By Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, RD,LDN

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? Since 1973 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as American Dietetic Association) have been celebrating national nutrition month in March. The purpose of this platform is to promote awareness of the “power of food”, educate the public on nutrition, and encourage informed lifestyle behavior changes.  Nutrition effects many aspects of life from our mood, energy, sleep, weight, growth, athletic performance, to health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and chronic kidney disease…the list goes on! If you are slacking on your New Year’s resolution, let national nutrition month get you back on track. 

Here are 5 suggestions and reasons to celebrate and gain more nutrition knowledge, make informed food choices, and instill healthy behaviors.

  • Attend a grocery shopping tour with a Registered Dietitian

Did you know that you can meet your Family Food Dietitian at a grocery store? Grocery tours are a fun way to gain confidence while grocery shopping to make healthy decisions and navigate the aisles of the plethora of food products. Schedule your grocery store tour now!

  • Sign-up for a cooking demonstration or class

Strengthening or acquiring the skill of cooking increases the consumption of healthier meals in all ages. Talk to your Family Food Dietitian about creating some simple recipes at home.

  • Schedule a nutrition counseling visit 

Whether you want to prevent or manage a health condition meeting with a Registered Dietitian can help you reach your health goals by providing realistic and sustainable evidence-based advice. 

  • Plan a farmers market trip 

Attending a farmers market is a great way to know and support your local farmers, taste new fruits and vegetables, and engage in the community. 

  • Volunteer at your local food bank or shelter

Not only are you helping your community you are helping your health by volunteering. By engaging with others this can help combat anxiety, stress, anger, or depression. 

How do you plan to celebrate National Nutrition Month?

Sources:

Watson, S. (2013). Volunteering may be good for body and mind. Harvard Health Publish retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/volunteering-may-be-good-for-body-and-mind-201306266428

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2017). 10 reasons to visit an RDN. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/learn-more-about-rdns/10-reasons-to-visit-an-rdn

There is so much information out there on nutrition. Let a Family Food Registered Dietitian be your guide!

The new year usually marks a time for new goals and resolutions. Many resolutions tend to involve health such as exercise more, eating healthier or maybe quitting smoking. It is great to have an idea of your long term goals for the year, but what small steps can you take to get there? We have asked our Family Food dietitians for their advice on setting goals and meeting resolutions this year.

Make SMART goals for the New Year:

1. Specific. It is better to make specific goals versus general goals. An example of a general goal might be: “I want to eat healthier this year” or “I want to get in better shape.” 

2. Measurable. Making measurable goals ensures you have specific criteria established for achieving the goal. Include a quantitative measurement when possible.

3. Attainable. The goal should challenge you a little without making you feel overwhelmed or being too difficult to achieve. 

4. Realistic. Make goals realistic by setting an objective that you are capable of doing and willing to work towards!

5. Timely.  Provide a time frame to achieve the goal. Instead of “this year” or “someday” set a specific date such as by May 31st. This can also help you stay on track 🙂

SMART goal example: My goal is to join the gym this weekend and go three days a week to work out.

~ Stephanie Biggs, RD, LDN, CLC

I like to identify the overall long term goal, then develop short term goals to support it. For example, losing 20 lbs by the summer might be the overall goal and the short term goal to support it would be, exercising twice a week for 20 minutes over the next month. Starting off small and breaking these goals down into smaller “bites” can help to make things more manageable and realistic. Also, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t meet your goals. Just be sure to get back on track when possible. Remember that the journey is the reward.”

~ Anthony Tassoni, RD, LDN

I also love the SMART goals approach and use that often with clients. I also like to mention to clients that lifestyle changes are not “all or nothing” things. Many people feel that if they do not go to the gym or do some other program for an hour every day, that it is not worth doing and therefore they never start. I talk to these clients about “exercise snacks” – and how fitting in 10 minutes here, 10 minutes later and then 10 minutes later still, adds up to 30 minutes at the end of the day and that still counts toward your goal.(It is also perhaps 30 minutes more than you did yesterday.) And as for nutrition goals, some clients feel that if they have gone off track at breakfast, then the whole day is off track. I always remind them that the beautiful thing about food is that we eat several times a day so that if breakfast goes off-track, we get to make a different choice and get back on track next time we eat.

~ Stefanie Williams, RD, LDN

When creating SMART goals, constantly ask yourself questions (HOW? WHEN? HOW MANY DAYS PER WEEK, etc.) to make the goal as specific as you can so there is structure and no gray area. 

Over the past month, I have heard many clients say “I might”, “If I have time I will”, “Maybe I will”  start going to the gym after work or eating fruit after dinner instead of ice cream. I quickly respond with changing their statements to “You will”. 

Start your statements with “I will” (Ex: I will eat a green vegetable every day, I will walk for 15 minutes during my lunch break) to commit to making healthy changes NOW rather than LATER. If you aren’t certain you will meet the goal then it is not an appropriate SMART goal for you. Makes goals that you will commit to, but at the same time are still a challenge and will help you reach your long term health goals. 

In addition to SMART goals, I like doing trying at least 1 new thing every year to create variety in my exercise and diet. Ex: Take a barre method class for the first time, sign up for the zumba class everyone at the gym raves about, go for walk on a different trail than you usually do, make a smoothie with green leafy vegetables, order sushi with brown rice vs. white rice, buy low sodium soups and canned beans, make a batch of chicken noodle soup and freezing it into indv. containers instead of buying it, learn how to open a pomegranate. 

~ Alyson Heller, MS, RDN, LDN, ACSM

Welcome to 2015! A new year has started and perhaps a new you. This is a great time to set some new goals for yourself. No matter what your health and nutrition resolutions are this year, Family Food is here to help. Our team of nutrition experts can help give you the tools you need to succeed. You may be eligible for up to 6 nutrition counseling sessions for free! From in home, at work or even online, our team of dietitian nutritionists are qualified to help.

