Veteran Connection: March is National Nutrition Month — One size does not fit all

No two people are exactly alike. We are all different and that is what make us unique. Each person is made of their own DNA that sets them apart. 

Nutrition is the same. Each person has their personal nutritional needs and preferences. Traditions and culture also play a vital role in our nutritional choices and eating habits. 

National Nutrition Month was created to highlight the importance of Nutrition, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. This year our theme is “Personalize Your Plate.”

Personalizing your nutrition to meet your nutritional needs without compromising tradition and culture can lead to habits that promote a healthy lifestyle.

How can someone personalize their plate? Here are four ways:

• Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day.

• Plan your meals each week.

• Learn skills to create tasty meals.

• Consult a registered dietitian nutritionist.

There are many ways to eat a variety of healthy foods. One simple way is to choose fruits and vegetables that vary in color. The MyPlate method is a simple guide to find a healthy eating routine.

Everyone is busy. Our schedules are packed with activities and places to go. It can feel overwhelming and stressful to attempt to eat healthy when you have to be somewhere three to four times a week. Plan what you are going to eat. Include eating out in your plan on the days you must go somewhere. Planning sets you up to achieve your goals. Without planning, it is easy to just drive through a place and grab anything.

You are never too old to try new things. Experimenting and trying new foods is an opportunity to expand your cuisine repertoire and incorporate new healthy habits. Choose recipes from another country or join a cooking class! Those are just a few ideas you could try. The VA has a Healthy Teaching Kitchen Class to help veterans learn cooking techniques that will help them achieve their healthy goals.

A registered dietitian nutritionist is the expert on diet and nutrition. We are here to support you while you make changes to a healthier lifestyle. We can help you personalize your plate, provide resources and walk beside you on your journey to a better you.

Contact your primary care provider or outpatient dietitian to make an appointment today.

A healthy lifestyle can be fun, healthy and taste great. Tailor your plan to fit you and you will find the road to a healthy lifestyle is easy and achievable. 

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