Happy March! It’s my birthday month. It’s the month that brings a glimmer of spring. March brings spring training baseball (Go Tigers!). It also brings National Nutrition Month.
Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right. That’s the theme for this year’s Nutrition Month. What does that mean?
Enjoy. Food is meant to be enjoyed right? As a future dietitian, too often I am concerned with the calories, fat, carbohydrates in food. Is there enough fiber? Is it a superfood? Does it contain pesticides? BPA? Will it make me healthier? Stronger? Leaner? Sleepy? Energized? Too many questions can keep my mind away from enjoying food. Enjoying a meal with friends and family. Enjoying a hot dog at a baseball game. Enjoying steaming hot soup or a piece of pizza. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not scrutinized.
Taste. I can’t always tell you what my food tastes like. Is it sweet? Can I pick out the spices in that salad? The tang from lime juice in that guacamole? I know I’m guilty of eating so fast my food is gone before I can blink. I remind myself to slow down. Taste the flavors in my food. What are the textures, temperatures and spices in this dinner?
Eating Right. This is the hard part. Some of the tastiest foods I enjoy are the ones I feel guilty about. Why? Who makes me feel guilty? Food is meant to be enjoyed. It tastes good and it feels good to eat it. Missing out on something I enjoy is not what eating right is about. I (try to) eat these occasional foods slowly, taste the flavors, share it with someone I love. I make these rare treats and they become special. Make them habit and they give me guilt, not enjoyment. The rest of the time? I eat right. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean protein. I remind myself to taste these foods. What do fresh strawberries in the summer taste like? What do roasted vegetables in early fall smell like? How does steaming chili feel on a cold day? I remember it and look forward to it.
This is how I enjoy the taste of eating right. Learn more at http://www.eatright.org/NNM