March is Nutrition Month
If you missed last weeks first entry on Nutrition Month, check it out here!
Week Two: Quality Counts!
Quality is very important when it comes to food choices. There are very simple ways to swap out things that you are already doing with healthy and nutritious choices. We will look at some nutritious ways to increase the quality of your diet below.
If your a sweet tooth:
- Instead of juice, add a lemon wedge or some cut up fruit to your water for added taste without the sugar.
- If your a sweetened latte drinker, avoid the sweetener and sprinkle cinnamon on top for some added flavor without the added sugar and calories.
- If you like sugar in your coffee, try cutting back on how much you are having*, or switching to black coffee completely. Remember, we can always change our taste buds! It just takes 2-4 weeks. (*Sweeteners like stevia are OK too!)
- Try specialty flavored black coffee and tea. These have some zest without the sugar.
- Instead of store bought hot chocolate mixes, make you own! The recipe is simple: 1 cup of heated skim milk, add 2 tsp of cocoa powder, 1 tsp of stevia/splenda (or sweetener of choice), mix and serve!
- In hot or cold cereals, add fruits like strawberries and blueberries instead of brown or white sugar to maintain that sweet taste with less calories and more nutrients.
- Instead of high sugar and fat ice cream, try this simple and delicious recipe of Guilt Free Banana “Ice Cream”.
- In many baked breads, use unsweetened apple sauce instead of oil and eggs for less calories and fat.
- Instead of salt, add more herb, spices, garlic, or lemon to increase the flavor of your dish.
- Substitute plain greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, sour cream, and other fats in recipes. BONUS: check out our Protein-Packed Pancakes and Edamame and Avocado Pasta Salad where we do just that!
- When recipes call for any vegetables, you can always increase the amount for more nutrients and fiber! Try and make half of your plate full of vegetables.
- Add pureed white beans to cheese sauces, tomato sauces, and cream soups for more protein and fiber.
- Chia seeds! These nutrient packed seeds can be substituted for eggs in recipes. Combine 1 tbsp chia seeds with 1 cup of water, let stand for 15-20 minutes until thick. Use this in place of one egg in a recipe.
- Use whole wheat pasta or brown rice in place of the “white” alternatives for more hunger satisfying fiber.
If you have trouble packing lunches for work:
- When making supper, cook extra portions that can be used for lunch the following week.
- Cook extra chicken or turkey at supper that can be used for salads, sandwiches, and wraps the following day.
- Purchase pre-cut vegetable packages that can be easily portioned to bring to work throughout the week. Or you can buy vegetables and cut/portion them yourself for something quick and easy to grab!
- Try a crock pot recipe! When you are at work you can have a hot delicious meal waiting for you when you get home. Portion this for lunches the following week, or even serve for your suppers!
- Most importantly, try and prepare your lunch the night before so that it is already made if you are in a rush.
If you are looking for more helpful tips, contact me today!
Shhhh!…… Sneak peak for next week: Portion Sizes!
Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: http://www.nutritionmonth2016.ca