Every year during the month of March the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) celebrates National Nutrition Month, filled with inspiring messages to encourage a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition. The theme for 2016 is "Savor the Favor of Eating Right," which AND describes as enjoying food traditions, appreciating great flavors, and enjoying social experiences involved with food that add to a happy life. These ideas all support the "Eating with a Dietitian" motto - moderating, indulging, and living. A healthy body can be achieved and maintained by eating as healthy as you can most of the time, while enjoying all of the indulgences that life has to offer in moderation.
So, what exactly does this mean? It means you can absolutely enjoy a special dessert to celebrate your birthday, you can enjoy a night out at your favorite restaurant with a loved one, and yes, you can enjoy a not-so-healthy snack once in a while. Food is not only a readily accessible natural medicine for the human body, but it is also meant to be enjoyed. Food has a long history of culture, tradition, and creativity behind it, and all of that should be celebrated through our enjoyment of foods that make us happy and feel good. The key to enjoying the less healthy indulgences in life, without letting them have a negative impact on your health, is to control how often and how much you are indulging in them.
As AND states, "How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat." So this month, take a step back and think about what foods and flavors you love, how different foods make you feel, and what settings you like to enjoy your food most often. Focus on adding more of those nutrient-dense "feel good" foods to your daily diet, moderate your consumption of the less healthy options, and stay active so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful pleasures life has to offer.
Follow @EatingWithADietitian on Instagram to join me on my journey of maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle, long-term. Stop by my recipe page to find a new, nutritious recipe to kick off your National Nutrition Month celebrations! Click on the photo below to try my delicious Orange Cranberry Breakfast Quinoa!
To learn more about how you can get involved with National Nutrition Month, visit www.eatright.org/nnm.