Take the 100 meal Journey to Jump start positive changes to your diet

Join the Dietitians of Canada on a 100 Meal Journey

March is Nutrition Month! Each month, you eat about 100 meals. The Dietitians of Canada will be taking a 100 Meal Journey to help Canadians make small, positive changes to their diets! Start by taking the pledge to join the 100 Meal Journey at www.NutritionMonth2016.ca. By joining, you’ll receive tips and strategies throughout the month on how to make your 100 Meal Journey a success.

Week One begins with picking a goal, and making the commitment to work toward it, one meal at a time. Your goal should be something simple but meaningful. The idea is to pick something that will allow you to make a long-lasting positive change! Some great examples include introducing an extra serving of fruits or vegetables to every meal, trading water for soda and sugary juices, or picking whole grain options instead of white bread products.

The next step emphasizes the importance of making food choices that boost the quality of your diet. In Week Two, you’ll find out how simple additions can make big differences in your diet. Easy choices, like adding frozen blueberries and flax seeds to a yogurt snack, or selecting natural peanut butter and unsweetened jam for your sandwich, will help you feel your best.

Week Three is all about realizing how much we eat is just as important as what we eat. We live in a society of “Portion Distortion” and it’s often a real challenge to know what an appropriate portion looks like. The Dietitians of Canada have some great tips to help you become more mindful about how much you are eating. One serving of fresh fruit or vegetables will be about the size of your closed fist, while one serving of cheese should be the size of 2 thumbs together. You can help yourself stick to your portion goals by using smaller sized dishes for meals at home.

In Week Four, the goal is to get creative. We are creatures of habit, and sometimes our eating patterns can become established and boring. This can encourage unhealthy eating, when really; you just need to refresh your taste buds. Try experimenting with new spices. A few red pepper flakes and grainy mustard make a flavorful addition to freshly sautéed greens. Apples can be chopped, seasoned with cinnamon, baked, and then added to oatmeal to liven up the old favorite. There’s lots of inspiration and great new recipes ideas to be found on the Dietitians of Canada’s website.

The last week of the 100 Meal Journey focuses on staying on track when challenges arise. Have the time to prepare healthy meals is often a big issue for busy families. Doing a big batch of freezable favorites, like chili or casseroles, are great ways to prevent resorting to take-out in a time crunch. You can also keep working towards your goals by ensuring that your kitchen is stocked with grab-and-go snacks like fresh fruits and veggies, unsalted nuts, unsweetened yogurts, and whole-grain crackers. If you find yourself with a few spare moments, chopping up a mix of carrots, celery, cucumber, and broccoli and portioning them into single serving containers makes it easy to grab a great snack on your way out the door.

Planning an optimal diet is a challenging thing to do alone. The Dietitians at the Health and Performance Centre are always here to help you learn how to make the best food choices, and plan healthy meals for yourself and your family. Click here to find out more about the services the HPC has offer, and to learn how to set up a meeting with a Dietitian.