Nutrition Month

By Eloise Palmateeer

Happy National Nutrition Month! Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics runs a campaign throughout the month of March to bring awareness around healthy eating habits. This year, the theme is “Celebrate a World of Flavors!” While we are all profoundly unique individuals with different goals, preferences, bodies, and backgrounds, enjoying different cuisines from around the world unites us together in a special way.

Eat a Variety of Nutritious Foods

Each week of National Nutrition Month has its own topic, with week one being “eat a variety of nutritious foods.” Rotating favorite ethnic dishes into our weekly or monthly routine helps us include foods on our plate that we might not commonly consume. Since no two foods contain the same nutrient profile, eating a wide array of bright, colorful vegetables, starches, proteins and healthy fats allows us to reap the full nutrient spectrum, promoting optimal whole body health. For week one, the VIDA dietitians challenge you to choose an ethnic restaurant when ordering in or dining out. For example, DC has some amazing Ethiopian restaurants to check out!

See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

The topic for week two of National Nutrition Month is “see a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).” Since our nutrition needs are highly individualized based on our goals, activity level, size, sex, etc., working with an RDN can help guide you in making healthy choices that serve your body best. For week two, the VIDA dietitians encourage you to schedule your Nutrition Fit intro session! During this complimentary 25-minute appointment, you’ll discuss your nutrition and health goals, lifestyle habits and routine, and your dietitian will offer a few takeaway tips to steer you in the right direction as you track toward your goals. To take advantage of this service, email nutrition@vidafitness.com!

Plan Your Meals and Snacks

The topic for National Nutrition Month week three is “plan your meals and snacks.” This week, the VIDA dietitians challenge you to devote ten to twenty minutes to sit down and write out a meal plan for the week. First start with your breakfasts, then move on to lunches, then dinners, and lastly, healthy snacks to tide you over between meals. After that, build out your grocery list so you know exactly what to buy once you get to the store. Keeping organized in this manner helps to both prevent food waste as well as ensure you have enough to get you through the week.

Create Tasty Foods at Home

Finally, the topic for week four of National Nutrition Month is “create tasty foods at home.” Now that you’re an expert in preparing for the week ahead, we challenge you to level the meal planning up by trying to cook a signature dish from another country. Shakshuka is a great choice, since it’s simple to make and many of the ingredients are common kitchen staples. Shakshuka is a dish from the Maghrebi region of Africa, prepared by poaching eggs in a spiced tomato sauce with peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil. You won’t regret it!

We hope you enjoy celebrating National Nutrition Month throughout the next few weeks! Be sure to eat with intention, enjoying each of the different flavors, aromas, textures, and variety on your plate. If you have questions and/or would like to meet with a VIDA dietitian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the nutrition department at nutrition@vidafitness.com. We look forward to hearing from you!