3 Nutrition Habits to Make in 2013 Print

One of my favorite expressions is that bite-sized changes have supersized results. While there are hundreds of nutrition resolutions you could make this year, below you will find a collection of three nutrition habits I believe will make a difference for your long-term health.

As you read the suggestions below, I would encourage you to cut yourself some slack.  I am not suggesting you read the list and do nothing.  I am suggesting that you take action and be committed to establishing one habit at a time.

What I have noticed about the people that are the most successful in making health changes and sustaining them for good is that they start small and add one thing at a time.  You don’t need to try and juggle dozens of nutrition and lifestyle changes all at once.  Start small.  Start with the easiest change for you.  Once you get the ball rolling and experience some success with your initial changes, you can continue to add from there.  An ongoing commitment to small goals absolutely leads to big results over the year.

Little changes that have big impact:

Participate in a produce challenge

vegetablesEach week when you visit the grocery store challenge yourself to buy one produce item that you normally don’t buy or haven’t bought it a long time. For example if you have never tried a spaghetti squash, pomegranate or kohlrabi buy it and then search for a recipe on the internet on how to prepare it. Each fruit and vegetable has a unique profile of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which protect your health. Don’t only buy the same few items at the store this week. If you have heard that blueberries or broccoli are best and have stopped eating other fruits and vegetables I would encourage you to think about adding more variety. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day is the best way to maximize your health. Think about fresh fruit, frozen berries, dried fruit, canned unsweetened fruit, fresh veggies, salad, frozen veggies and unsweetened juices.

Have a supper plan

Supper is often the most stressful meal of the day for busy families. Ask yourself each morning the simple but essential question, “what’s for supper tonight?” Alternatively if you are not a morning person or are too rushed in the morning then consider the night before asking, “what’s for supper tomorrow night?” Chances are if you have an answer to this question your family’s nutrition is off to a good start. At the end of the day energy levels are often at their lowest and decision making can be poor. Often things in the freezer seem like they will take too long to thaw or you might skip important parts of the meal like veggies since it might sound like too much work. Most of my clients find that if they can at least determine the protein source for the meal, the rest of the meal comes together quickly. For example, if you decide pork tenderloin will be for dinner and pull it from the freezer to thaw, when you get home its easy to add other components to balance the meal (such as rice, steamed veggies and a salad).

Take a multivitamin daily and review your supplements

Although supplements will never replace a balanced diet, taking an age-appropriate multivitamin each day is a good idea. In the many years I have been reviewing food records and doing computer analysis of food intakes of my clients it is rare that people achieve one hundred percent of all of the vitamins and minerals ideal for long term health each day. Especially since food intake will change day to day and you likely have seasonal variances.  A multivitamin will top up your intake of key nutrients needed for long-term health.  When it comes to other supplements that may benefit you and to review what you are currently taking, consider booking an appointment with a registered dietitian. Many people are taking expensive heavily marketed supplements that have little impact on health. On the other hand there are also people falling short in some areas and could benefit from extra calcium and vitamin D for bone health or additional omega 3 fish oils for heart health. You might also consider doing some of your own research on supplements you are taking but use caution if you are getting advice from the same people that are selling you products.

The above three nutrition habits are just a few of the many things you can do to support a healthy 2013 and future. Start with one change and build from there. These little changes can have big impact.

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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