Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
Since 1980 the American Dietetic Associate has been providing a gentle springtime reminder by celebrating National Nutrition Month in March. Each year there is a theme to help us eat better and be healthier. This year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
So how does it work?
Think back to your last meal. How many colors were on your plate? If you answered eating 4 or 5 within your last, then congrats! You are eating right with color.
If you answered 1 or 2, then let’s talk:
Mother Nature has a habit of putting lots of healthy vitamins and minerals into foods that grow in the dirt, but did you know she took the trouble to color-code them for our convenience?
Of course, these aren’t the only benefits to eating a more colorful, plant-based diet. These kinds of foods also provide a good source of fiber, a boost in mental function, and tons of other feel-good perks.
So load up those plates with color and let’s celebrate good nutrition all year long!
How are you going to eat more colors this month? If so, let me know what are some of your favorite colors you consume and how you enjoy eating them.
PS - Wanting new recipe ideas? Follow me on Pinterest for some yummy and creative ideas.
Here is a list of my favorite healthy hang-outs in the San Diego area!
By Stacy Peterson, adapted from Institute of Integrative Nutrition
Casa De Luz
2920 University Avenue
This Macrobiotics restaurant was founded on the philosophy of living the best life you can by feeding your body the best possible foods. The chef creates balanced and organic meals for optimal health. For a delicious, always vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free meal, head over to Casa De Luz. They also have a location in Austin, TX!
2879 University Avenue
This vegetarian, and mostly vegan, restaurant specializing in “nouveau comfort food” is a favorite among San Diego’s health conscious residents. The menu features all of your favorite comfort foods with a healthy, vegetarian spin, like the Thai Veggies Pizza or the Savory Cornbread French Toast!
2591 South Coast Highway 101
This ocean front restaurant serves a delicious selection of local, organic fare. The menu includes a wide array of naturally raised beef and poultry, plus organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits. But we love the fresh fish options the most – the Macadamia Coconut Mahi Mahi is a favorite!
Sea Rocket Bistro
3382 30th Street
This seafood bistro has a very relaxed vibe. The constantly changing menu features an amazing variety of wild, sustainably caught, local seafood. Sea Rocket also has several local and regional craft beers, California grass-fed meats, and many vegetarian menu items!
Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J Street
This sleek and sophisticated restaurant provides the perfect location for a celebratory or romantic dinner. The menu features an outstanding number of sustainably caught seafood options, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!
3955 5th Avenue Hillcrest & 765 South Coast Highway 101 Encinitas
This unique café has two locations, one in San Diego, the other in Encinitas – both dedicated to serving fresh, natural, and healthy foods at an affordable price. The dinner menu has several vegetarian options as well as chicken and fish dishes. Many dishes are also gluten free and vegan! Not in the mood for a full meal? Hit the juice bar for a fresh pressed green juice or smoothie.
1830 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard
A trip to Southern California wouldn’t be complete without a meal of delicious Mexican food! Check out Ranchos Cocina for authentic, vegetarian Mexican food made with organic, natural ingredients. Ranchos Cocina also has several raw food options on their menu.
Blue Ribbon Pizza
897 South Coast Highway 101
This cozy, neighborhood pizza spot serves artisan, brick oven pizzas with a healthy twist. All ingredients are organic, local, and sustainable and several items, such as the fennel sausage and mozzarella, are made in-house. If it’s your first time to Blue Ribbon, try the signature pizza – extra virgin olive oil, fresh Mozzarella, ricotta, lemon zest, red onion, and basil!
698 North Coast Highway 101
This extremely popular Caribbean and Mediterranean café is right on the beach. People come from near and far for a taste of Mozy’s famous vegetarian fare. Order lunch and sit out on the back patio, or grab a falafel wrap or fresh juice to go and head over to the beach!
133 Daphne Street
Peace Pies is committed to serving their customers raw, vegan, gluten-free, organic foods made with locally sourced ingredients. They also have a zero waste policy, which they enforce by composting and using only earth friendly materials.
12857 El Camino Real
Urban Plates promises their customers three things: ingredients freshly delivered from local farms and producers, chef-inspired dishes piled high with one-of-a-kind flavors, and meals that won’t break the bank. Stop in for a hand tossed, urban salad, sandwich, or slow cooked meat dish!
Stone Brewing Co.
1999 Citracado Parkway
This local brewing company has created a local food and beer oasis in San Diego, complete with an open air patio, one-acre organic beer garden, and a menu of locally grown dishes. Stone Brewing Co. is a must while you are in San Diego!
Check out the above healthy hot-spots and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
If there is one missing from the list that you enjoy, let us know in the comments. Happy eating out!
"Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got."
Think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way? Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.
The body you have right now is incredible! It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains homeostasis and it miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish were different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.
What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like. It would mean celebrating your body rather than punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body rather than depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish when treated with care and respect.
