Between fad diets and your craving for sweets, eating healthy can be a challenge. This month dietitians across the nation are pushing you to make positive food choices.
March marks National Nutrition Month.
"I always tell people to be realistic," Ashlyn Myers said. "It doesn't have to be drastic changes."
Myers, a registered dietitian, creates healthy daily diet plans for clients. Now she wants to share some tips to help you eat right.
First: Take baby steps.
"Make little lifestyle changes, look at your overall diet and say 'you know what I really need to make a positive change here,'" Myers said. "For instance if you drink whole milk everyday you can switch to 2 percent or switch to skim or 1 percent. Do we have a vegetable at dinner or is that something we can include in or are we having two servings of fruit a day? It doesn't have to be huge things, little things can go a long way, too."
If you don't think these little changes can make a big impact, then think again.
"Over time if your drastically go from whole milk to 2 percent or skim or 1 percent, you know calorically that's a big adjustment," Myers said. "You might see weight loss."
Second: Practice portion control.
"We expect big, big is better," Myers said. "The more realistic we can be when we look at our plate and the more in control of our portions we can be, the better off we're going to be."
Myers said your plate should be one quarter protein. It should be the size of your palm and as thick as a deck of cards. The rest of your plate should be one quarter grains and the other half filled with a non starchy vegetable. Fruit and low fat dairy can also be present but in small amounts.
If you do make these changes but don't see any results, don't get frustrated.
"If you're trying to make weight loss one of your goals don't think that you're going to see that over night," Myers said. "Positive changes takes time. The more things your incorporate as habit the better off you're going to be."
Myers said healthy weight loss averages to one to two pounds a week.
Click here to watch Myers and Kristen cook a healthy breakfast. The recipe is listed below.
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
Minutes to Prepare: 10
Minutes to Cook: 30
Number of Servings: 6
1 Cup of quinoa (washed)2 cups unsweetened apple juice2 cups light vanilla soy milk2 tbsp ground cinnamon 1.5 cups (one package) of crasins (or any dried fruit/fresh fruit)2 tsp vanilla extract
Makes 6 1- cup servings
1. Rinse quinoa2. Bring Quinoa and apple juice to a boil in a 12-quart pan3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the apple juice is absorbed.4. Add soymilk , cinnamon and crasins. Simmer, covered for another 15 mins, stirring occasionally5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Serve this hot or cold.
Nutrition Analysis for 1 cup serving: 229 Calories, 3 g Total Fat, 35 mg Sodium, 35 g Carbohydrates, 3.3 g Fiber, 6 g Protein