Sometimes our efforts to eat smart miss the forest for the trees. We spend a lot of time wondering if individual foods are healthy. But we don’t always pay the same attention to our overall diet pattern. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate have helped to shift the focus from nutrients and food groups to healthy eating patterns. This makes sense, because we eat meals, not just protein and Vitamin A or chicken breast or butternut squash. It also helps remind us that everything we eat or drink matters. And those choices day by day can impact our health over a lifetime. There are many ways to eat a healthy diet. Your own eating pattern reflects your taste, culture, traditions, and budget. So how can you shift your thinking from eating smart foods to eating a smart diet? Continue reading
Today I attended a Legislative Day in Richmond with the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It was a very long day – getting up at 4:45 am and getting home at 8:30 pm. However, I learned a lot of cool things about how our state government functions, and was very glad I went. While I was there, they gave out free breakfast and lunch! So awesome! Here is a picture of the breakfast bar I ate.
This morning I ate scrambled eggs, toast, and a glass of milk. I forgot to mention earlier that I usually eat organic dairy and meat because of my beliefs on eating hormone free animal products. I don’t mind paying a higher price for these ingredients because I believe they are better for my body. That being said, I definitely could not afford organic milk and meat on a SNAP Challenge meal plan. So when I went to buy the store brand of eggs, meat, and milk, I was SHOCKED at how inexpensive they were in comparison! I seriously haven’t purchased conventional animal products in over 5 years, so I had no clue how much cheaper they were! I was amazed that I could even afford to buy them on a SNAP budget! Therefore, I am really glad to know that SNAP recipients are still able to afford good sources of protein and calcium.
This morning I ate oatmeal with some skim milk and peanut butter swirled in. I must say that I really love milk. When I was little, my mom made me drink it and I didn’t find it that amazing, but now that I am older, I can’t get enough of the stuff! Good thing too, because it is so good for you! Do you like to drink milk? I prefer 2% actually, but I bought skim this week because it was cheaper.
Written by Lindsey Kummer
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014
As a college student, a lot of my meals are eaten out. Finding healthy options can be hard at times, but I want to share with you a great method of how to create healthy meals, anywhere you go!
A popular fast food restaurant for college students is Chipotle. If you add on a tortilla, extra cheese, sour cream, and chips with guacamole, you will leave yourself with a high calorie meal containing excess saturated fat. But, you can still get the taste you crave, while eating healthy.
For your meal, include:
- Protein – chicken is the leanest, and if you are a vegetarian you can include either kidney or black beans
- Whole grain or complex carbohydrate – Chipotle now offers brown rice, which is an excellent option. If you are not a fan of rice, you can substitute with beans which also contain complex carbohydrates
- Vegetables – fajita vegetables are available (includes onions and peppers), along with corn, lettuce and fresh salsa. Try to include at least 2 of the available vegetables in your meal
- Fat – Do not be afraid of fat! My favorite is Chipotle’s guacamole, but you may also include cheese. Did you know that avocadoes, the main ingredient in guacamole, have been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and improve overall health?
By skipping the tortilla and ordering a bowl or salad instead, you can save an extra 300 calories and 10g of fat! That is about the caloric and fat content of a typical breakfast! When ordering, just remember:
protein + whole grain + 2 vegetables + fat
And there you have it!
What are some of your favorite restaurants? What do you order while eating out that is healthy, yet delicious?
Dreher, M. L., & Davenport, A. J. (2013). Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
Nutrition calculator . (n.d.). Retrieved from: