S pring is on the way, and with warm weather comes the discussion of new diet trends and how to get a perfect ‘swim suit bod.’ As people think about their personal health and fitness, it is important to remember how important proper nutrition is to any wellness goal. It can be easy to lose sight of what your body needs to be eating when you’re thinking about specialty diets or new exercise routines, and to combat that, Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital wants to discuss the importance of personal nutrition.
Nutrition isn’t just about cutting out all carbs or eating only green vegetables. All bodies are different, and the details of personal nutrition will vary from person to person. But there are certain approaches that are always true, and which your family can use to make healthy meal choices in a delicious and nutritious way.
How to Find Your Personal Nutrition
Having a nutritious diet is not just about eating salads and avoiding all desserts. Nutrition is found with the proper balance of vitamins, fiber, and other vital sources of healthy energy. Many of us are introduced to the idea of nutrition as children with the food pyramid illustrating the need for core food groups. This is a good place to start, but as we grow and develop our own tastes, the portions of each food group might change.
As you look to improve your nutrition, think about the following:
- Do you feel tired at certain times of day?
- Do you suffer from heart burn or indigestion after eating certain foods?
- Do you ever feel weak or light-headed?
These questions can indicate whether something might be lacking in your diet. Take these into consideration, along with any medical conditions affected by food, when you make changes to your nutritional plans. When making drastic changes to what you eat, consider keeping a short food journal to help record any changes you experience in your health. If any dramatic side effects start or persist, it might be time to consult with a doctor and dietitian.
When making drastic changes to what you eat, consider keeping a short food journal to help record any changes you experience in your health.
How to Keep a Nutritious Diet Delicious
Eating well often means eating less of the things we enjoy most. Guilty pleasure foods that are high in sugar, starch, or fat can feel hard to give up, but if you find substitutes which are just as good, or maybe even tastier, then it is easier to stick with a firm plan.
Incorporate new spices into your meals. Seasoning like cumin, oregano, and fresh herbs can give any dish savory flavor without relying on excess salt.
Bring fresh produce into your favorite dishes. Common family recipes like soups, stews, and other hearty foods can be made more nutritious with the inclusion of extra produce. Try adding baby spinach to soups or using cauliflower rice instead of grain rice to go with stews and other gravy-heavy dishes.
Replace heavier ingredients with light, fresh options. For recipes that use butter and cream, try switching up the ingredients. Olive oil can be a delicious and healthier replacement for butter, while things like vegetable or chicken stock can be good ways to replace cream while strengthening the flavor of a sauce. These replacements can often make sauces and recipes lighter, which will make them more refreshing for a spring and summer menu.
Save desserts and heavy-starch meals for something special. While many people love treats like cake, pasta, and other decadent foods, eating them often doesn’t give your body any of the nutrients it needs. Rather than cutting these dishes out entirely, try to save them for special occasions. Use them to celebrate holidays, family milestones, or even personal achievements. This way, the joy you get from having that special dessert will be more special.
When working towards a healthier family diet, it doesn’t always have to be about deprivation. If you can control when you eat fatty or sugary foods, then it can be easy to find ways to bring extra nutrients into your diet.
It is also very important to remember that when you’re changing the way you eat, you cannot aim for a short-term diet. Fad diets can be appealing at first, but when you spend two months on a diet then break it, you can put your body through a lot of physical stress. Your digestive system can get upset more easily when you rapidly alter your eating too often, and your health won’t actually improve. The real difference comes from long-term change that you can sustain through new eating habits, rather than trending diets.
This month is National Nutrition Month, so there is no better time for families to think about their nutritional habits. As you consider what changes you want to make for the new season, Phoenix ER & Medical Hospital is here to support you. Share your nutritional goals with us on Facebook and Twitter, and we will cheer you on as you reach a newer, healthier goal.