Get Fit! Feel Good! April Blog
Get Fit Feel Good! April Blog
Time to reflect on March’s goals!
Have you thought about starting a garden this spring? Not yet? Lucky for you there is still time! Have you ever heard the saying April showers bring May flowers? Well then you know that April is a great time to plant some vegetables or flowers! Here are a few things you can plant in April.
April’s Wellness Goal: Eat Better
The food you eat each day will affect your health, plain and simple. How you feel today, tomorrow and in the future will all depend on your eating habits. Good nutrition (combined with physical activity) can help an individual reach and maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one- third of the U.S adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% of children and adolescents are obese”. The Department of Health and Human Services even says that for people who are at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that cause illness and even death.
So despite this information the majority of us still don’t have good nutrition- why is that?
Well, there are endless reasons why we as a society have such a hard time eating healthy. Some of the most popular reasons are: It’s too expensive, it takes too much time to make a healthy meal, you are always on the go and need something quick, you don’t know how to cook healthy, or maybe it’s just that you think healthy food tastes bad.
In this blog, we will explore some of the most popular reasons why we don’t eat healthy and provide tips on how to overcome them!
For starters, let’s discuss what the major food groups are and what a balance meal should look like. Please keep in mind this is a general guideline and based on an individual’s specific needs their nutrition plan might be different. The Department of Agriculture (ChooseMyPlate.gov) designed MyPlate to illustrate the five food groups as well as what a healthy plate should look like. This can serve as a reminder when you are choosing what goes on your plate, or in your bowl or cup!
The Food Groups
- Vegetables: fill half your plate with fruit and veggies (vary your veggies)
- Fruit: fill have your plate with fruit and veggies (focus on whole fruits rather fruit-based foods like applesauce)
- Grains: make half your grains whole grains
- Dairy: move to low-fat or fat free milk/ yogurt
- Protein: Vary your protein, don’t eat all red meat. Try poultry, fish, and plant-based proteins like beans.
Reasons Why We Don’t Eat Healthy & Tips To Overcome Them
Reason number #1: It’s too expensive
When people hear good nutrition, they immediately think they have to eat organic. Organic foods tends to be very expensive, but the good news is that you don’t have to eat organic to eat healthy. There has been no significant study to show that eating organic has additional health benefits. Nowadays, there are tons of resources out there on ways to eat healthy on a budget.
Choose My Plate (where you can find the Myplate picture) has three key tips for shopping healthy on a budget. The tips are as follows: create a grocery game plan, shop smart to fill your cart, and prepare healthy meals. To learn more and dive deeper into each of these tips visit Choose my Plate/ budget.
Reason #2: It takes too much time
Many people eat processed foods or fast food because of the lack of time they have or think they have to prepare a proper healthy meal. Although there are some days where grabbing something quick is okay and inevitable, this shouldn’t be an excuse everyday.
Prep on weekends! Most people use Sunday to prepare for their work week, so use this time to prep for your health as well! If the thought about food prep is overwhelming, start small, you don’t have to prep everything. For example if salad is your main lunch try pre-cutting all the veggies so the actual assembly only takes a couple minutes. If you want to go a step further, cook chicken on Sunday and cut it up for the week. When your food is mostly prepared you will be more likely to eat it than if you had to start from scratch each day. For more advice, check out this article on meal prepping
Reason #3: Always on the go:
This reason goes hand and hand with the previous reason. If you didn’t have time to prep your snacks here are some options that are easy to grab and go while making sure you stay healthy.
- Jerky (be careful of overly sweet or salty flavors)
- Trail mix
- Nuts (like almonds)
- Cheese sticks
- Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
- Granola bar (look at nutrition label to pick the best one)
Reason #4: You don’t know how to cook healthy
Not sure where to begin on this adventure of cooking healthy? Here are 12 tips from Myfitnesspal to help anyone start cooking healthy. For more in-depth information on each tip check out MyfitnessPal’s Full Article
- Find reliable recipe resources
- Cooking Light is a reliable source for delicious recipes
- Take one dish at a time
- Learning to cook takes practice so start simple and take it slow
- Don’t be afraid to try something new
- When time is tight, sticking to ingredients you know and enjoy is a safe bet, but every now and again give a new recipe a try! Try a new fruit or vegetable that might look unfamiliar
- Roast your vegetables
- If you don’t love raw veggies or salads, roasting your vegetables is a great alternative!
- Learn simple ingredient substitutions
- If you learn these tricks, its easy to adapt a decadent dish into something a little more nutritious
- Write a grocery list
- Not have the right ingredients on hand can make it harder if you’re trying to cook healthy.
- Make small investments in cooking equipment
- Certain kitchen gadgets can simplify cooking (example: slow cooker, vegetable peeler, food storage containers)
- Stock your pantry with healthy essentials
- Look for when these items are on sale then stock up on them (beans, tomatoes, herbs, spices, soup stocks, nuts, whole grain, oats, or quinoa).
- Put your trust in your taste buds, not the recipe
- Recipes are guides at best and the only real way to end up with a truly satisfying dish is to taste along the way.
- Make cooking a friend and family affair. This can making cooking that much more fun!
- Learn a new culinary skill by signing up for a cooking or cooking skills class
- Consider a meal plan
- There are tons of cooking meal plan and delivery services to help beginners learn the ropes
Again- these are just some of the reasons why we as a society find it difficult to eat healthy. These tips might not solve all of the reasons, but they can definitely help improve one’s nutrition. If you have a specific reason that is holding you back from making healthier food options, do some research. There are thousands of resources out there to help!
12 Months of Wellness
Next Months Wellness Goals: Quit Another Bad Habit
|March||Plant/ Try Gardening|
|May||Quit A Bad Habit|
|June||Try to Eliminate Sugar|
|July||Recruit a Family Member|
|September||Connect with nature|
|October||Change it up|
|November||Cold Season Ready|
|December||Enjoy the season & Reflect|