Five Ways to Eat the New USDA Science Guidelines

March 9, 2011 is Registered Dietitian Day! Wishing you savory meals with people you love today!

My favorite month is here…can you guess what it is? You only know it if you are either a Registered Dietitian or a married to one or someone nagged you into remember it…like a RD.

I love Nutrition Month so much I wanted to have a baby born in March! Yes, my life is all about food. You and I have to make 200 food decisions a day! And half the time we are unconscious! Lucky for us, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (www.dietaryguidelines.gov) were released in January!

It seems they are not much different than the last version but there is a larger emphasis on the calories as obesity is becoming an epidemic. Imagine 1 our every 3 kids and 2 out of every 3 adults is overweight or obese. Look around! Four of the twenty three mandates are related to managing our weight. But we have the same problem…how do we take science guidelines and show people how to eat them…by focusing on habits. Here are my five top food habits.

Eat breakfast

American Heart Association Studies show that breakfast eaters are less likely to be obese and get diabetes. The one act of eating breakfast seems to make a big difference in people’s weight as it holds off hunger pangs until lunchtime and helps you avoid the vending machine or junk food. Studies with kids show it does improve their attention and performance on standardized tests. Mayo Clinic recommends a meal with carbs, protein and fat. Ideas: scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tortilla; a peanut butter smoothie with peanut butter, jelly, milk and flax meal (in my cookbook); a grilled cheese sandwich…you get the idea. Try this for one day, then one week, before you know it…a habit.

Add Omega Three Fatty Acids and Fish

The American Heart Association recommends a serving of fish two times each week.
Fatty fish like sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, lake trout and mackerel are rich in the two best kinds of omega 3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). My favorite salmon recipe is using a marinade with Dijon mustard, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. (at www.cherebork.com – Taste Life Ezine).Try this for one week and then another week, before you know it…a habit.

Drink Water

Your body needs water to keep it hydrated, move your joints, and help your organs. The University of Minnesota Water Resource Center reports that if you don’t get enough water, your body goes into emergency mode and clings to every single water molecule it can find. The stored molecules appear as extra weight. The weight is only released once the body gets enough water. Don’t buy vitamin water. These cute little bottles are just a pseudo way for Americans to feel better about themselves and their nutrition. One 20 ounce bottle contains 26 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar. The average person eats 150 pounds of sugar a year. There are many water formulas. The one I have used for the past 16 years is your weight x 2 divided by 3 is the ounces you need each day. To make it simple drink one bottle of water before lunch, one in the afternoon and one with dinner. Try this for one day, then another day, then a week, before you know it…a habit.

Eat Fruits and Veggies for Snacks

ADA recommends 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies each day. If there was one food group I would eat with anticancer power it is the cruciferous vegetable group – the cabbage family. Eat broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower or cabbage every day. Google cruciferous vegetables. Often we just want to have “something” in our mouth. Why not grab fruit – adds sweetness, good nutrition and fiber to your diet. The easiest way to get in your recommended 4 ½ cups of fruits and veggies is to snack on them. For ideas check out www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov .Try eating fruits and veggies for a snack one day, then try for another day, then a week, before you know it…a habit.

Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

What more do you want me to say? Simple as that! If you do this for one day you will feel in charge of your life. Am I right! Yes! Listen to your body. It is never wrong. Use HALT. Ask yourself, Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? If you are hungry eat. If you are not hungry don’t eat. Pretty simple!

You are thinking…”But Chere I don’t have time!” Well, thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits, and habits become your life. You only have one life to live, just imagine if it was one you loved!
Hope I am the first to wish you Happy Nutrition Month!

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