HEALTHY HabitS CHALLENGE
March is National Nutrition Month! Are you ready for the Healthy Habits Challenge?
Bite into a Healthier Lifestyle
In March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month. Yes, we all have ways we could eat healthier or ways to improve our diet, but making dramatic changes rarely works and is usually not sustainable. Instead, try making small changes to your diet which may add up to major health benefits, such as weight loss, better sleeping patterns, lifts in mood, and increased energy throughout the day. We're here to help you get started with our Healthy Habits Challenge so you can enjoy the many benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Here's how it works:
Week 1 (3/1-3/7): Always eat breakfast.
THE CHALLENGE: Start off each day with a balanced breakfast.
More than any other meal, breakfast is an investment in your good health. Eating in the morning for the next 7 days will help you to stay focused, jump-start your metabolism, help keep your energy up, and set the pace for a healthy day.Tips to help you make the most of your morning meal:
Week-1 recipe ideas:
Week 2 (3/8-3/14): Drink up.
THE CHALLENGE: Drink 9 to 13 cups of fluids (mostly water) each day.
When planning your menu, don't forget to consider your beverage. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and every system in your body depends on water. Proper hydration is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails, as well as controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. See how good you feel after adopting a proper hydration plan for the next 7 days.Tips for staying hydrated:
Week 3 (3/15 - 3/21): Add a vegetable to each meal.
THE CHALLENGE: Aim for 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.
We all know that produce can improve our health in a powerful way, yet studies show that most people aren't eating enough vegetables to meet the daily recommendation, which is 2 to 3 cups per day. Low in fat and calories, they provide our bodies with many essential vitamins and minerals. They also offer antioxidants, compounds that fight off free radicals, protecting the body from oxidative stress.
If you incorporate a vegetable into each meal, you will meet your goal of 2 to 3 cups easily. There are many choices, from a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and topped with crumbled feta cheese to salads, garlicky greens, soups and stews, and healthy pizzas.
Week-3 recipe ideas:
Week 4 (3/22-3/28): Bump up your fiber.
THE CHALLENGE: Aim for 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily.
Fiber is found in whole-grain breads and cereals; dry beans and peas; nuts and seeds; and fruits and vegetables, especially those with edible skin or seeds, all of which can help maintain a healthy digestive tract. A properly functioning intestinal track is one of the body's first lines of defense against invaders and key to a healthy immune system.
FIBER PER DAY:
How to get more fiber in your diet:
Week-4 recipe ideas:
Week 5 (3/29-4/4): Be kind to yourself.
Don't berate yourself if you get off-track. And it's okay to treat yourself once in a while if you do it in moderation. You don't have to deny yourself that ice cream cone or burger, but do practice portion control. And don't forget to share your ideas with Kris Lindsey, our online dietitian, during her Tuesday Facebook posts for a chance to win prizes!