Take note that if you used our services last year, your sessions start off fresh as of January 1st. Most insurances are accepted. Contact us to find out more. Best wishes to you all in this new year!

The holidays should be a joyous time of year; time for celebrating various traditions and events with your family and friends. These traditions are embedded deep within our distinct cultures as well as the foods that we tend to eat during this time of year. These foods can be enriching, spiritual, healing and comforting, but they also tend to be rich and hearty, especially as we enter the colder seasons. Not to worry, our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are here to help! We have asked some of our RDNs what their favorite tips are to manage good health and help you to stay on track. With these small suggestions from our fellow RD’s, you can still reach and maintain your health and nutrition goals! Take a look at what they had to say! 

One thing I like to suggest is to schedule a Turkey Trot/Run on Thanksgiving to gather the whole family together and burn some calories before the meal. Also. have a goal to reach during the holiday season.  – Elizabeth May, RDN, LDN

If you are attending a holiday party where you can offer to bring something (a side dish, appetizer), then make a ‘safe dish’ such as a veggie tray, lettuce wraps, a green salad (one with avocado and pomegranate is great for the holidays with the red and green), a barley salad with grilled chicken, etc. That way if there are a ton of tempting sweets or high calorie items, you can rely on the healthy dish to fill their plate with and then have small bites of the other stuff. – Jennifer Laurence, RD, LDN 

I like to find ways to slightly modify traditional recipes, desserts or even alcoholic beverages. Around the holidays I find that people stick to comfort foods and home traditions; therefore, if you can begin to modify these “favorite” recipes or alcoholic beverages that may be a simple target. Let’s be honest, most folks are not going to “give up” their favorite foods since they only get it once a year! I also think about getting extra exercise since most likely we are going to consume additional calories via food/drinks. Incorporating family walks, hikes or fundraising walks around the holiday are good ways to add in some exercise while giving us time to chat and bond as a family. – Kristen Hicks  MS, RD, LD

Don’t show up at the party when you’re famished…get a few healthy bites in prior to the event. Pre-plan/visualize yourself eating healthfully at the holiday meal. This works well for alcohol, too. Will you have 1 drink? 2? None? Pick a number (a low number!) and stick to it. – Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN

I try to remind people that the actual holidays are just a few days out of the season, and that they don’t need to indulge throughout the entire season in order to enjoy their holiday meals. If we try to keep all healthy habits the same during your normal everyday routine, then there’s no reason to feel guilty or stress over the one or 2 holiday meals we may have, especially if we go right back to their normal routine the next day. I think the holiday season is all about mindset! People who tend to feel guilty end up just giving up all together and think “I’ll just start over when the holidays are through”, so I feel it’s important to take the guilt out of the equation as much as possible and to just focus on our normal healthy routines. – Amanda Sajczuk, MS, RD, LDN

If you find yourself at a holiday party, grab a small plate and place a few pieces of food on the plate and sit down away from the buffet/serving table. Be sure to always put food on plate before eating in order to visually see it. Keep in mind that our brain is usually satisfied with just a few small tastes of something (you can always go back for more!) Allow yourself to try a few things, but listen to hunger cues and do not feel guilty about discarding food if you are truly not hungry and of course, load up on veggies! – Anthony Tassoni, RD, LDN

Don’t forget to keep your pantry stocked on healthy staples during the holidays, think before you drink, plan ahead if you are traveling, try some healthy sides, have something healthy before the big meal and perhaps add a pinch of cinnamon to your dishes. Remember to have fun, enjoy yourself, but most importantly, just relax

Have a picky eater at home? Need to manage your blood sugar levels? Need some advice on a heart healthy diet? Looking to manage your weight this holiday season? If you answered yes, then Family Food can help! Our team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are well equipped to give you the tools that you need to reach your goals!

No cookie cutter fad diets – We provide individualized nutrition counseling and can help formulate a plan that fits YOUR lifestyle.  Whether you would like to meet at home, at work, or even online, our nutrition experts have you covered. Most health insurance plans are accepted. Contact us now to see how a Family Food Dietitian can help you today!

As Father’s Day approaches once again, it’s a great time for all of us to reflect on great memories and do a little extra something for all of the great men in our lives. Preparing a favorite meal of his can be one way to show some appreciation, but just because it is a holiday does not mean it has to be unhealthy! Here are a few simple tips that can help dad to feel his best, inside and out this Father’s Day.

Meat:

Which man wouldn’t love a delicious grilled steak on Father’s Day?! You don’t have to swap the beef, but be sure to choose a leaner cut, look for less marbling and trim off any excess fat for a more heart healthy option. 

Looking for something a little lighter? Be sure to remove the skin on poultry or try some omega-3 rich Salmon on the grill with a squeeze of lemon and show your father that you love him and his heart. Don’t forget to keep your food safe.

Vegetables:

Be sure to include some vegetables to create a balanced meal. Try some great seasonal vegetables such asparagus, zucchini and summer squash – All of which are fantastic when grilled with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. Remember to always make it as easy as possible.

Fruits:

Did you remember to balance your meal with some fresh fruit? Try grilling it!

Beverages:

Skip the sodas and juices and make something fresh. Try some fruit infused water. Slice up 1 lemon, ½ cucumber and place in a pitcher of ice cold water. Include some fresh mint for a cool refreshing drink.

Remember, food is fuel, but it has a special place in our culture and our families. No matter what you end up cooking for your loved one, be sure to take some extra time, put away any distractions, sit down, enjoy a great meal and create some new memories with him!

Happy Father’s Day!