National Nutrition Month 2018!

Graphic_NNM18_GoFurther_FINAL

By: Johanna Yao, Healthy Aggies intern

“I am going to eat healthier starting tomorrow,” I say for the hundredth time this quarter after I feel sick indulging in a bunch of Girl Scouts Cookies. We tend to have these bursts of motivation to become healthier after days of bad eating, however motivation is often lost once the next meal comes around. Eating healthy is challenging, especially as a college student. Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate goals towards developing healthier eating habits! Here are 5 tips I follow to be healthier:

 

  • Swap unhealthy snacks for something better

 

Instead of opting to eat junk food such as cookies, candy and chips,  pack some fruit or veggies instead. Examples of fruit that can be tossed in your lunchbag include apples, tangerines or bananas; and as for veggie snacks, go for celery and peanut butter or baby carrots with hummus. These choices not only provide vitamins and minerals but also help you fulfill the daily MyPlate portions!

 

  • Practice portion control!

 

We have all experienced the “shock” after we eat half a bag of chips without even realizing it. Eating from a bag promotes mindless eating, and you end up consuming massive amount of calories without even thinking.  Alternatively, place one serving of chips in a bowl. Now you are in control of your portion size, and will be less tempted to overeat.

 

  • Bring your reusable water bottle everywhere you go!

 

Carrying your reusable water bottle around with you is not only a reminder to stay hydrated, it will also help curb your cravings for sugary drinks! Instead of buying bottles of sugar heavy drinks, choose to refill your water bottle and carry on with your day!

 

  • Meal Prep!

 

Though it can be hassle to cook (since we could be using that time to study), setting aside 1-2 hours during the weekend to make meals for the rest of the week is not only more time efficient but often healthier and cheaper. This way, you know exactly what is going on your plate and you can alter proportions and taste to your to your liking. Additionally, planning ahead is more budget friendly than buying food for each meal.

 

  • Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach!

 

You’ve heard this before, but research has shown that being hungry can have an effect on the way we shop.  When hungry, a hormone is produced that enhances your impulsiveness and hinders your ability to make rational decisions. If you go into a grocery store hungry, you are more likely to buy foods that you crave at the moment, but wouldn’t buy normally. Eating something before shopping can help prevent you from impulsively buying foods that are not on your list.

Becoming healthy can seem like a long and never ending journey, but making small changes in your everyday habits can make a big difference in the long run. By implementing these small but attainable goals, taking care of your body is a lot easier!

National Nutrition Month

NNM_2014_logo_FINAL3_OL

National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. This month’s campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. It also focuses on how to create meals that can be enjoyed and also promote good health. The 2014 National Nutrition Month theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Research confirms that taste is the determining factor for the foods that consumers choose on a daily basis. Though social, emotional, and health factors also play a role, people are likely to choose foods based on what they enjoy the most. This means that nutritional considerations often fall by the wayside. This year’s National Nutrition Month focuses on how to create meals that can be enjoyed and also promote good health.

Looking for a way to practice choosing foods that are both healthy and enjoyable? Try this optional week-long healthy eating challenge. Alternatively, you can try just a few meals or snack ideas from the list as another option!

Healthy Aggies Challenge

 Day 1

Breakfast

  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal with ½ cup berries, 2 T chopped walnuts
  • 1 medium banana

Lunch

  • 2 cups spring green salad with ½ garbanzo beans, ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup diced cucumber, 2 T olive oil vinaigrette

Snack

  • 1 apple and 2 T peanut butter

Dinner

  • 4 oz oven roasted pork with fennel
  • 1 roasted sweet potato
  • ¾ cup steamed chard with 2 T olive oil
  • 8 oz lowfat milk
  • 1 small brownie

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 2–egg spinach and mushroom omelet
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 1 medium banana

Lunch

  • 1 cup lentil soup
  • 1 cornbread muffin with 1 T honey

Snack

  • 3 whole wheat crackers with 1 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 1 apple

Dinner

  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • 8 asparagus spears with olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 small handful chocolate covered almonds

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin with 2T almond butter
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt ½ of a grapefruit

Lunch

  • 2 cups spinach tossed with 3 oz chicken, ½ cup shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, 1 T dressing

Snack

  • ½ cup trail mix (almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds)
  • 8 oz low-fat milk

Dinner

  • 3 oz. grilled tri–tip
  • 1 small baked potato topped with ½ cup sautéed mushrooms and onions
  • 2 cups spring greens with olive oil vinaigrette

Day 4

Breakfast

  • 1 cup raisin bran cereal
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • 1 orange

Lunch

  • Quesadilla with 3 oz. shredded pork and 1½ oz. shredded jack cheese on 8″ whole wheat tortilla
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 cup cabbage slaw with 1 T. avocado salad dressing

Snack

  • ½ cup plain yogurt with herb seasoning as dip for 1 cup total baby carrots and celery

Dinner

  • 4 oz. pan seared pork chop with 1 cup sautéed chard, shallots and mushrooms served over 3 small roasted red potatoes

Day 5

Breakfast

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • 1 cup greek yogurt with ¼ cup almonds , drizzle of honey

Lunch

  • 2 slices whole grain bread and 3 oz. canned tuna with fresh parsley, celery and scallions ½ cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 banana

Snack

  • 2 cups of popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese
  • 1 mandarin orange

Dinner

  • 1 roasted chicken breast
  • 1 cup whole grain rice medley
  • 1 cup steamed green beans with sautéed shallots
  • 1 cup arugula and spinach with red onion and tomato slices and 1 T light dressing

 Day 6

Breakfast

  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 T jam
  • 2 poached eggs
  • ½ grapefruit

Lunch

  • 1½ cups chicken noodle soup
  • Celery and carrots dipped with 3 T hummus
  • Small handful chocolate–covered almonds

Snack

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 T almond butter

Dinner

  • 4 oz. grilled salmon
  • 1 cup steamed chard
  • 1 cup brown rice with fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate and ½ cup strawberries

 Day 7

Breakfast

  • 2 poached eggs on 2 slices whole wheat toast
  • 1 chopped apple with cinnamon

Lunch

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread and 3 oz. roasted turkey and 1 oz. cheddar cheese with greens and sliced tomato
  • 1 kiwi

Snack

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with small handful trail mix and honey
  • 1 mandarin orange

Dinner

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta topped with lean ground beef–tomato sauce (fresh herbs, diced tomatoes, mushrooms)
  • 2 cups chopped kale salad with 1 T olive oil vinaigrette

Look for National Nutrition Month events going on at the UC Davis Dining Commons all month long!