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Sunday, March 6, 2011

March is National Nutrition Month!

I was pretty excited to learn that the American Dietetic Association has made March National Nutrition Month! I have been interested in nutrition and health in general for sometime now, esp. in the last few years since I became a mom. My education is in music therapy, so I do have a big interest in health and wellness. Nutrition plays a strong role in that.

This year's theme is "Eat right with color". I love that! Most people, myself included, don't get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. I talked about some of this a few weeks ago when I posted about Heart Health.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. They can help to prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. And I have found that it really doesn't require too much effort to sneak them into food. Try keeping a few bags of your family's favorite frozen veggies on hand and add them to soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, etc. You can do this even if the recipe doesn't call for them. I really love to cook but I really do not like to follow recipes. I tend to put dinners together with what I have on hand, so this tip works well in my house. I like to cook with different spices too, instead of salt. Spices add a lot of flavor without the salt. Here are a few pictures of some dinners I created recently with various things we had in the house. They aren't fancy but they tasted great and gave us some good color and nutrients:
This was a simple stir fry that I put together with chicken breast, brown rice, and whatever veggies I had on hand which were red onions, bell pepper, spinach and mushrooms. I just added some garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, a little low sodium soy sauce and worcestershire sauce and ginger powder. It turned out pretty good!
Here's another for some fish tacos I made. I cubed the salmon (a great source of Omega 3 fatty acid) and cooked it in a little extra virgin olive oil with some cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and chili powder. Then I sauted some red onion and added tomato and fresh cilantro. (I don't always have fresh herbs in the house but I wanted it for another recipe so I bought it. They are pretty reasonable and add a ton of flavor to dishes and soups. )
Here is the end result of the above pic: salmon fish tacos! yum! I added some fresh spinach and brown rice, a little salsa and sour cream. They were pretty tasty and my 2 year old loved them!
Here is another where I sauted the veggies up and served them over baked salmon with whole wheat pasta. So good and lots of good color! :)

And one more with some asparagus with a vinegar base. My family loves asparagus. One of my favorite ways to cook it is to put it on a baking sheet with some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and add a little course salt or other seasoning. I put it in the oven at 350 for about 15 min. It's an easy side that I can throw in with other things that I am baking.

I am always careful to really clean my fruit and vegetables well before eating or cooking with them. I used to only use water but I have learned that water doesn't always do the trick in removing any chemicals or wax from the produce. So now I use my Basic H2. Just one or two squirts from the window mix bottle (16 oz water, 1-2 drops of Basic H2) and some water cleans them well.

Some other good ways to add fruits and vegetables into your meals:

-add cut up veggies to sandwiches or wraps. I love wraps, so I often do this with beans and veggies and/or left over rice. It's an easy and quick lunch for me and my toddler.

-add veggies to pizza. I love to make my own but if you are in a rush, you can also add veggies to store bought. We got a Papa Murphy's take and bake pizza the other day and I added some spinach and tomatoes to it. Here's a pic:
Another idea:

- add fruit to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. We made pancakes this morning and I added some mashed banana. Big hit in my house! I have also made them with blueberries. I have been eating a lot of oatmeal lately, and love to put a mashed banana or other fruit in that along with one of the natural sweeteners that I talked about here.

Supplement Your Diet

Since it is very difficult to get enough of the vitamins and minerals that we need for good health from our food, I love knowing that the quality supplements that I
take and my husband takes help to "fill in the gap" in our nutrition. I also add protein powder to my oatmeal or shakes in the morning, which help to give me extra nutrients and energy to get through my day. These have been a real lifesaver since I am a busy mom with a 2 year old and 7 mo. old to take care of. My children also take Shaklee supplements and I am so thankful for our family's good health because of them! We are really rarely sick and my kids have never had ear infections. I will write more about children's health next week and share my kid's stories there.

Healthy Weight with FREE Shaklee Cinch!

One last thing to keep in mind when talking about good nutrition is maintaining a healthy weight. They really do go hand in hand. Shaklee has an awesome promotion running right now through the end of March where you can get a Cinch Sampler Pack for FREE!! Shaklee's Cinch Inch Loss Products are a natural and healthy way to lose the inches of fat while keeping the muscle. It's great for people who only have a few pounds to lose or others who have a few more to lose:)

This was a fun post for me to write since I love learning and sharing about nutrition. I hope you took some things from it to use for your own family! Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment with any nutrition tips that you have found work well for you and your family!

Have a healthy and colorful week! :)


I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

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