- Beth Chiodo RD, LDN, CWC
March is National Nutrition Month: Put Your Best Fork Forward!
March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme, “Put your best fork forward,” is a reminder that each and every one of us holds the tools needed to make healthy food choices. I immediately thought of the documentary, Forks Over Knives, a film, which calls upon us to adopt a plant-based diet and eat fewer animal-based and processed foods. This means that you are eating less meat and more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats, like nuts and avocados. Maybe you’re planning to avoid meat on Fridays during Lent or planning on giving up meat altogether. Maybe you never even gave it a second thought.
Numerous studies overwhelmingly and consistently show that people who follow a plant-based diet have lower percentages of body fat, tend to lose more weight overall, have more energy, get sick less often, have a decreased risk of heart disease and certain cancers, lower their cholesterol and blood pressure and may even live longer!
The reason for this is that plant-based diets tend to have very little, if any, saturated fat and cholesterol. They are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and tons of other important vitamins and nutrients. It seems crazy not to move in this direction! But how do you start?
You don’t have to cut out meat altogether to reap these benefits. You can start by cutting meat out of one meal at a time, think Meatless Mondays, for example. Here are some tips to get you started:
Replace the meat in tacos with black or refried beans to add protein.
Try vegetarian chili with whole grain bread
Consider pasta primavera or pasta with marinara or pesto sauce
Try Veggie pizza – make your own pizza night!
Make vegetable instead of meat lasagna
Try a Tofu-vegetable stir fry
Grill some Vegetable kabobs and serve with a high-protein grain like quinoa
Consider a grilled Portobello mushroom burger instead of a meat-based burger
Try a tofu scramble for breakfast!
Need more ideas? Check out www.vegetariantimes.com. If you are wondering how you can incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet or you have any other nutrition questions, email me at: email@example.com or call me at (484) 951-3916 to schedule your complementary nutrition consultation. I accept most major insurances and many cover nutrition counseling at 100%!