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  • erinlopynski

March to the Beet of National Nutrition Month

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I look forward to celebrating National Nutrition Month in March. Read further to find out why it is the perfect month for all of us to celebrate nutrition and health.




It's no surprise to me that National Nutrition Month comes around in the month of March. Partially because it is the month we associate with green - and what would nutrition be without greens? (hehe) We look forward to wearing our favorite (or only) green outfit to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but to dig a little deeper, March is also a month for change and transition. All around us outside, buds begin to sprout into fresh green leaves. The weather and vegetation are just starting to transition, which if we let it, can cause a change in mindset.


As we watch nature transition, it may guide us to make changes in our nutritional choices as well. The spring is a season to come alive, regain energy and detox with the foods provided in the spring harvest. Our bodies start to crave new foods. Spring recipes begin to plaster on all of the magazines and cooking websites (see below for recommended articles). From melons, avocados and berries, to asparagus, broccoli and artichokes. From turnips, beets and green beans, to spinach, cabbage and arugula... Lots of tasty choices thrive in the spring season, popping up for us to take advantage of. And these options are just a short list of an endless amount of whole food possibilities that aren't always marketed well enough for us to gravitate towards as the seasons change.


Then there's the religious part of March (for those of you who are). Many of us are making "Lenten" promises. If done correctly, this can promote an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality of self-improvement. Those of us who are focused on improving health during Lent may make promises surrounding eating, exercise, stretching, hydration, stress-reducing, etc. Over the 40 day period of Lent, some give up certain foods that are either triggers for them to overeat or that take away from the emphasis of whole foods, others promise to exercise 4-5 times per week as opposed to their usual struggle to squeeze in 1-2 days, while others promise to limit alcohol or soda to drink closer to the recommended 6-10 cups of water per day. Whatever our goals are, this month can be a great excuse for a healthy reset. Especially if we missed the opportunity to turn over a new leaf in January.


Oftentimes these short-term goals, transition periods and new beginnings can lead to long-term success. If we set achievable, realistic goals, if we begin to feel better with making healthier choices, if we learn and begin to understand what type of eating patterns and exercise routines work well for our busy schedules and unique bodies, if we work hard, keep a bigger picture in the back of our minds, and seek guidance/motivation when needed from an expert/friend... Yes, I think March brings a lot of potential and is a great month to focus on nutrition. Let's celebrate National Nutrition Month together! What positive changes can you make in your life?

 

Looking for some nutrition and plant-based cooking inspiration during this fine, green month? Below are some articles from Eatright.org, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, which offers lots of resources for the general population and professionals alike. Tap in if the topic interests you, or if you want to look into something new!


--> Wild Greens

Reviewed by Jill Kohn, MS, RDN, LDN

Published January 9, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/dandelions-for-your-salad


--> The Beginners Guide to Cruciferous Vegetables

Reviewed by Holly Larson, MS, RD

Published February 21, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/the-beginners-guide-to-cruciferous-vegetables


--> Cooking Tips for One or Two

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN

Published August 7, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/cooking-tips-for-one-or-two


--> Build a Healthy Salad

Reviewed by Jill Kohn, MS, RDN, LDN

Published January 11, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/healthy-salads


--> Vegging Out

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN

Published June 13, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/vegetarian-and-special-diets/vegging-out-tips-on-switching-to-a-meatless-diet


--> Get to Know Your Spice Rack

By Sharon Salomon, MS, RD

Published January 25, 2019

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/get-to-know-your-spice-rack


--> Spinach-Almond Pesto Recipe

By Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND

Published March 29, 2014

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/spinach-almond-pesto-recipe


--> Be a Savvy Farmers Market Shopper

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN

Published June 13, 2018

https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/smart-shopping/be-a-savvy-farmers-market-shopper


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