Nutrition is power, and good nutrition is the first block of self-care. It affects stress, energy, emotions and more. Here are some tips to help you ensure that you and your family are getting the nutrition you need.

  1. Check-in on your stress – Have you thought about how stress affects how well you digest and absorb nutrients? Stress can cause your body to reabsorb less water from your intestines, which can lead to dehydration and fatigue. This affects not only our current nutrition status but also the choices we make in terms of exercise and nutrition in the long run. This can turn into a harmful cycle of making bad choices and feeling bad about those choices and once you feel bad you’re less likely to go for something that’s good for you. Controlling your stress is one of the building blocks to forming a good nutrition practice and an important part of self-care.

  2. Ditch the Diet – When I talk about nutrition and self-care, it doesn’t mean dieting; it means properly fueling and feeding your body the things it needs to function. The best thing you can do for your body is nourish it, not restrict it!

  3. Balance it out (a few specific ways to increase nutrition). – Eat the rainbow; the more color, the better! Studies show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables were associated with daily feelings of well-being. Eat regularly throughout the day and avoid skipping meals to avoid getting “hangry” and making poor nutrition choices. Lastly, take on the 80/20 mindset. This mindset revolves around sticking to your nutrition-related goals and feeling totally “on it” 80% of the time while indulging mindfully during the remaining 20% of the time.

  4. Take your time and set yourself up for success – Take the time to enjoy your food by unplugging, eating slowly and chewing your food. Also, set yourself up for success by meal planning and prepping and stocking your fridge and pantry with healthy foods and essentials.

Five ways to sneak veggies into foods – add them…

  1. into smoothies – add dark greens, pumpkin puree, frozen cauliflower rice or avocado (dark greens and avocados freeze nicely if you have them and they’re about to go bad).

  2. into sauces –chop up veggies small into sauces (mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc.).

  3. into soups/stews – kids may be more apt to eat veggies if they’re in a thick soup or stew.

  4. into desserts – swap fruit purees for oil. Check out the recipe for chewy black bean brownies.

  5. into mac and cheese – puree veggies into sauce.

Simple changes can make a big difference in how you feel and how your children grow. Try one tonight!