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Healthy Eating

Shape Up Eating Habits for Spring

By Rene Ficek, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator for Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating

March is National Nutrition Month® and what a better time to think about how you can shape up by improving eating habits. 

There are many people who desire a healthy diet, but feel like it is too far out of their reach and so they never even try.  This attitude may come from the belief that you have to overhaul your entire diet in order to be healthy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For most of us, small changes can make a big difference.

These small changes are ones anyone can make, and when combined together, the results are a healthy diet. 

Keep a fruit bowl handy Research shows that those who have fruit bowls on display consistently eat more fruit than those who do not. 

Sneak in vegetables — Adding extra vegetables, such as grated zucchini, carrots, spinach or kale, and bell peppers, to pasta sauces and soups is one way to develop more flavor and get an extra serving of vegetables. 

Convenience is good — If peeling, cutting and chopping aren’t your thing, let someone else do the work. Food companies and grocers offer an ever-expanding selection of prepared produce. Sliced veggies and prepared dips like protein-rich hummus are great to have on hand. 

Don’t skip dessert — That’s right, a fruit based dessert has the ability to offer a light, refreshing, naturally sweet end to a meal. Desserts like dark chocolate covered strawberries add heart-healthy antioxidants, some fiber, and a host of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients to your day. 

Go meatless on Mondays — The campaign for “Meatless Monday” is gaining popularity and concept is simple: One day a week, cut out the meat. To make your goal even more attainable, use your Meatless Monday as a make-ahead day to prepare extra fruits and vegetables for the week.

Don’t forget to snack — Stock your kitchen, desk, car and purse with nuts, fruits (fresh or dried), vegetables and yogurt. All of these add that extra dose of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will keep energy up all day long. 

Substitute bottled marinades — Instead of reaching for pre-made marinades that are packed with salt, let meat soak in a mix of olive oil, herbs and citrus juice to get the rich flavor without added sodium. 

Balance every meal —  Lean, healthy proteins like fish, beans and legumes, and eggs are healthy sources of protein that should be included in the diet at every meal since protein can be very filling, while having minimal impact on blood sugar levels and will help keep you full.

Set an example for your grandkids and start some healthy eating habits today!

If you’re either too busy or not sure where to start, then let Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating help you, call 1-800-442-DIET (3438) or visit seattlesutton.com.
By Rene Ficek, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator for Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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