It’s National Nutrition Month…
It’s March. The leaves on the trees are beginning to rejuvenate, the weather is starting to get warmer, and summer seems closer than ever which means that it’s prime time to whip our bodies back into shape and set our upcoming health goals for the year. Well, lucky for you March is also National Nutrition Month-the perfect time to take a minute and think about the food that we put into our bodies every single day. But first off, what is National Nutrition Month?
The origins of Nutrition Month trace back to March 1973 when National Nutrition Month was actually called “National Nutrition Week.” In the midst of this week, the government sought to deliver nutritional messages to the public with their key slogan: “Invest in Yourself–Buy Nutrition.” Through radio announcements, bumper stickers, and advertisements, the campaign following soared with which came an increased public interest in it. The movement grew so large that the government expanded its week-long campaign to, what it is now known as, National Nutrition Month.
So in honor of nutrition month, let’s talk about some of the ways we can be geared towards nutrition under a vegan lifestyle. There is a large misconception that if you are vegetarian, vegan, or have any sort of specific diet that does not pertain to the meat/dairy food groups, you are automatically “healthy.” This is largely untrue. You can be vegetarian and still consume a very unhealthy diet. Likewise, you can be a vegan and still be unhealthy for the most part. This is because what we feed our bodies is dependent on us. I’ll give you an example. Let’s take a person and call them Shirley. Shirley eats fast food every single day-burgers, fries, ice cream, you name it. Shirley realizes that she always feels sluggish and bloated so one day, she decides to become vegan. However, while being vegan, Shirley realizes that she really misses her old diet. She thinks to herself, how can I eat the food that I used to eat while still being vegan? Suddenly, Shirley is in the grocery store isles looking for dairy-free ice cream, those same fatty burgers but vegan, and the fries that she loved for so long. While these may be better alternatives for her body, Shirley is still not eating much cleaner than she was before. She realizes that she still feels bloated and tired all the time. So where did Shirley go wrong? Shirley wasn’t “buying” wholesome, nutritious vegan foods and instead was resorting to unhealthier options.
So let’s discuss the ways that you can be vegan and nutritious simultaneously:
Always choose fresh and organic vegetables and fruits over canned produce. It is more nutritious to eat produce that has not been processed with additives.
Check labels! This is crucial to ensuring that you are not consuming any unwanted sugars or fats.
Eat home-cooked meals with your family. This way you can know exactly what you are putting into your body and it’s a great way to help introduce your loved ones to your new lifestyle.
Be an adventurous eater. Try out new nutritious foods that you would’ve never thought of eating before-they’re a great way to spice up your diet.
With just a few minor changes to the foods you purchase, your body can be healthier, happier, and brighter. Happy Nutrition Month folks!