March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is to “Go Further with Food”. Preparing foods that “go further” at home and within the community can not only have a positive impact on your health, but can positively influence public health and environmental health as well.
- Eat Breakfast: Nothing helps your energy “go further” during the day than eating a balanced breakfast. Eating breakfast helps with brain function, attention span, concentration, and memory and can reduce irritability and tiredness. Studies show that eating breakfast in the morning jumpstarts your metabolism and helps prevent overeating later in the day.
- Plan a Balanced Lunch: Another way to “go further” in your day, is to stay energized with a balanced lunch. Try to include at least 3 food groups in your meal including a lean protein and a high fiber carbohydrate. This dynamic duo not only provides nutrients, but gives sustainable energy and keeps you fuller longer so you can tackle your day. In a rush? Check out your local supermarket for on-the-go meals such as pre-made sandwiches and salads, yogurt parfaits, and fruit cups.
- Fuel Your Exercise: What you eat before and after exercise is important to help you “go further” in your performance and recovery. Make sure to fuel your body with a high fiber carbohydrate and lean protein 1 to 2 hours before activity. Within an hour after your workout, eat a meal or snack that includes protein, which helps your muscles recover more quickly. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well!
- Avoid Food Waste: This month, focus on reducing food waste by planning healthy meals that include all food groups, but also incorporate foods you already have in your refrigerator or pantry. Focus on economical purchases of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried produce. Eat your fresh produce first before it spoils, then switch to your frozen, canned, and dried varieties. Consider recycling containers and donating unused food to a food bank.