by Doris Donch
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center registered dietician
Looking for something to celebrate this month? It’s National Furniture Refinishing Month and National Noodle Month and National Frozen Food Month and Foot Health Month and Women’s History Month.
This month is also National Nutrition Month, which concerns something we all do everyday — eat.
Every year in March, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics kicks off a campaign to teach (or gently remind) people how important it is to treat your body well by eating right and being active.
Last year, I heard a speech given by the Army surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. She brought up an interesting point: How much time do you spend with your doctor? If you go to the doctor five times a year, you might spend a total of 100 minutes. That’s only a small part of your life. What’s going on the rest of the time — the other 525,500 minutes? That’s when you’re in charge of your body. The take-away message is: Take control of your health.
The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Eat right, your way, every day.” What does that look like? It looks like somebody who is taking control, every day, one meal at a time. It can be you. Strengthening yourself so that you can be healthy and feel good so you can face the day and perform in whatever job you do with energy and vitality. It represents eating right by making the right choices about what you put on your plate. It also represents exercising, which helps strengthen you both physically and mentally.
Everybody has had some exposure to nutrition information. Many of us had an introduction to nutrition information and eating healthy in elementary school.
Remember the food pyramid? You’d have to live in a vacuum not to have some idea that we’re supposed to eat more fiber, fruits and veggies and less fat. But what’s available to us is increasingly lower in what’s good for us and higher in the “bad” stuff. OK, what’s the bad stuff? I’ll bet you already know. You can also go online to any one of these websites listed below and find all kinds of information about nutrition and tips to help you eat healthier.
But there is nothing as powerful as awareness in the first step to change. A good way to increase your awareness this month is to write down everything you eat and drink. Try it for one week and see how much you will discover about your eating habits.
Contact your local Landstuhl Regional Medical Center dietitians for additional help at 06371-86-7144 and check out daily nutrition tips this month on the LRMC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/LRMCofficialpage.