Not leaving the house to “go to work” seems great on paper. You picture the super short commute, flexibility, and comfort of knowing you could work in sweatpants if you wanted to. However, the work-from-home balance can be easily disrupted when loved ones are home and need caring for, schools are closed, or any other stressful situation has you feeling unsettled. This combination of a shift in your usual and greater stress can undoubtedly lead to unhealthy eating patterns. That said, even on the best “work from home” day, we need a strategy for keeping our meals in check, our body properly nourished, and our bored appetites out of the kitchen.
An annual March tradition, National Nutrition Month (NNM) highlights ways of making conscientious choices to improve your diet and emphasizes the helpful role that dietitians play in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The NNM 2020 theme, “Eat Right, Bite by Bite,” celebrates small steps for creating big change. Using a step-by-step, weekly approach to shift toward healthier habits, NNM 2020 helps you establish a path to better eating that everyone can achieve and maintain.
For those with a dairy allergy or who suffer from lactose intolerance, the growing dairy alternative section is a welcome sight. A category once dominated by soy and rice milk, now features flaxseed, oat, cashew, coconut, hazelnut, almond, pea, hemp, and likely more to come. You may be thinking that you didn’t know you can get milk from nuts and seeds, and indeed you can’t, which is why these products are technically non-dairy beverages (and why the dairy industry wants to maintain a narrow definition of “milk”).
We throw the term “whole grains” around a lot. Whole grain callouts can be found on bread, crackers, and other “grainy” products, while images of farms and growing grains abound in the marketing of the brands that produce these products. While many of us know we should be seeking whole grains and believe we know when we’re consuming them, we can always use a moment to remind ourselves of the power of whole grains.
We are deep in the festive feeling that begins with Halloween and takes us right into the New Year. While you can track these few months by the seasonal décor at your local retailer, you also know it by the candy, pies, cookies, and other colorful confections that make their way into your home. These foods, which I always refer to as our “sometimes foods” are intended to be just that, consumed “sometimes.” When seasonal sweets abound every day, it takes a bit of effort to balance it all and not feel like a holiday Scrooge.
Slowing down during the holidays may sound about as hard as finding the perfect present in minutes, but it can be done. In fact, it should be a priority. After all, the essence of this joyous season isn’t to crank up the stress, but rather to connect with family and friends, capture the moments of your growing children, and maybe enjoy a cookie or two. Yes, even your dietitian understands the gravitational pull of Christmas cookies and other seasonal sweets. While I may not be able to lure you away from all your traditional treats, I can with that daily Advent calendar chocolate that counts you down to Christmas. Even better, with just a bit of thought, I can help you create those mindful moments and offer alternatives to chocolate-filled Advent calendars.
I appreciate opportunities to write about Thanksgiving in the weeks leading up to the food-filled holiday for a few reasons. For one, I love food and adore anytime we can gather with friends and family to celebrate delicious dishes. Another reason I love writing about Thanksgiving is that it’s celebrated by so many of us and, except for small shifts in the menu, we essentially all do it the same way. Naturally, a fantastic feast doesn’t just appear on the table without thought, menu planning, and strategically timed visits to the supermarket. To help you prepare I’ve put together five planning tips and of course a few recipes too.
If you host a large Thanksgiving, as I do, then the beginning of November marks the beginning of planning and locating recipes ready to make your menu shine. I annually host a Thanksgiving for about 35 people. (Yes, you read that correctly.) With plenty of planning (and furniture moving) we seem to pull off a delightful day. There are some smart shopping strategies that are the key to making it work. I’m happy to share the process with you.