Put Your Best Fork Forward: National Nutrition Month 2017

National Nutrition Month has finally arrived, and your campus dietitian is excited about it! 🙂 We have some really great events going on this month to help celebrate. The 2017 theme is “Put your best fork forward.” Our events center around mindful eating, plant power, reducing food waste, and getting more whole grains.

Mindful Eating

We are busy people. Period. Because we are so busy, pausing to sit while eating is difficult. (Not gonna lie, I’m the worst about this when working). Is our hurried way of eating affecting our health? Mindful eating seeks to reverse these bad habits and improve our relationship with food. Eating is one of the few activities that allows you to engage ALL of your senses. Focus on your food through sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste. Seems like a lot to focus on, right? For starters, if you are eating while reading this post, you probably aren’t eating mindfully. Mindful eating can start with something as easy as sitting down at a table during meals, and put the distractions away. Focus on your food and how it makes you feel.

Love Food Not Waste

40% of food in the U.S. is wasted and goes unused. That statistic rattles me every time I hear or read it. Make sure you are doing your part to reduce this number. Plan ahead. Taking 30 minutes to meal plan can help you reduce a significant amount of food waste, and keep those dollars in your wallet. A good meal plan and grocery list are easy ways to make this happen. Choose wisely. Do you really need that entire flat of strawberries? Don’t buy in bulk because it’s cheaper if you don’t use it all. Also, embrace imperfection and give ugly produce a chance! Fresh, quality produce comes in all shapes and sizes! Use it, don’t lose it! Pay attention to use by dates on your food. Most foods can be frozen safely for use later.

Plant Power

We are focused on getting more plant-based foods during the month of March. No, this doesn’t necessarily mean going vegetarian or vegan. Plant foods can and should be a big part of all of our diets, with or without meat. The balance of health promoting nutrients with moderate calories and less of the stuff we should be limiting make plant based foods an easy fit for most people. Plant-based foods are trendy, but more importantly, plants pack tons of health benefits if consumed regularly. Looking beyond personal health, to the health of our planet, plant based foods tend to more sustainable and less taxing on the environment.

March Calendar of Events

Be sure to check out these National Nutrition Month events during the month of March! Follow @UA_Food on Instagram and Twitter for details for each event.

  • March 7th – Plant Power: A Healthy Cooking Demo!
    • When: 5:30-6:30pm
    • Where: Wellness Center on Garland
    • No RSVP required. The event is free.
  • March 14th – Chef Night
    • Many dishes will be plant-based
  • March 29th – Whole Grain Sampling Day
    • Sample whole grains at 3 different locations on campus and participate in our scavenger hunt.
  • Photo Contest
    • Post your favorite plant-forward food to your Twitter or Instagram account. Tag @UA_Food, and include #mybestforkcontest and #foodpigsooie in your caption. Chartwells is giving away $25 gifts cards to selected winners weekly during the month of March.