Saturdays are an exciting day our house. My wife and I head out to run (separately) in the morning, each of us with a dog in step, and when we return sometime in the early afternoon, it’s time to EAT. And eat. And eat.
Saturday my wife cooked up a pot of homemade mac & cheese with a layer of spinach tucked inside. After being out in the cold all morning, this was the perfect meal to cozy up with… for her. Given that I do not eat animal products (cheese being one of them), she had the entire pan to herself. My silver platter was a brunch type skillet of potatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and some baked tofu.
A vegan husband and a carnivorous wife. Can this last?! Well, I’m pretty confident we can manage. But the point is we both try to eat healthfully while including the foods we love, which tend to be different between the two of us. Our canine children are much less picky.
March 1st was the kick-off to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics National Nutrition Month® and each year the Academy selects a different theme for the month. This year’s theme is “eat right, your way, and every day.” The goal is to encourage healthy eating while understanding that personal preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions, and health concerns all influence our food choices.
Often nutrition professionals neglect the fact that food is so much more than a substance ingested to sustain life. Food is love, food is celebration, food is culture, food is tradition, and food is different to everybody! Although “healthy eating” is defined by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (they’re not outdated, they just revise them every 5 years) and My Plate, these recommendations only provide direction on amounts and proportions of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and vitamins and minerals; the choice in foods to meet those recommendations is up to you!
Celebrate National Nutrition Month® by thinking about what food means to you. Check out the Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate to see how you can develop your way of eating right, every day. Don’t be discouraged by television personalities demanding you eat certain exotic superfoods or encouraging you to give up your favorite foods. “Eat right, your way, and every day;” What does eating right mean to me? What are my favorite foods? How can I enjoy these foods within the recommendations? Take some time to think about these questions and be sure to spread the word about National Nutrition Month®.
Written By: Ryan Leone, dietetic intern with Wood County Extension FCS Program, currently pursuing these advanced degrees- Master Food and Nutrition Program, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Master of Education in Human Movement, Sports, and Leisure Studies, Focus in Kinesiology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
Reviewed by Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences.