March is National Nutrition Month! Each year there is a different theme for National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food”. This year, the focus is on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
What does going further with food mean to you?
It might mean having enough energy for the day, increasing the duration of your workouts or taking care of yourself with nourishing foods so you can be around to play with your grandchildren. Fueling your body with the right foods in the right balance specific for you will take you further towards those goals. And, as with any goal, preparation is the key to success.
Whether it is starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling for athletic training the foods you choose can make a big difference. With proper meal planning and preparing your foods/meals in advance can help in making wiser choices; save time; and reduce food loss and waste.
Meal Planning: Keep it Simple!
Having nutritious meals prepared keeps you nourished and on track for success when life gets too busy! The process for planning and preparing meals should fit your lifestyle. It should not be stressful or all-consuming. Meal planning is meant to make life easier, so remember to keep the process simple.
- Create theme nights – and then find a variety of recipes that fit the theme. Examples – Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Chicken on Wednesday, Leftovers on Thursday, etc. Be creative!
- Plate method – select a good quality protein – fills ¼ to 1/3 of plate; choose variety of veggies- fills ½ your plate; select whole grains- fills ¼ or less of plate; round our meal with healthy fats.
- Soups, stews, crock pot meals are an easy simple way to create meals that are simple and balanced.
Plan and Prep Tips: Save time and energy!
- Invest in good quality containers — Tupperware or the glass variety. Look for BPA-free.
- Cook in large batches and save leftovers – Place in containers and enjoy for meals the next few days. If you have a lot left over, freeze in individual or family size portions in freezer safe bags. For example cook large batches of rice, oatmeal, potatoes, soups, stews, casseroles, etc. Most cooked foods can be stored for 3-4 days.
- Best time to plan and prepare meals is what fits your schedule – Create menu plans for the week; then make a grocery list; shop once a week on the off hours, and prepare your food.
- Create a Recipe File – Save your favorite recipes for easy access when planning your menu.
- Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
- Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
- Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
- Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you.
- Continue to use good food safety practices.
- Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
Dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle and let “Food Take You Further” by being prepared.
Bio: Lorrie Beck
Lorrie Beck is the founder and head coach of Lorrie Beck Coaching/YBFit. She is uniquely experienced and trained to coach you to success. A lifelong runner turned triathlete Lorrie is passionate about multi-sports and health and fitness. She has competed in a multitude of National and World Championships place in the top of her age group. She has been an All American for a number of years for both the Triathlon & Duathlon. She has been coaching multi-sport athletes for 10 years. She knows what it takes; she loves the competition, and friendships of the multi-sport community. She is a USAT certified coach & official and fitness coach. She is passionate about working with athletes of all levels who want to improve their skills, performances and overall health and fitness. As a coach Lorrie takes the holistic approach to training: training not just the physical body but also the mental/emotional aspect as well as nutritional and life style balance.
Lorrie is dedicated to empowering and inspiring women and a few cool men to change and transform their relationship with food and their body: to stop the yo-yo dieting; deprivation and restriction; to facilitate disconnection from emotional and stress eating; to achieve lasting weight loss and to learn to love their bodies while creating a life they love, desire and crave.