National Nutrition Month: Top Foods You're Not Eating

It’s March and that means not only is it my Birthday Month, but it’s also National Nutrition Month! For dietitians like me, this is exciting stuff. We wait all year to have our own month, and even a National Dietitian Day on March 9th! This is our superbowl. Kidding. Sort of.

This year’s theme is Eat Right with Color. Not only does that keep your plate from looking like a bland blob ‘o beige, but the more color you eat from fruits, veggies and whole grains, the more nutrients and antioxidants you get in your diet! Colored candy and neon orange chips do not count, by the way. I’m even running a contest at the Boston Conservatory, where I work, challenging students to snap photos of their most colorful plates (and win sweet prizes)!

My Eat a Rainbow bulletin board

But one thing I want to focus on, not just for National Nutrition Month, is the fact that for most people I don’t believe the issue is that we’re eating too much bad food, it’s that we’re not eating enough good food! If you jam-pack your diet with things like bright green kiwis, wild black rice, golden chickpeas, deep ruby pomegranate arils, and yellow bell peppers, there isn’t room left for much junk. So it’s key to focus on adding more good, instead of feeling all Food Police and subtracting the “bad.” Speaking of, I hate labeling foods good or bad so let me try that again:

Focus on including more nutritious foods in your diet instead of getting too caught up in removing those less than healthy foods.

Today I’m giving a talk on The Top Foods you’re Not Eating…Or Are You? How many of the following foods are regulars in your diet?

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Pomegranates
  • Dried plums
  • Blueberries
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Seaweed
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Bulgur
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Edamame
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Scallops/shrimp
  • Sardines

In the last 24 hours I’ve already had eight of these foods and it’s not even 2pm as I write this! In honor of National Nutrition Month, challenge yourself to get as many of these into your diet as possible. There are 24 listed which means you’ll want to include at least one of these foods every day for the rest of March…and beyond! Are there any other super foods you’d include in this list?

Happy National Nutrition Month, which really shouldn’t be limited to a month, but rather a lifetime. And Happy Registered Dietitian Day to all the fabulous dietitians I’ve come to know and love over the years who are making a difference in the health and wellness of others. You inspire me!

7 Comments

  1. Amy
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I love that you call March your “Birthday Month.” I have been calling March my “Birthday Month” since I was a little girl and my family celebrates the whole month, as my birthday is not until the 29th! So Happy Birthday to you…. 🙂

  2. Janel
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Month to YOU too! I celebrate until the 31st, which is my sister’s birthday. And conveniently it gives me 30 days to celebrate my own 😉

  3. Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Your focus on adding nutritious foods, rather than obsessing about nixing less healthy options, is one of the best takes on the NNM theme I’ve seen.

    Lots of regulars for me on your list: beets, cabbage, chard, blueberries, chia seeds, quinoa, scallops, shrimp, lentils. Several I’d like to eat even more often: seaweed, kale, kiwi, prunes/dried plums. I’m naive to two of them – coconut oil & sardines – but I’d certainly like to try both.

    One I’d add (maybe old hat, though) are flax seeds. I imagine chia seeds hit many of the same nutrition notes, but flax seeds might be more accessible for folks.

  4. Janel
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU Kat! That was so kind of you to say. I agree with you on flax – one of the reasons I love chia is because it doesn’t need to be ground or refrigerated! It’s expensive, but I’ve had my $8 bag for almost a year and sprinkle it in smoothies here and there. Also, I’m a sardine newbie but LOVE them now. Try this recipe and you’ll be converted! http://eatwellwithjanelblog.com/whole-living-spaghetti-with-sardines-cauliflower-and-kale/ And I’m also new to coconut oil – received a sample jar and have been adding it to smooties, which makes them taste totally tropical.

  5. Posted March 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Argh! Meant to say happy bday in my original comment. Well, this way, it doesn’t get watered down with all that food nonsense 😉

  6. Posted March 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I just found your website through Chobani’s RD list!!! I made a ‘SuperFoods: Taste the Rainbow’ banner for work too!! Ha ha!! Love the site!!!

    http://redheadrecipes.com/?p=11291

  7. Janel
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I had no idea there even was a chobani RD list! Congrats on your first 10k – that’s awesome!

4 Trackbacks

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