Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day
By Andrea Stewart, RD
March is an exciting month: we welcome spring and the glorious ways that warmer weather helps us to feel better, get outside, and become more active. March is also the month for celebrating the role of nutrition in our life; at least according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It's the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month!
This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day. What exactly does that mean for you calorie counters and how does it apply to you? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages “personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.”
Steps to the "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" Approach
- Making healthy choices most of the time
- Understanding that nutrition is not one size fits all
- Taking into consideration personal food preferences and choices when meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking to maximize enjoyment and contentment
- Staying true to your cultural beliefs and traditions when it comes to meals
- Understanding that another person’s road to success may not be the right road for you
- Knowing that you are unique and that you should celebrate who you are and what works best for your life, budget and schedule
- Remind yourself that success is slow and involves consistency and commitment
It’s not always easy to achieve these steps or apply healthy eating to your life, but there is help available. Today, March 13th is Registered Dietitian Day to recognize the RD as a food and nutrition expert and their value in improving the health of individuals and communities. If you’ve been considering seeking out nutrition help, here are some things to consider:
What is a Registered Dietitian?
Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist without any formal background or training. The road to becoming a registered dietitian consists of several academic and professional achievements including a Bachelors of Science Degree in Dietetics, a year-long internship, and passing a national exam. Once the credentials are obtained, RDs must receive ongoing continuing education and re-certification every five years. Additionally, many dietitians have advanced degrees as well as specialty certifications in personal training, diabetes education, weight loss management, pediatrics or culinary arts for example.
What a Registered Dietitian Can Do For You
- Assist with weight gain or loss and help you to set goals in an effective and safe way without abandoning major food groups or nutrients
- Help to manage food allergies or intolerances and still ensure you are getting the nutrition you need while avoiding the foods that are not tolerated
- Help to manage disease such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure and teach you how certain foods affect and improve these issues
- Encourage healthier ways to feed your family or children through healthy, inexpensive meal planning
- Teach you to read food labels and how to make supermarket shopping work for your health and your budget
- Help you to maximize your workout by planning meals and certain foods around them
- Assist in eating disorder treatment by helping patients to understand the role of food in their life and body
- Help to define nutritional needs required for pregnancy and lactation
- Provide clarity if you are confused about the safety of certain foods or confused about what you should be eating overall
- Help you to receive nutrition through alternative methods when traditional eating may not be tolerated
These are just some of the ways a registered dietitian can work with you to improve your health, clear the confusion, and personalize your goals so you can Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day. Try out our Premium Services to receive coaching by a dietitian at a lower fee than you would pay in-person.
We want to hear from you…
How do you follow the Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day approach?
Andrea Stewart, RD is a registered dietitian who is passionate about helping others filter through the endless nutrition information available so they can be their healthiest. Andrea places a huge emphasis on eating a colorful, whole foods diet as a primary method for disease prevention and wellness. For more information go to Andrea’s website, follow her on Facebook, or Twitter.