In the USA, March is National Nutrition Month. And the theme for 2017 is 'Put Your Best Fork Forward.'
We really love this theme as it really homes in on the key aspect to your health – food!
The health industry is a billion dollar industry, and it seems that not a day goes by without some new health fad being touted, some new pill that will miraculously turn back the clock, or some new protein shake that will give you 6 pack abs in a week.
Here at Chef Remi, we're delighted that this year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (who run this campaign) have chosen to concentrate on what is most important – the foods we eat.
It's been proven time and time again, the health benefits we get from getting all the nutrients from food far outweigh what we can get from swallowing pills and shakes.
Getting vitamin C from an orange is so much better (and much easier for your body to utilize) then taking a Vitamin C pill.
We're not advocating giving up nutrients pills and shakes altogether, and they certainly have a place for anyone who has a severe malnutrition in one or two nutrients.
But, for the vast majority of us, getting our nutrients the way God intended, through our foods, is how our bodies prefer it.
Our body is more used to the complexities of food, where there are mixtures of nutrients in the right doses. It doesn't cope all that well with receiving a single 'shot' of a particular nutrient.
It's also been proven that our bodies cannot properly absorb all the nutrients in forms other than food.
So that pill that promises you 100% of the recommended daily allowance of various nutrients?
Well, this pill may just contain the right amounts, but your body may not absorb the full amounts!
Having said all of this, we do understand why so many find it difficult to make changes.
Drastic changes are daunting, and even when we undertake these big changes, chances are, after a while, we fall back into bad habits
So, in recognition of National Nutrition Month, we've created a roundup of 5 little things you can do right now to make you and your family healthier.
It's not about making massive changes to your diet. It's all about making these small changes which you will barely notice.
But, over time, the cumulative effects for you and your family, when it comes to your health, will be extraordinary – we promise!
1) Aim for half of your plate to be full of vegetables and / or fruit
Who likes being told what to eat? No, I didn't think you did! So many diets tell you that you can't eat this or you can't eat that.
Even if you manage to resist a type of food, how long will you last?
Instead, eat whatever you want! But just make sure that half your plate is full of vegetables and / or fruit.
Now, fill the other half of your plate with what you like. Trust us, this is a 'diet' you can stick to, as you're not denying yourself anything!
2) Swap 50% of your grains to whole grain
Have 4 slices of toast made from white bread in the morning? Swap out 2 of those slices for wholegrain bread.
Eat around 6 portions of white rice a week? Swap 3 of those portions for wholegrain rice.
Again, this is such an easy thing to stick to as you are not denying yourself. If you still prefer white toast to wholegrain, you're still eating some of it!
3) Swap out 50% of your liquids to water
If you drink 2 cups of coffee, a fruit juice and a carbonated drink a day, swap just 2 of those drinks out for water.
Again, you are not denying yourself what you love, and we bet your morning cup of coffee will be savored far more, now that you are drinking less!
4) Swap out some of your meat protein for seafood protein or plant protein
It's likely you eat some protein every day. However, for most of us, that protein is usually meat.
Meat protein is good for you, but a human body needs variety!
Swap out 2 of your meat protein portions a week for seafood, and now you'll get a surge of omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein.
Swap out another 2 meat protein portions for plant based proteins, such as beans, peas, nuts and seeds, and you've reduced your saturated fat intake for the week whilst still getting protein.
Guess what? You'll now love your meat portions even more! Remember, never deny yourself something completely.........you'll only want to eat a tonne of it at a later date!
5) Swap out 50% of your whole milk and whole yogurt to 1% fat or no fat versions
If you can swap out all of your milk and yogurt intake to healthier versions than great! But for most of us, we'll feel hard done by, as we've got used to the creaminess of full fat milk and yogurt.
Just swap out 50%. You'll savor the days when you get full fat. And you may even find, after a few months, you actually prefer the lighter stuff.
But just swapping out half means that you and your family are still going to reap huge health benefits!
It doesn't take drastic changes for you and your family to be healthier.
In fact, making small changes like this, and sticking to them, makes much more of a difference than someone eating like a rabbit for 2 months, and then falling off the wagon in spectacular style by heading to an all-you-can-eat buffet!