Keeping nutrition simple and balanced is a much more sustainable and effective approach this time of year rather than jumping on diet that is bound to fail long-term. Three realistic areas to consider when tuning up your nutrition routine include: what you drink, where you eat, and what you say.
What you drink – work on making plain water your go-to beverage. There is a definite place for sport hydration drinks and other flavored beverages, but the ability to drink plain, unflavored water goes well beyond hydration. Most of us walk around partially dehydrated and so working on drinking more water is a worthy endeavor. More and more we are drinking exclusively flavored beverages and that constant flow of sweetness or flavor serves to grow our sweet tooth and shrink our attention span for simple, unflavored water which is the best, most inexpensive, readily available source of hydration.
Where you eat – instead of going into the nitty-gritty details of what to eat, I chose “where” as a more effective change in eating behavior. Swapping a brown-bag lunch for an eat-out or order-in lunch once a week saves hundreds of dollars per year and thousands of empty calories. Cooking dinner family dinner at home leads to greater intake of fruits and vegetable higher intake of folate, iron, calcium, vitamins A & C and fiber. Plus, you get loads of psychological benefits as well as physical benefits. Even planning one extra “at-home” meal improves physical, mental and emotional health.
What you say - clean up your vocabulary when it comes to speaking about yours and others bodies and speaking about food. Speaking positively about your body as well as your relationship with food isn’t just about improving your own body image and all of the subsequent health benefits that follow, but it models appropriate, positive health patterns for others around you. We don’t need to just watch what we say around our teenagers. Body image problems, chronic dieting and disordered eating is beginning at younger ages – creeping into younger elementary school-aged kids. So watch what you say. Health has a feel not a look, size or shape. Here is a great video to teach this to the whole family.