March isn’t all about basketball games and The Final Four, it’s also about NUTRITION! March is National Nutrition Month. It is one of my favorite months of the year, a time to check in with yourself and evaluate your eating habits and patterns.
I am very excited about this year’s theme set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. This campaign encourages us to focus on appreciating the pleasures food provides, numerous great flavors, and all of the wonderful social experiences food can add to our lives.
Food is fuel. However, how, when, why, and where we eat are all just as important as WHAT we eat. The best thing we can do is to develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods. —- That’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!
How we eat, is recommended to be slow and mindful. It sounds crazy, but actually chew your food, set your fork down, and appreciate what’s occurring in your mouth. Eating should take a minimum of 20 minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes for the stomach to signal to the brain it’s full.
When we eat should depend on our internal hunger cues, not what the clock says. This is something that takes lots of practice and can be challenging.
Why we eat should be solely for fueling our energetic bodies. Food is meant to nourish but anger, anxiety, sadness, even boredom can all get in the way of our true internal hunger cues.
Where we eat should be sitting at a table. Between work, hustling kids to practices, and trying to balance social lives most of us eat in the car, while standing up, or in front of the TV. Studies indicate families who sit down and eat meals together have less stress, overall better health, and kids even earn higher grades in school. If creating family meal time isn’t manageable, try enjoying each meal without distractions: TV, Nook, iPad, iPhone, or any other technology.