Nowadays there is a day dedicated to any food you can think of. Peanut Butter? March 1st. Crabmeat? March 9th. Oatmeal Nut Waffles? March 11th. And the list goes on. So it’s no wonder there is a whole month dedicated to nutrition.
Welcome to March, the official month of National Nutrition Month®.
I figured, since nutrition is kind of my specialty, I should participate in hopes of giving you some ideas to apply to your own life. While some might think that these national days are silly (and believe me I’m with you) they aren’t going anywhere so we might as well have some fun with them. Are you with me?
National Nutrition Month® 2018
Every year there is a theme for National Nutrition Month®. Last year the theme was “Put Your Best Fork Forward” which focused on encouraging people to make balanced diet & lifestyle choices one forkful at a time. This year the theme is “Go Further with Food.” Which aims to encourage people to be smarter with their food choices both in a sense of food waste and in general.
Are these themes cheesy? Yes. Do I care that they’re cheesy? No way! Would I like some cheese? Absolutely. I like that we have themes to make sense of a what our focus should be on, so cheesy or not, they do the trick.
This year’s theme has to do with reducing food waste, which is awesome. So many times many of us are guilty of forgetting about food in the fridge, only to find that by the time we’re ready to use it, it has gone bad, myself included. I never feel good about throwing away food, ever. So, I am going to challenge you to join me in reducing food waste one fork at a time this month, and every month.
How to Go Further with Food
In honor of this month’s theme, I want to help you reduce food waste and feed yourself a more nutritious diet. Afterall, we all want to live our most optimal life, right? Let’s see small ways we can pitch in.
- Shop from your fridge, freezer & pantry. Before you go shopping, try and use up what you have on hand OR plan to incorporate those items into your menu for the week. Also, instead of going out try and play your own version of “Chopped” and cook with what you have on hand. Sounds like a good date night idea to me!
- Meal Plan & Prep. That’s right, plan ahead and you will find you have less waste. Using services like Designed to Fit Nutrition can help make the most of your food and allow you to cook using what you have. Prepping can also save you from those late work nights where you are tempted to order takeout because you just can’t even.
- Use your freezer! Instead of stocking up on 2-for-1 ice creams only (read: you can still do that just don’t ONLY use your freezer for that), use your freezer space to save food before it goes bad. Leftovers don’t need to be thrown out if you eat them in time OR save them in the freezer. You can even buy a second freezer to ensure you have space for such events.
- Be careful what you buy in bulk. It can be easy to buy everything in bulk, especially if you have a membership to Costco or BJ’s. However, if you do not have the capacity to eat it all right away and/or you do not have enough freezer storage space, be cautious about what you buy in bulk. Best options?Non-perishable items like canned goods, dried foods (nuts, seeds, fruit), paper products, etc. Frozen foods are also a good option.
- Eat more nutrient dense (read: less processed) foods. What does this have to do with food waste? Only everything. If you get more bang for your bite (aka more vitamins, minerals & nutrients) you will reduce the need for more food. For instance, eating an avocado is much more nourishing (and filling) than a bag of chips. You will save on food & your health in the long run. Choose fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats & dairy products, organic pastured raised poultry, nuts, seeds, healthy fats like avocados, etc. Limit processed food intake, okay?!
Bonus Tip: at the beginning of every month, go through your pantry, cabinets & fridge and check on anything that might be expiring soon and plan to use it ASAP or freeze it. No longer have a need or want for it? Donate it (before expiration) to those who need it.
What’s On Your Plate This Month?
Are you celebrating National Nutrition Month® with me? Okay, I’ll take your silence as a YES! Let me know in the comments how you plan on going further with food this month. Better yet, tag me on Instagram (or is Vero taking over?!) and show me how you are reducing your food waste.