Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on March 10, 2008
I know what you’re thinking. It seems every month is National Something Month, whether we’re celebrating women’s history, black history or pediculosis prevention. But the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has officially declared March the month to reevaluate your nutritional habits, so that’s what we’re going to do.
It’s not a bad idea really; rather than just “celebrating” something (like, say, Irish American heritage), National Nutrition Month encourages you to be proactive and actually do something that might result in a change for the better. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than Library Awareness Month. After all, I’m aware of the library every time I go there. Which is often. But to spend an entire month focusing on it when something potentially life saving like condoms are only given a week’s worth of awareness seems ridiculous and greedy. But I digress.
That’s Fit has a fun learning activity for those of you wanting to spark healthier eating habits in your kids. They suggest coloring index cards with rainbow colors (sounds like gay pride month), taking them to your local market and challenging your kids to locate a vegetable or fruit that matches each color.
I propose going to the health website of your choice, downloading a nutrition fact sheet and using it as a guide to help you experiment with healthy foods you haven’t tried before. (It’s sort of like the kids’ activity, just minus the rainbow cards.) Read up on healthy fats versus unhealthy ones and take a month to lay off things that you know aren’t good for you. Eat more avocados, consume less (or zero) Aspartame. You might find that your body doesn’t need the junk as much as you think it does.
Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you think this sounds complicated or boring, you’re sorely mistaken. Believe it or not, there is so much fruit diversity on this planet of ours that you could eat a different one every day for the rest of your life and never try them all.
Granted, 31 days is probably not going to drastically change your health, but it might help you find healthier alternatives to what you’re already eating that you can incorporate into your diet all year long.
Also keep in mind these specially selected tips from the American Dietetic Association: before making any changes, get your facts from registered dieticians, your doctor, or reliable sites such as the ADA’s; drop the “all or nothing” mindset… one slip isn’t going to ruin your whole healthy eating plan; and be sure to read food labels to get nutrition facts.
If none of these suggestions appeal to you, you can always just go to the ADA website and order National Nutrition Month merchandise. It’s probably not going to help you eat better, but at least you’ll be able to pretend like you’re doing something. Which is slightly better than nothing.
But trust me on the fruits and vegetables.