As February approaches, we remember Valentine’s Day. Can you think of the best Valentine’s gift you received or that you gave to your Valentine? Wouldn’t it be a great idea to give the gift of health? This year give yourself the best present, a gift of a healthy heart. February is also known as Heart Health Month so let’s focus on a few simple ideas on ways to keep your heart healthy.
Change your plate, lose some weight– One of the best suggestions I have received regarding diet and nutrition was to reduce my plate size. At dinner I use a lunch plate instead of a dinner plate and surprisingly it fills me up. Have you ever heard the term “eat everything on your plate, there are starving children all over the world”. That has been ingrained in us since childhood and to this day I feel guilty leaving food on my plate. One way to curb the guilt is to use a smaller plate. Or if you are eating out, ask for a box when you order and place half of your food in the to-go box as soon as the meal arrives.
Make your plate a masterpiece- The more colors on your plate, the more variety of vitamins and minerals, the healthier it is. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (eatright.org) recommend half of your plate consisting of fruits and vegetables. Also, the protein should include lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs, and nuts. Keep it fun and colorful.
Pack the sack- Do you want to save money and stay healthy? Who doesn’t, right? Then all you need to do is spend a few minutes planning and packing your lunch the night before and this will accomplish both of these. Some examples of easy and nutritious lunches are: baked sweet potato, tuna pita sandwich (with low fat salad dressing, lettuce and tomatoes), carrots and hummus, salad topped with lean proteins, taco salad (add cubes of mango, red onions, avocado for a burst of flavor), or chicken wraps (rotisserie chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves). Click on the link below for other great lunch ideas.
Happy Heart Month!