based diet. Eating more plants is a great goal for summer, when everything is just fresher.
Easy Nutrition Tip #4: Cook one more meal per week
Many of us find ourselves eating in restaurants at least once or twice a week. What if we challenged ourselves to prepare just one more meal at home? This doesn’t have to be fancy or time-consuming, but eating at home not only saves money, but makes us more aware of what is going into our food and gives us a little more control over our nutrition. It can also be fun and builds on your personal cooking repertoire.
Easy Nutrition Tip #5: Discover balance
Balance means allowing ourselves to eat anything, trusting our bodies to inform us of what it needs/wants and not restricting ourselves in a harmful, counter-productive way. Eat a heavy meal last night? You might be craving something lighter this morning or want to eat more fruits and vegetables today. Not because you have to but because our bodies crave balance. It’s a healthy practice to make space for this.
Easy Nutrition Tip #6: Savor
Research shows that when we enjoy our food, we actually derive more nutrition from eating. Instead of eating so quickly you forget to taste your food (guilty!), try to be more mindful of your meals. What is the texture, temperature, aroma of the food? How do the flavors balance one another? Savor your food and find satisfaction in what you eat.
Easy Nutrition Tip #7: Hydrate
We have already had some hot days this spring, and with the warmer weather usually comes more activity and more opportunity for dehydration. We always want to stay on top of our hydration, but especially during the sweat-inducing summer months. Water is the obvious choice, but eating additional fruits and vegetables, unsweet/lightly sweetened teas, sparkling and coconut water are all great options.
Are you setting any easy nutrition goals this summer? Would you like guidance on how to do this? Come see me! I am available Wednesdays from 10am-5pm to shop with you.
You can also find me this Thursday morning, June 6 at 10 am at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library leading a class for #LexGetFit Week! We’ll be exploring the principles of Intuitive Eating and discussing ways to find peace with food. Join us!
Reach me firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-278-1813 ext 232 with questions or to make an appointment.