Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month in Canada? This year’s theme, Take the Fight out of Food!, is centred on improving Canadians’ relationships with food, “no matter what struggle.” The centrepiece of the campaign is a three-step approach for those fighting with food:
- Spot the problem. Define what’s causing your fight with food first.
- Get the facts. Use facts from credible sources to decide what needs to be done to solve the problem.
- Seek support. Put the plan into action with support from a dietitian, family and friends.
What we find so brilliant about this year’s campaign is that it is completely inclusive. Improving your nutrition and dietary habits means something different to every individual, depending on their attitude towards food, fitness level, self-image and so many other unique factors. The goal of this campaign – a mission we at Raw Elements advocate for day in and out – is helping people adequately fuel their bodies for optimal health and well-being, and peak performance.
Based on the three-step approach driving this year’s Nutrition Month theme of Take the Fight out of Food!, we offer tips and guidance below on how you can get started and spot the problem. Baby steps forward – together!
- Maintain a daily food journal and note all food and drink you consume.
- If you struggle with eating when you’re not hungry, pay close attention to, and write down, what triggers you (e.g., stress, boredom, etc.).
- If you often skip meals or fail to meet a reasonable daily caloric intake, prepare nutritious meals and snacks in advance.
- Reflect on whether you’re being realistic and kind to yourself, when it comes to your nutrition. Do you beat yourself up if you “slip up”? Do you allow yourself to fully enjoy your treat meals? Are you fixated on your weight or what you consume?
- If frequent digestive discomfort (e.g., bloating, constipation, gas, acid reflux, etc.) has complicated your relationship with food, we suggest exploring strategies such as:
- Visiting your health care provider to uncover whether a food allergy or intolerance exists.
- Reviewing your food diary and assessing whether you are consuming a reasonable amount of food, given your body composition and fitness level.
- Practicing portion control to avoid overeating.
- Giving your body a break by following a strict vegan diet for a week. Why? Because “It takes a lot of energy to digest animal-based proteins. Most of us are not even equipped with enough hydrochloric acid to handle the massive amounts of animal proteins that we consume on a daily basis.” Replace animal proteins with clean plant-based protein powders, nuts and seeds, and high protein vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli.
- Trying 1-2 tablespoons of natural apple cider vinegar to combat upset stomach and bloating.
- If you are a regular coffee drinker, consider switching to Dandy Blend – it is less acidic than a regular cup of Joe but still offers the same stimulating power of caffeine, thanks to dandelion root.
Balance is everything in life, but especially when it comes to your nutrition. Our hope is that anyone reading this post, who is currently fighting with food, finds the courage to begin their journey to end the fight. Use the above ideas as a jump off point to get started with Step 1; the sooner you spot the problem, the sooner you can move on to the next steps and regain control of your nutrition so you feel, perform and look your very best. Remember, any time is a good time to check in on yourself – you need not contain this mission to National Nutrition Month!