A bite of good advice for National Nutrition Month

B9316737771Z.1_20150327145228_000_GC0AB58HH.1-0While experts say you should eat a healthy diet year-round, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics designates March as National Nutrition month.

The monthlong designation was launched in 1973 and each year has a theme.

This year’s theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” encourages healthy eating and physical activity.

In other words, get moving.

I caught up with several metro Detroit registered dietitians for advice and tips on ways to achieve this. Here are their tips:

Katie Serbinski, registered dietitian with the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and founder of www.momtomomnutrition.com.

Advice: “First and foremost, make informed decisions like having a plan when going to the grocery store and with physical activity. We are … making both a priority.”

Her tips:

At work, take the steps instead of the elevator. Don’t be sedentary at your desk. At home, while watching TV do jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials.

Consume fewer calories. Serbinski says the more colorful your plate you are more likely consuming fewer calories and eating healthier.

Snack your way to health. “With snacks, try to include a protein source which helps that feeling of fullness,” Serbinski says. Think a handful of whole grain crackers with cheese or cucumber slices and red bell pepper slices with hummus. A cup of low-fat Greek yogurt has more protein in it than granola or fresh fruit.

Ashlee Carnahan, 28, registered dietitian at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and a certified personal trainer.

Advice: “Most Americans try to take a million steps instead of one step at a time,” she say. “Go for small simple changes that are attainable, so one bite at a time. I ask patients: Do you eat three vegetables a day? Do you eat two fruits a day?”

Her tips:

One piece of fruit is a good start.

Ideally, eat an adequate lunch four hours before a workout and include a fruit, vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate mirroring MyPlate (the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s illustration of how Americans’ plates should nutritionally look.) With physical activity, it’s important to have a balanced diet to have enough energy to work out.

Eat a snack one to two hours before a workout. Consider an apple and tablespoon of peanut butter or string cheese and a few a whole grain crackers.

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Make sure you are drinking water throughout your workout.

Akua Woolbright, PhD, senior healthy eating and wellness educator, Whole Cities Foundation (a nonprofit foundation established by Whole Foods Market)

Advice: “Whole food, plant strong is the mantra. Eat foods that are unprocessed and unrefined and mainly plants. … Eat more fruits and vegetables.”

Her tips:

Whole foods mean minimal or no processing. Look for foods you can find in nature, that our old grandparents would eat. “So it becomes apples, not apple cereal. … It becomes potatoes out of the ground, not instant potatoes.

Build meals around the colorful rainbow of plant-based foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, a few nuts and seeds that are unroasted and unsalted). We know each color of the rainbow corresponds to different nutrients. We want to get all those nutrients in. Every day, you need black, blue, purple, tan, white, green, yellow and orange foods.

Rethink what you eat for breakfast. “Think about foods as medicine starting at breakfast,” Woolbright says. Try leftovers for breakfast. That healthy dinner you made the night before, serve a small portion of the leftovers for breakfast.

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source: Detroit Free Press by Susan Selasky

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