Nutrition Month: Take a 100 meal journey, one meal at a time

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Tomorrow marks the first day of Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is aimed at making small changes in your food routines over time that would ultimately yield healthier eating habits.  After all, habits are what you do on auto-pilot. You don’t have to spend hours on end to make habits happen.

That’s what enlightened eating is all about. It’s not about turning your food style upside down overnight, making you pitch everything in your kitchen or having you give up your favourite eats.  Changing everything overnight, for most people, would require devoting all of your time to the endeavour.  If you have a full-time chef  or have no other responsibilities in life such as a job or family, you could possibly accomplish this.  But truth be told, this kind of wholesale change simply adds stress to your life and will send you back to all the habits you want to get rid of.

But to change habits, you need to be aware of what the bad ones are before you can get rid of them.  To help discover how you really eat, keep food records of what you consume for a week- the food, time, amount of what you’re eating and where you’re eating.  But do this AFTER you have already eaten. By waiting until afterwards, you may eat more naturally, without contemplation and you’ll have a better chance to discover the habits you would like to modify.

Then you need to be critical but not judgmental.  Being critical helps you realize what you want to change while being judgmental simply discourages you from moving forward.

Once you have pinpointed one or two areas to work on, then keep your food records again but do so BEFORE eating so that you will have a chance to think about your choices.

The 100 meal journey is about making one small change at each of your meals through the month of March.  So before your next meal, zero in on one item you can modify:  maybe go for a whole grain instead of a refined one, add some vegetables or a serving of fruit to your lunch or if you’re eating out, don’t  buy into the bargain of larger portions for pennies more.  Consider putting the focus on what to include, not just what you want to cut out.

Just one modification, one meal at a time.

Over the next month, I’ll provide a variety of tips on small changes that can help you on the road to becoming an enlightened eater.

In the meantime, make a commitment to take a 100 meal journey, one meal at a time.  Take the pledge here and get tips and strategies via email to help you achieve your goals.

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Next up: Getting better acquainted with your kitchen and conducting a pantry raid.

 

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Categories: Nutrition News

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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