March is National Nutrition Month (NNM). Developed in 1980 by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics – the worlds largest organization of nutrition professionals – the goal of NNM is to remind us that good eating habits are essential to healthy living and that dietitians like me are here to ensure you know how to incorporate those good habits into your lifestyle.
Well placed, just three months into the year, this month to highlight nutrition advice and guidance is a perfect time to reflect on the role that nutrition is playing in your life and how you are progressing toward the wellness goals you set for 2019. Recently, a colleague and I developed a slide show of 10 Healthy Eating Tips for NNM. Here is a snapshot of what we discussed. For the full version, please visit www.guidingstars.com/blog/ online.
Embrace Plant-Based Protein
Plant based proteins such as grains, lentils, nuts, beans, legumes, soy, hemp, rice, and peas, are rich in a variety of micronutrients, as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants. Unlike animal protein, vegetable-based proteins won’t increase the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet and are a sustainable choice, too, which we can all feel good about!
Go for Grains
Rich in micronutrients, protein, and fiber, grains are ideal for every meal of the day, including snacks and desserts. While it may take some time to cook grains, they are easy to make ahead and freeze. There are also many products available in today’s market to make it easy to enjoy grains in minutes.
Save on Salt with Herbs
Skimping on salt is a good way to help control sodium intake, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Nutritious, fresh herbs provide a flavor boost that can really make lower-sodium dishes shine. Use herbs in a variety of dishes, including homemade dips, sauces and condiments, which are notoriously high in sodium yet are easily made at home with less salt.
Choose Snacks that Count
Plan your snacks the same why you plan your meals and you are far more likely to meet your daily nutrition goals, stay ahead of hunger, and have a nutritionally balanced day. Avoid snacks that are high in added sugar as well as those that are low in protein, fiber, or heart-healthy fat. Seek options that satisfy and bridge you from meal to meal.
As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours, or call (845) 855-0553 for more information. You can also follow me on Twitter (@AllisonStowell) or Instagram (@allisonjstowell).
Mediterranean Fish Chowder with Potatoes & Kale (3 Guiding Stars)
This seasonal soup is perfect for a month that bridges winter and spring. For more seasonal recipes and information on the Guiding Stars guidance program, please visit Guidingstars.com online.
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lrg. onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 med. carrot, chopped
Salt to taste
2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 T. tomato paste
1 qt. water
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale, stemmed and washed
1 1/2 lbs. firm, white-fleshed fish, like halibut, tilapia or cod, cut in 2- or 3-inch pieces
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
2. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir in the garlic, anchovies and parsley. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is very fragrant, another minute or two, and add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit and the mixture smells aromatic, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Add the water and potatoes. Salt to taste and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
4. Add the fish and kale. The soup should not be boiling vigorously. Simmer 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets), or just until the fish flakes easily when poked and kale is nicely wilted. Serve hot.