As a health educator AND vegetablarian, I get excited about National Nutrition Month as a perfect time to spread the word about and celebrate vegetablarianism in the context of overall good nutrition habits. The theme for this year is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" so let's do just that this month.
How? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Consider the vegetables you enjoy the most and look for new recipes and preparations for them. Try something new until you find something you like and master it! Don't be afraid to add your own twist by combining new and old, adding some of your tried and true ingredients to a new recipe!
2) Try 1) above with a group of friends and do a new recipe tasting! Up the enjoyment quotient by adding a social aspect!
3) Do a vegetable audit on yourself. Remember, the "Eat Right" target is at least half your plate as fruits and vegetables. Focusing on vegetables each day, do a daily accounting of what proportion of your meals are vegetables and try to increase that proportion the next day. Another way to do this is to track the number of servings (approximate by using the palm of your hand - 1 hand =1 serving), and try to increase each day this month to at least 6-9 servings.
4) Enjoy! Take the time to enjoy your food. Pick your most vegetablarian meal each day and be sure you are a) seated, b) without distractions (e.g. television, technology), c) using all your senses, which includes taking the time to 1) enjoy the sight and smell of the food before eating, chewing fully and savoring the taste and texture with each bite.
5) Maximize the colors on your plate! Enjoy the taste of eating right by combining as many green and bright colored foods in your plate as possible! Dare yourself to have as many colors during this month as possible - green, purple, orange, red, Challenge your kids and put up a board to see how many you can eat this month!
If nothing else, use this month to think about how you can incorporate more healthful eating into your everyday life and lifestyle. Take this month to try a vegetablarian lifestyle with us! Stay tuned for more posts this month with ideas to take advantage of National Nutrition Month and "enjoying the taste of eating right!"
For more information and promotional and education materials, click on the link to the right for eatright.org.