By Joanne Salois
In March we approach the first equinox of the calendar year, the season officially changes after the equinox passes. What a perfect time to make “changes” or improvements in our nutritional needs. March is officially National Nutrition Month…why not think about tossing those bad eating habits and jumping into spring with a fresh new start!
Think about the saying…”you are what you eat!” Before you indulge in that first bite, think about what that particular food will do for you, how will it fuel your body? You want to fill your body with the good stuff, the whole foods, rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s imperative to nourish throughout the day with healthy food choices, do not go long periods depriving your body of what it needs. Try to stay consistent throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar level. If you regularly go many hours without eating, your body goes into starvation mode, it doesn’t know when the next meal is coming, metabolism slows down and you will store fat instead of burning it.
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THE BIG THREE!
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three nutritional components, or macronutrients, that make up our diet, we need all three of them for optimum health.
- Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel for your body. The healthy choice for carbohydrates is whole fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, rather than white.
- Proteins are our building blocks, they build and repair, and are in every single cell of our body. Some healthy choices for protein are chicken, fish, nonfat dairy products, nuts, beans, and legumes.
- Fats are also necessary for our diet. Fats provide energy and build energy reserves, and they insolate and protect our organs. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, seeds, nuts, and fatty fish such as salmon.
Do your best to stay away from processed foods. Try eliminating whites, i.e., white bread, white pasta, white rice, and white sauces. Bread should be whole grain and should list 100% whole wheat or stone-ground on the label, this should be the first ingredient. Try to include protein with all meals and snacks. Yogurt can be a great source of protein, choose plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Limit or eliminate red meat, choose chicken or fish (nothing fried). Make your meals colorful with dark leafy greens and rich, bright vegetables. They‘re low in calories, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and help prevent heart disease!!!
Something that can be very helpful with adhering to your new healthy habits is to plan, shop, and prepare.
Plan the healthy well-balanced meals you will be preparing for the next several days or the week ahead. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need at the market.
Shop for only the items you have on your list and shop the perimeter of the grocery store. You’ll find most stores keep produce, refrigerated and frozen foods around the perimeter. Avoid the middle isles where you’ll find the most processed and sugary foods, this will help you make healthier food choices.
Prepare your meals beforehand if you think you won’t have the time during a busy work week. Refrigerate or freeze your meals so they are readily available to you.
Good luck…and ALWAYS remember- we are here for you! Visit us at worcesterfitness.com with any questions. Also, check out the incredible Nutrition Special offered above and ALSO, our very special Jump Start program that includes pretty much everything that you’ll need to embrace the spring and the opportunity for CHANGE that it brings!
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