Food is all about taste and the foods we enjoy are the ones we eat most. That is why, as part of National Nutrition Month 2014, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Enjoy the taste of eating right!” This year’s theme focuses on combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
At the grocery store make it a point to try one new fruit, vegetable or whole grain each week. Start small by choosing a different kind of apple, a different color potato or a new flavor of whole grain rice. Add variety to your staple dishes by varying the way that you cook them: steam the vegetables that you normally saute’ or grill the chicken that you normally bake. And get to know your spice rack! A pinch of this or/and a dash of that can add a fresh taste to and old favorite.
- We are now about 6 weeks give or take from New Year’s Day. Of all the folks who made New Year resolutions, only about 40% are still committed to the desired change. And the further we go into 2014, the lower that number becomes. Last year, Adam wrote about SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed). Often, when we are unable to maintain a behavior change for an extended time, it is because the chosen change was unrealistic to begin with.
Goal setting is an important strategy in the process of behavior change, and for success to happen the goal has to be individualized. Another model for setting very specific goals is the WHAT system recommended by the authors of Inspiring and Supporting Behavior Change: a Food and Nutrition Professional’s Counseling Guide.
- W stands for what the person will do, when he/she will do it, and where he/she will do it.
- H is for how much or how many, and how often.
- A stands for achievable and believable.
- T represents the time frame for accomplishing the goal.
Regardless of the goal selected, self-monitoring is a necessary activity. Free online tools like SuperTracker (www.SuperTracker.usda.gov) can assist you in tracking diet, weight and activity goals. In addition, new smart phone apps come available almost daily. Ultimately, the best system or app is the one that works for you and you consistently use.
Post by Nadine
Tomorrow, February 7, is the American Heart Association’s “WEAR RED for WOMEN” day in the US. This campaign, part of Go Red for Women, is directed at women, for women, to remind them that heart disease and not breast cancer is the number 1 cause of death. Wear red tomorrow for a woman that you love.
Congratulations(!!!) to Chef Adam RDN on very successfully completing the written portion of the Certified Executive Chef examination.
Post by Nadine
Maybe one of your resolutions for the new year is to eat more fish? Don’t know where to start? Consider these tips from the Washington Post:
- Start with mild, white fish like tilapia, cod or sole. These species do not have the strong flavor of mackerel or salmon, but they lend themselves to whatever seasonings you like and absorb marinades quickly.
- Thin fish filets can be pan-fried or poached in broth until the flesh becomes opaque. Thicker pieces are delicious when grilled on oak planks.
- Really fresh fish does not smell fishy. My favorite seafood market smells like the ocean when I walk in the door. Whole fish should have clear eyes and tight scales, and be displayed on crushed ice in the case. Once purchased, cook within 24 hours or freeze for future use.
- Nearly 85% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished. Our seafood choices have the power to make this situation worse, or improve it. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations don’t hinge on any single issue. Instead, they consider the fishery, habitat, species, management, and a host of other factors that affect each species. In this way, Seafood Watch offers a complete vision of sustainability. The Blue Ocean Institute is another resource for the environmentally conscious consumer.
What is it worth to you to have your child eat fruits and vegetables ? New federal rules to the school nutrition program have resulted in an extra $5.4 million in produce served every day. But students discard about 70% of it.
Published in the December 2013 issue of Public Health Nutrition , researchers from Brigham Young University and Cornell discovered that directly paying students to eat a fruit or vegetable can save money and increase intakes.
Just and Price conducted week-long experiments in 15 different schools. Some students earned a nickel, others a quarter, and still others earned a raffle ticket for a larger prize. Regardless of the reward the results were about the same. Produce intake increased by 80% and food waste declined by 33%. According to Price, “rewards can be really powerful if the activity creates a new skill or changes preferences”. Think “potty” training or your employer-based wellness program.
When the week of prizes ended, students went back to eating the same level of fruits and vegetables: no improvement but not less than before the rewards. Researchers are now testing to see if extending the rewards over 3-5 weeks will produce a lasting change. Stay tuned.
Post by Nadine