Whether you’re grilling out at a family reunion, hosting a graduation party or bringing a dish to your block party, there are plenty of ways to make sure your favorite summer dishes make you feel just as awesome as they taste. Here are a few of my favorite healthy summer foods to incorporate into your next cookout.
Just a quick reminder that you have a little less than a week to celebrate March 2014 as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month®.
I know, I know. I’m a little late to the healthy party, but as my doctor would say, better late than never.
Here’s some info from the National Nutrition Month website:
“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the theme for National Nutrition Month® 2014. Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most. This year’s key messages for NNM focus on how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines recommendations.
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
National Nutrition Month dates back to 1973, when it was a week-long event. In 1980, the event became the entire month of March, due to increasing popularity and interest.
When I heard about National Nutrition Month, I went to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website to learn more. The website has some great info on health and nutrition, including health-related games and the Good Nutrition Reading List, a list of publications covering a large range of topics related to health, nutrition and fitness.
The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” I can get behind that theme. I think there has been a long-standing misconception that if it tastes good, it’s not that good for you. You want healthy? Eat grass and sticks. So not true.
In fact here are some ways that you can have great-tasting food that’s also great for you:
- Use high-quality ingredients. The old adage “garbage in, garbage out” could not be truer.
- Properly store and handle your food. Improper storage can destroy flavor and nutrition.
- Don’t overcook. Take that roast out of the oven, no?
- Use high-heat searing for optimum flavor of meat, poultry and fish. Pan searing, grilling and broiling work best for this. I once had a professional chef – the chef of an ambassador from a foreign country – cook dinner, and he pan seared our steaks (the best steaks I’ve had in my life).
- Onions are not only good for you, but they bring out flavor. Caramelized onions bring out natural sweetness in flavor.
- Use horseradish, wasabi, chutney, mustard and other condiments with a kick to bring out flavor with a bang. Just be careful with wasabi. It can send you through the roof.
With all of this said, yesterday, I decided to celebrate National Nutrition Month by eating the following:
- Breakfast – A banana, a can of V8 Fusion (100% vegetable and fruit juice), and a piece of whole-grain bakery bread with raisins
- Lunch – Kale salad, homemade chicken pot pie (made with organic, fresh ingredients to keep fat and sodium content down to a manageable level), and an orange.
- Snack – Here’s where I messed up – Two small slices of pizza (but they were vegetarian, so bonus for me!)
- Dinner – Indian curry and other dishes (high in fat but full of lots of vegetables and healthy spices and antioxidants), a can of V8 vegetable juice, rice and quinoa.
Overall, I think I did pretty good. I plan on eating healthy for the rest of the month. What about you? Don’t miss this opportunity to start some good eating habits. What did you eat today? Please tell us!