I bet you’re thinking I’m talking about spring, right? Hah! While that most glorious season begins on March 20 and I wait breathlessly for the first buds to sprout, it’s also National Nutrition Month.
Yup. It’s time to celebrate nutrition with thirty-one days encouraging everyone to (according to nationalnutritionmonth.org), “adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.”
A noble purpose.
And with articles like “20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables” the organization is certainly on the right track in helping to educate us about the impact of food on health and wellness.
As we move through the month of March, we at Christina Cooks will be bringing you the best nutrition information we know, peppered with some seriously reliable ancient wisdom, used by people before we needed articles like “20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables.”
My hope is to challenge you; inspire you and educate you so that each choice you make is rooted in information, not myth or urban legend…nor will the information be tainted by the interests of some lobby group whose sole purpose is to entice you to eat more of whatever it is they’re selling.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in December (as they are every five years). Each new version places more of a focus on healthy eating as it is becoming increasingly clear that we are losing our collective health. This year was on track to quite different as plant-based eating was strongly encouraged; attention was paid to the impact of our food choices on the planet; the reduced consumption of sugar was a focus as was the reduction in the amount of animal foods consumed. Note the use of the word: “was.” Gigantic pushback by special interests caused the government to step back from strong recommendations for watered down versions of them.
However, it’s not special interest groups alone who will determine the success or failure of these important new guidelines. It’s us. It’s always us. If we don’t pay attention to any of this advice, then the guidelines will mean nothing. If we, as consumers don’t embrace a healthy approach to food and demand better, then restaurants, food companies, manufacturers and retailers will keep on doing what they always have done, with little regard for healthier options.
Surveys reveal that more than 60% of us don’t pay the least attention to the guidelines and 40% of don’t really care about what is being done to our food…at all. That’s depressing to me, but I have hope. There’s always hope.
It’s up to us to make a difference in how we eat and the impact we have as a species on this planet. While my head is filled with ideas, tricks, tips and recipes for making better, more informed choices…and you know I love to share what I know, I want to hear from you. Let’s continue our discussions about all things healthy and natural and see where it takes us.
Finally, it’s as though the stars aligned just for us. Not only do we celebrate the beginning of spring on March 20, but it’s also The Great American Meatout. Plan now to share your best and favorite meatless dishes for us all to salivate over. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!
So get ready, kids. Let’s march through March and work together to make this our healthiest…and most delicious spring yet!