Food Focus: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are on everyone's mind this season. They seem to go hand-in-hand with the holidays, and fortunately, eating these and other sweet vegetables do not need to be limited to just this time of year. Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the hold delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there's no energy crash after you eat them. Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing. They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs, and hep to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. Next time you are at the store, buy some (organic and local if possible) sweet potatoes and try out this yummy and simple recipe!
Recipe of the Month: Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro
This recipe is an eye-opener for those who find sweet potatoes cloyingly sweet or those who are tired of eating them smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Japanese sweet potatoes, with their pale flesh and delicate flavor are indeed a yummy treat.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 sweet potatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
olive oil, butter or ghee
1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them whole, in their skins, at 375 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes.
2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate.
4. Season with pepper and a dot of butter or a sprinkling of oil, if you like. Then squeeze fresh lime juice all over and shower with cilantro leaves.
What is your favorite way to cook and eat sweet potatoes? Let me know in the comments below.
PS - Wanting new recipe ideas? Follow me on Pinterest for some yummy and creative ideas.
Many of us rush through the day without giving too much thought to what types of food we put in our bodies. And when we do, many seldom have time to truly enjoy the food, gobbling it down quickly before rushing off to the next event.
The outcome on our bodies is stressful and unhealthy living.
Slowly eating your food is extremely powerful to limit stress, enabling you to become a healthier you. By taking smaller bites and taking time to chew each bite slower and longer, you will not only enjoy your meal more thoroughly, but absorb more nutrients too!
Begin today and continue going forward with every meal. It only takes a few minutes, but can have amazing effects.
You might have heard of the Slow Food Movement that began in Italy almost two decades ago to stand against the unpleasant fast food movement. Pretty much everything that fast food is, Slow Food is the opposite.
If you read the Slow Food Manifesto, you’ll understand that it’s not just about health — it’s about a lifestyle. Whether you are interested in embracing that lifestyle or not, here are some powerful reasons it is important for you to be open to the simple act of eating slower:
1. Lose weight
By eating more slowly you’ll consume fewer calories – enough to lose 20 pounds within a year without doing anything different or eating anything different. That’s a whole 20 pounds! This occurs because it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’re full. When we eat fast, we can continue eating past the point where we are full – the “I’m stuffed!” feeling. When we eat slowly, we allow our bodies time to realize we are full. Ideally we should stop eating when we feel about 75-80% full. This will give your brain the proper amount of time to “catch-up.” There are many factors that help us lose weight, such as consuming healthy foods and getting proper exercise, in addition to slowing down and properly chewing your food.
2. Enjoy your food
Truly taking time to enjoy and taste your food is an important part of living. We should be eating foods that are not only nutritious for us, but that we enjoy eating too. Sometimes it is important to eat “sinful” food (desserts, fried foods, pizza, etc) from time to time. If you do, be sure to enjoy the process – slowly eating each bite. Not only will your taste buds love it, but your whole body will too by consuming less of that sinful food. Make sure your meals are not things you do rushed between events, but instead a part of life that we are made to thoroughly appreciate.
3. Better Digestion
By eating slower, you will chew your food better, which leads to better digestion. The physical aspect of digestion actually starts in the mouth by the mastication (chewing) of food and mixing with saliva. Therefore, the better you chew your food, the less work your stomach will have in breaking down the food. This can help giving you more energy and lead to fewer digestive problems.
4. Less Stress
Eating slowly and paying attention during our meal can be a great mindfulness exercise. Be in the moment, rather than rushing through a meal thinking about what you need to do next. When you eat, you should solely eat. This kind of mindfulness has been shown to lead a life that is less stressed and instead helps to create long-term happiness in a body that is thriving.
5. Rebel Against Fast Food and the Fast Life
Your body deserves to be treated the best it can. Most of us have some rebel in us that needs to let loose – which is a good thing! Our lives can be hectic, fast-paced, stressful and chaotic. This can make us live the “Fast Life” that can lead us to eating “Fast Food,” and eat it too quickly. This is a lifestyle that is degrading us, that can make us unhealthy, stressed out and unhappy. We hurry through our day, doing one mindless task after another, without truly taking the time to live our life, enjoying each other and ourselves. Instead, try taking time to eat more slowly. Pick one day a week to consciously eat more slowly. Find a setting that is pleasant to you. Then as you eat put down your fork between each bite, chewing your food thoroughly, without any distractions, such as TV or cells phones. Enjoy the peacefulness of eating by yourself or eating with those you cherish dearly.
Don’t eat Fast Food. Eat at a good restaurant that takes pride in where their food comes from, what ingredients they use and in the way they cook their food. Or better yet, cook your own food and enjoy it fully. Taste life to it’s fullest, the way it is supposed to be.
Hello, my name is Stacy Peterson, licensed Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Health, Wellness and Strength & Conditioning Coach with a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine practicing whole-foods nutrition and physical training to individuals around the globe.
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