March is not only known for St. Patrick’s Day and wearing green. It is also about eating “green” since March is National Nutrition Month. I’m not going to hound you about eating a certain amount of veggies, fruits and grains. I’m going to discuss how you can put YOUR best effort forward and make the healthier choice. I tell my clients, life’s too short so eat the cake, but I also say, food fuels our bodies, not our emotions. It’s important to focus on eating clean 80% of the time and indulging 20%. For example, if you eat three meals a day, three of those meals every week are your 20% cheat meals. It is difficult to eat healthy 100% of the time because your body may feel deprived and will want you to indulge eventually. So, here are some ways you can eat a 80/20 lifestyle.


How to Enjoy More Fruits & Vegetables

  1. Stock your freezer with fruits and veggies.
  2. Buy fresh, cut and prepare them as soon as you get home.
  3. Fill up your salads, sandwiches and even your pizza with extra veggies!


Eating on the Run

Make it easier by having healthy snacks such as, beef jerky, almonds, apples, bananas, crackers, hummus with veggies, and string cheese available in your purse, back pack, desk, and/or vehicle so you aren’t tempted by unhealthy foods.

Use a Crockpot to have supper ready when you get home so you aren’t tempted to go through the drive thru, order out or stop at a gas station. Plus, the more you plan your meals the less money you will spend.


Eating on a Budget

1) Plan what you’re going to eat 2) Decide how much to make 3) Shop for foods in season or try canned or frozen foods 4) Watch portion sizes 5) Make your own healthy snacks 6) Cook more, eat out less.


Keep it simple, for example, grab a rotisserie chicken, Day 1: chicken, veggies & rice, Day 2: chicken wild rice soup, Day 3: leftovers, Day 4: cook a roast in the Crockpot with potatoes and carrots, Day 5: roast beef sandwiches, Day 6: leftovers.


Submitted by: Megan Swenson, Certified Wellness Coach at St. Croix Regional Medical Center

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