5 Practical Tips from a Nutritionist :: Self-Care Sunday Series


Here at ABQ Mom, we care about your self-care! It’s so important as moms to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Since it’s a brand new year, we want to get it started off right by focusing on you. Each Sunday in January we will tackle a different aspect of self-care. Here’s to a healthy, happy new year! 

Practical Tips from a Nutritionist

A New Resolution

January is often the month when we reflect on our past year and think of something we would like to do better in the coming year. Many of us decide we need to lose weight or work on better nutrition. It often starts with trying to find a diet we think will work for us. We stick with it for a couple of weeks, maybe a month if we are really committed, and then little by little we see ourselves returning to old habits and don’t see any lasting results.

Out with the OLD

When you think of good nutrition, what comes to mind? Often people think deprivation, boring, bland, tasteless, and tedious. Our mindset is often what causes us to fail when we try to change our nutrition habits. With all of these negative words going around in our brains, we are likely to feel grumpy, down, and irritated. Today I challenge you to change the way you think about good food!

In with the NEW

What if we started to think of nutrition differently? And instead of always trying to lose weight or look a certain way, we focused on really taking care of our body? What if our resolution was to NOURISH our body and LOVE our body instead of depriving it and torturing it? What would that look like?

I think it would look like joy when we make the choice to eat some roasted vegetables instead of french fries. We would experience a sense of pride in making time to create a meal plan for the week. There would be delight in foods that are nourishing to our bodies. And later on, after we have practiced these good habits, it would look like triumph and jubilation when we reach some of our health goals.

What does good nutrition look like?

There are so many “programs” or “diets” out there promising quick and easy results with no effort required. Any time we are changing a significant part of our lives, like the way we eat, there is always effort required. Some of these programs are more time-intense than others. If the program offers a “quick fix,” it’s likely to disappoint. With so many options and so much conflicting information, how do we know what is really good for us?

That is a hard question because we are all significantly different. We have different lifestyles, we have different families, we have different genes, and we have different health issues. All of these differences make it hard to give a “one size fits all” good nutrition plan. This is actually one of the most challenging parts of my job! To answer this question, I have developed a list of the top five good nutrition habits. Check out these tips!

Eat your vegetables.

I really can’t talk about good nutrition without talking about vegetables. Have you ever heard of a diet that says vegetables are bad for you? NO! That’s because they are the one food group that no one has ever said is bad. Your goal here is 4-6 cups per day. If you aren’t there, don’t worry. Try to increase the amounts gradually from week to week until you can reach this goal.

Drink plenty of water.

Herbal teas can count too. The goal here is to keep your body hydrated so that it can work properly. Working properly involves many aspects, but the two most important are your metabolism and your body’s detoxification processes.

Pay attention to your hunger cues.

Our bodies are amazingly designed to take in the appropriate amounts of calories and nutrients. The problem is that we let other things influence what and how much we eat. Try to really pay attention to your hunger. Eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are satisfied.

Eat good protein every day.

Protein really does help keep us satisfied longer. Protein can often come with a heavy dose of fat, so work on keeping your proteins lean (think chicken and fish instead of beef and pork). Also, think about including a small amount with every meal and snack as it can help keep your energy levels more stable throughout the day.

Limit sugars.

It can help here to think about reducing processed foods, but also consider the amounts of sugar you put in your coffee in the morning, the amounts of “added sugars” in foods like yogurt, and of course the amounts of sweets you are consuming.

Let’s get started!

Choose one or two of these goals for this week. And then gradually build on your progress. Let’s think about good nutrition in a different way this year. Here’s to finding joy and delight in our good choices, pride in our plans, and triumph and jubilation when we succeed!

Originally published January 2019.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.