Healthy Living: Nutritious small steps from a registered dietitian

by Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.

It’s National Nutrition Month. And I have a simple request of each of you. Take one baby step each day toward healthful living. Achieving permanent dietary change is a process. Take baby steps, and eventually you’ll get there. If you fall down, you just need to get back up. Take leaps too large, and you risk losing everything.

With 31 days in March, that’s 31 baby steps. Here are my 31 suggestions, but feel free to create your own list. I’d love to hear what changes you’re making and you’re doing with them.

1.    Pack your lunch.
2.    Create dinner menus for 5 days this week.
3.    Eat breakfast. Get up early or prepare breakfast the night before.
4.    Try one new recipe.
5.    Make a point to eat fruits and vegetables from each of the five color groups: green, red, yellow/orange, white/brown, blue/purple.
6.    Measure your meat and starch portions.
7.    Write down everything you eat and drink for one day.
8.    Eat beans.
9.    Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, anchovies, sardines, herring, tuna, lake or rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel.
10.    Drink only calorie-free beverages and nonfat milk.
11.    Try a whole-grain that you eat infrequently or not at all such as barley, quinoa or bulgur.
12.    Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredients label of each food you eat and buy today.
13.    Re-create a favorite recipe to one more healthful.
14.    Commit to eating at least five fruits and vegetables.
15.    Increase the intensity of your usual exercise.
16.     Wear a pedometer. Aim for at least 10,000 steps.
17.    Use a free website to analyze your nutritional intake. Try Fitday.com, MyPyramid.gov, calorieking.com or any other reputable site.
18.    Swap your usual salad dressing for a lower-fat, lower-calorie variety.
19.    Take five good-for-you snacks to work for an afternoon pick-me-up each day of the week.
20.    Trade in your dinner plate for a smaller luncheon plate.
21.    Eat undistracted. No TV, telephone, computer.
22.    Eat while sitting down only.
23.    Eat only from a dish. No eating out of a box or a bag – not even one chip.
24.    Create a nutritious trail mix of whole-grain cereals, dried fruit and nuts.
25.    Cross train. Try a new exercise.
26.    Leave the salt alone. Season your food with herbs, spices and citrus zest instead.
27.    Write a list of five place to go and appropriate foods to pick-up should you find yourself hungry and without food. (Consider the grocery store and not just fast-food restaurants.)
28.    Prepare your meals from scratch.
29.    Prepare extra food to eat over the next few days.
30.    Plan ahead. What do you need to buy or prepare to get you through the week without resorting to unhealthful food choices?
31.    Wash and chop a bunch of veggies. Keep each type in separate baggies. Now you can throw a salad together in a snap or add carrots and onion to pasta sauce, zucchini to stews or mushrooms atop a pizza.

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One Response to “Healthy Living: Nutritious small steps from a registered dietitian”

  1. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Sounds delicious Judy.
    Thanks

  2. Blake Says:

    Great list.

    Blakes last blog post..Introducing Taylor

  3. cathy Says:

    Great list! We’re doing many of the things on the list already, but there are a few that we probably should be doing (like #27).

    cathys last blog post..Gatorade revisited

  4. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks Blake

  5. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Cathy,
    Then you are doing well.

  6. Leigh Ann Says:

    Man, Judy, you’re making me hungry. That sounds delicious. Thanks for the great idea.

    Leigh Ann Hubbard
    Managing Editor
    James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor

  7. Mark Salinas Says:

    Fantastic suggestions! I might add smile and laughter to the list…get the endorphins going! :)

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