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National Nutrition Month Tips From a RD

I love sharing National Nutrition Month tips from a non-diet lens. As a Registered Dietitian, these nutrition tips can change your life and help you enjoy your food and meals, too!

diced sweetpotatoes in skillet

In case you didn’t know, March is National Nutrition Month!

During my dietetics education (and even in the beginning of my career), I used this opportunity to remind people to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.

Drink more water! Eat less saturated fat. Exercise more. All of those general recommendations for national nutrition month ideas that you (probably) already hear in the media.

But now, I see National Nutrition Month through a new lens, through a non-diet lens.

I still see it as a time to prioritize nutrition and all it can do for the body, but it’s in a less rigid way and more fit to peoples’ unique lifestyles.

You can still prioritize health and nutrition while practicing intuitive eating. Many people don’t understand this and think the two don’t align, but there’s actually a lot of research showing that those who eat intuitively are actually more healthy.

Most fad diet’s fail. We know this. And many “healthy eating lifestyles” are just the wellness diet in disguise.

So, here are 5 ways you can celebrate joy and nutrition in national nutrition month through a non-diet lens, which are in line with the 10 principles of intuitive eating.

National Nutrition Month Tips

Here are some non-diet, but health-promoting tips for national nutrition month!

Focus on Eating at Regular Intervals

Nutrition means many different things to people but for all, it likely means providing nutrients. If we’re not eating enough food throughout the day, we’re surely not getting enough nutrients.

Honor your hunger and body by nourishing it adequately. For most people, that means 3 meals a day and 2-4 snacks. You can spread those out however works for you.

Some people prefer to eat right when they wake up, others choose to wait an hour. But don’t skip a meal.

If you’re someone who forgets to eat in the morning, can you pack something the night before?

banana and 88 acres bar

Cut Through the Diet Noise

Part of nutrition is that it should be personalized to you. Just because the keto diet or intermittent fasting worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you (fad diets don’t work for most people).

If you’re done dieting, figure out how you can repair your relationship with food.

Sidenote: We should define what “works” means anyway. Normal eating looks different for anyone and everyone – My post on What is normal eating? may be a helpful read!

table with various thanksgiving plates and sides that people are enjoying together

Find the Enjoyment in Food

Trust yourself and honor your hunger. Feed your body the foods it wants and enjoys.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to eat today?” What sounds good and feels good in my body?

How can I nourish my body and treat it with respect?

Eating a big cinnamon bun

Try a new (local) food

Trying new foods is an enjoyable experience, and all the merrier, if we can support local farmers in doing so.

We’re heading into spring when the farmers markets are more accessible and so many delicious foods are in season. If this is accessible for you, I challenge you to try something new this month.

Is there a food you’re intimidated to cook with? Give it a try! Google and Pinterest can be great for brainstorming.

I actually bought goose berries for the first time this week! I’ve walked by them and never thought to buy them before, but this week I thought, why not?

Goose Berries (aka Godlen Berries)

Reduce Food Waste

Intuitive Eating can come across as very privileged when people only hear the “eat what you want when you want part.”

It’s not realistic or practical to always eat what you’re craving, especially if you’re home, it’s dinner time and you don’t have what you want. Sometimes, it takes using your body knowledge to eat nourishing food that you have on hand, even if it’s not exactly what you want.

Food doesn’t always have to be super enticing or unbelievably tasty. It’s great when it is, but sometimes, it’s just…food. Boring, monotonous and lackluster.

Here are some ideas to reduce food waste this month:

  • Take stock of what you have before going to the grocery store (a great tip for simplifying meal prep).
  • Only shop for a few meals and snacks each week, and make sure to check your pantry before you go!
  • Buy more frozen items – they are just as fresh and last longer.
  • Have a snack before you grocery shop (It’s easier to buy things you may not need/want if you’re very hungry). I’ll also refer you back to #1 for this one.
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  1. Excellent post. Your continued work to make true nutrition something that is whole and truly healthy for the mind body and soul is so healing for me and many others.

  2. I love all of these tips. I love finding fun new foods or using veggies I haven’t used very much to make something interesting. Last night I did a veggie stir fry with Napa cabbage from the Pioneer Woman, and that was super yummy.

  3. Excellent post, Sarah…If there is a way to justify a cinnamon bun here or there,
    I am “in”.

  4. I cannot wait until the farmer’s market and farm stand open. Not only is the food incredibly fresh but you’re supporting local farmers which is great.

    It seems like the more people realize any sort of diet (intermittent fasting, keto, whole 30, etc.) don’t work and you’ll end up being miserable, the more fun will go back into food and nutrition. It’s almost like people think it’s “cool” to talk about what worked for them within the first 2 weeks instead of looking at it long term.

  5. You bought cape gooseberries, aka physalis! They’re not actually gooseberries, despite the deceptive name and are quite different from standard gooseberries – sweeter and firmer, and don’t have the spindly skin. They were all the rage in the nineties here in Ireland as a garnish for desserts – they were presented with their outer leaves attached, it gave the impression of them wearing a billowing golden cloak. My father grows them and standard gooseberries, however outside of his garden I haven’t seen cape gooseberries in shops or restaurants since I was a child. I hope you enjoy them, they’re such a treat.

    1. Okay, I just read about the difference, I had no idea! Thank you for pointing this out, so fascinating 🙂 How neat that your father grows them both!