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March is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month. This year, their theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The association is educating and encouraging people to look at food in a different way. One of their recommendations is cutting out unnecessary sodium, fat, and sugar and taking the time to eat well-planned and creative meals. They also advise using herbs and spices to bring a healthy flavor and new life into your favorite recipes. If you are looking for creative dieting flavor inspiration, read our ideas here.

Part of the Academy’s 2016 campaign also encourages people to be more cognizant of their relationship with food. According to President and registered dietitian nutritionist Dr. Evelyn F. Crayton, “This year’s ‘Savor the Flavor of Eating Right’ National Nutrition Month theme is a great reminder for everyone to develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods, while also taking the time to enjoy everything that a healthful and tasty meal brings with it.”

To celebrate National Nutrition Month, we have some ideas to incorporate into your dieting plan that will help you look at your relationship with food in a more positive and healthy light.

Be Present: Mindful eating is one of the cornerstones of having a healthy relationship with food. Without it, your chances of successful dieting are drastically decreased. What exactly is mindful eating? It is being present about not only what you eat but also the environment around your food. Be aware of these questions when it comes to food: what, where, when, and why. Keeping a food journal is an excellent way of keeping track of your habits – good and bad. For example, you may not be aware that you tend to eat chocolate (what) at work (where) between 2-4p.m. (when) because you are feeling depleted (why). With this information on paper, it is easy to identify that you need to have healthy snacks on hand to avoid bad food choices.

Cut Out Technology: According to the A.C. Nielson Company, 66% of Americans eat their dinner in front of a television set, which makes being present and mindful more challenging. Value your food and body by giving it the respect it deserves. Sit down at a table to focus on your meal. Your meal should be the center of attention, not checking your email or watching a reality television show.

Relish Everything about Your Food: Eating is all about the senses. Make the effort to enjoy the aroma, appreciate the texture, and taste your food. Give yourself time to eat each meal instead of rushing through the meal in order to do something else. Take small bites and eat slowly. Doing these things will not only make your meal more pleasant, but it will also help you eat less by giving your stomach more time to let your brain know that you are satiated.

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