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  • Julie C.H. Brake, MS, RDN, LD

Go Further With Food

I missed getting a blog post during National Nutrition Month® by one day. Finding time to type something up has been a struggle. I felt that it was important to write at least one post about the NNM theme:

Go further with food.*

Food gives us energy for daily living, growth & development, and physical activity. Eating a variety of foods from all of the food groups gives our body what it needs to be at its healthiest. Consider ways to get different types of foods and drinks from all six groups - grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and fats. The best way to know when to eat and how much is to follow your hunger and fullness cues. There are medical conditions that affect the body's cues, and persons who struggle with knowing physical signals should consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN).

Physical activity works hand-in-hand with nutrition, and adequate dietary intake is crucial to fueling activity. Athletes of all ages and levels should work on an eating plan that ensures proper fueling for their type of activity. Timing of food and fluid intake can be just as important as getting enough, so consider consulting with an RDN who specializes in sports nutrition if you need help.

The theme "Go Further With Food" is not just about how food serves us, though. It is also about how we can go further with our food by reducing food waste. Planning ahead is a quick and simple way to use groceries better. Make a list of meals for the week (It's okay to change or switch things later!), and then make a grocery list to include any items needed to make those meals. Add any staple items that need replenishing, like milk, bread, eggs, fruit, chocolate, etc. If you have a busy schedule, plan a leftover night on a busy night or at the end of the week. Using a slow cooker can be a solution for a packed day as well. Another option is to make a double portion on a night that is not as busy to set aside a meal for a more hectic night. Keep some non-perishables for those nights when the planning slips, like black beans, pasta, soup, and frozen foods. Yes, frozen foods can be a great option and can be healthy, too! Even frozen pizza fits into an overall balanced nutritional intake.

Lastly, going further with food can mean using our resources to help others. Consider donating or volunteering time to help at a local food pantry. Some grocery stores will even take donations to contribute to local food organizations. If you are able, find out where you can give to help others.

National Nutrition Month® 2018 is complete, but let's still work on going further with food to better ourselves and others. Eat well and prosper!

*Small disclaimer: National Nutrition Month® is promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While I like promoting NNM & usually use the yearly theme, I do not agree with many of the Academy's promotional materials that typically include some encouragement toward a dieting mindset. As a member of the Academy, I am aware of this direct contradiction to my philosophy of practice which includes counseling toward intuitive and mindful eating.

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