We know we should eat a healthy diet, but we’re busy! It’s so easy to just grab convenience foods on the run. In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are some simple tips for a healthier diet.
Helping us is dietitian Rikki Rabbin, MS, RDN, LDN. “I teach kids. Second graders can tell you what’s a health food and what isn’t. However, we are not always rational consumers…we choose with our noses, eyes, taste buds, and memories, too!”
Rabbin suggests making healthy foods convenient at home so they’re easily packable. Ideas include: yogurt, washed cut fruit, fruit to peel, baby carrots, and portioned hummus and dips. If you have a big fridge at work, bring several foods from this list to work. “Your healthy lunch is there and waiting for you,” Rabbin says. Zip top bags and small plastic food storage containers make portability a snap.
Rabbin says when it comes to nutrition goals, choose one “very small” change. For example, if you want to ‘eat healthier’, get specific. “Let’s say you want to eat more vegetables. A good goal would be to bring carrot sticks for your mid-day snack twice per week.” This is small, manageable, and buildable over time.
Expand your palate. “Don’t like brown rice? Who said that’s the only way to increase fiber? Keep your white rice, and for your high-fiber options try out quinoa, buckwheat, or sorghum.”
Find a low-calorie healthy food you can munch on mindlessly. “Everyone says not to eat while watching TV. Well, I like eating while watching TV! Air-popped popcorn and tea is a healthy snack that I won’t feel guilty about once the show is over and I’ve downed the whole thing. Maybe for you it’s celery, carrots, or rice cakes,” Rabbin explains.
Try Rabbin’s Shrimp Avocado Salad recipe below for a healthy and delicious meal this spring. For a heartier meal, enjoy the shrimp and avocado mixture over pasta instead of salad greens.
Use these simple strategies to tip the scales of your diet in a healthier direction! Need help making changes in your diet? Seek out an RD (Registered Dietitian) or DTR (Dietetic Technician, Registered). “Just like a personal trainer can help you reach your fitness goals, a licensed dietitian or DTR can help you reach your nutrition goals,” says Rabbin.
This recipe contains 225 calories, 64 grams protein, 2 grams sugar, 15 grams total fat including 2 grams saturated fat, 770 mg sodium, and 650 mg potassium per serving.
Nutrition information calculated from http://www.supertracker.usda.gov