As winter is winding down, it’s time to take charge of our health by jumping into spring with enthusiasm for a happier and healthier lifestyle! March is National Nutrition Month, and we recognize the significance of eating nourishing meals and practicing physical fitness on a regular basis. Our health contributes to our overall well-being; staying active and fueling our bodies with natural, heart-healthy foods can promote a health body weight and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.
Implementing healthier lifestyle habits can take time and seem overwhelming at first, but with practice and simple tips these healthy habits can become routine. Meal prepping, grab-and-go snacks, staying hydrated, grocery shopping wisely and choosing healthier options while out at restaurants are a few ways to promote better nutrition on a day-to-day basis. Here is a breakdown of how you can use these tips to make this spring the happiest and healthiest yet:
- Meal Prep: Whether you prep all your meals for the week on Sundays or prep the night before for the next day, meal-prepping takes last-minute stress and temptation out of the equation. Investing a few hours once per week to prep lunches, dinners, etc. makes choosing better nutrition a no-brainer – you have already invested the time in cooking and storing, now all you need to do is grab and go!
- Purchase Grab-and-Go Snacks: Purchase healthy snacks like fruit, vegetables and nuts that can be easily packed and stored. Keep a few of these on hand for when you want a snack, but don’t have time to run to the store. Mindless snacking or frantically searching for a quick snack when none are easily available are ways to let hunger take over, rather taking control of your snacking and choosing healthier options.
- Stay Hydrated: Water is an extremely important factor in maintaining proper health. A simple way to ensure adequate water intake is to drink 12-16 oz of water before eating and cutting back on carbonated drinks and alcohol. If plain water doesn’t excite you, add some low-calorie flavor to your water for an energizing boost!
- Grocery Shop Wisely: A simple and effective way to avoid tempting and unhealthy foods is to not buy them; conscious grocery shopping can lead to easier, more nutritious choices in your daily life. Make sure you have a variety of produce, protein, heart-healthy grains and dairy to meal prep with and snack on and leave those unhealthy options out of sight, out of mind!
- Choose Healthy Options at Restaurants: Avoid high-carb and fried foods at restaurants, including that delicious side of fries. Instead, opt for protein-rich entrees with a side of fruit or greens, order grilled instead of fried, and choose restaurants you know have health-conscious options. Another nutritious choice that could potentially save you money and stress is cooking your own delicious meal at home, free from the temptations of the restaurant setting!
The chefs at Premier Kitchen, Inc. maintain a healthy and hearty menu for Sojourn each week, consisting of a variety of proteins, fruits and vegetables, dairy and grains. The menu is determined far in advance, so Sojourners are served fresh, health-conscious meals without last-minute unhealthy substitutions. This nutrition model is carried out to all Sojourners at the Adult Day Center, in Sojourn Suites and Sojourn at Home to fulfill our balanced care model.
It is also important to remember to incorporate daily fitness into your routine to promote better overall health. Staying active combined with good nutrition can have amazing effects – even just 15-30 minutes of increased daily heart rate can lead to better fitness and promote more health-conscious decision making. Sojourners are active every day – whether it be at the local Anytime Fitness, playing pickle ball or bowling. We value the importance of incorporating fun into physical fitness, and our group fitness model motivates and inspires Sojourners to be the best they can be.
The spring season brings new opportunities to get outside more and enjoy sunshine and warmer temperatures. Take advantage of this change of season – make health-conscious decisions a habit and stay active to enjoy a happier, healthier spring!