National Nutrition Month® 2021 – Individualized Nutrition to Personalize Your Plate

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We are excited to join with EatRight’s National Nutrition Month® theme of 2021: Personalize Your Plate. This takes away some of the rigid rules of an optimal plate or food pyramid and individualizes it to YOU, your preferences, lifestyle, and more. We help to tailor it in a way that supports your preferences while also honors your health.

To learn all about this month’s theme, visit EatRight National Nutrition Month®.

National Nutrition Month® 2021 celebrates our differences

Part of personalizing your plate is recognizing your differences. Ask yourself a few questions to go about determining your individualized nutrition:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What is your current activity level?
  3. Do you have any dietary restrictions or medical conditions that would require an adjustment to your eating?
  4. What is your background? Your taste preferences? Dislikes?

You are unique. It is our job to get to know you and work together to tailor a plate to your needs. That’s where a dietitian and a meal planner can be helpful.

National Nutrition Month®’s Key Points

We would like to touch on a few points that are highlighted during National Nutrition Month® 2021. These are helpful to personalize a plate to your lifestyle and match your nutrition needs for optimal health, including:

  • Eat a variety of food from all food groups
  • Plan ahead to make nutritious meals for the week
  • Learn culinary skills to create delicious meals
  • Choose healthful foods that you enjoy
  • Meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for individualized nutrition advice

Eat a variety of nutritious food from all food groups, daily!

To start building your own “plate”, we need to look at all the food groups. Once we establish those 5 food groups, we are able to personalize that plate. I like to think about it in terms of your full-day as a plate, rather than individual meals. That way you’re better able to get variety & balance throughout the day. For example, at breakfast or snacks, I may not get ALL food groups. So looking at your “personalized plate” over the course of a day can give you a better idea of your nutrition.

Here are essential food groups & components of your meals:

  • Vegetables (tomato, spinach, turnip, cauliflower, onion, cucumber, beets, carrots)
  • Fruits (banana, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, mango, kiwi, pomegranate)
  • Grains (oats, pasta, brown rice, wheat bread, couscous, quinoa)
  • Protein (chicken, pork, eggs, salmon, nuts, tofu, beans, lentils)
  • Dairy OR calcium-rich foods (for vegans-fortified soy milk, tahini, calcium-set tofu, etc.)
  • Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts)

Then, look at your plate variety. Do I include all the colors of fruits/veggies? Am I consuming whole grains? Are my protein sources lean?

A sample day might look like this:

  • Scrambled eggs, spinach, onion, whole wheat toast, avocado
  • Greek yogurt + strawberries
  • Whole-grain crackers + hummus + avocado + tomatoes
  • Glass of 1% milk + almonds
  • Baked salmon, couscous, side salad with beets/cauliflower/green leaf lettuce & olive oil dressing
  • Banana ice cream (banana, milk, peanut butter)

Do you see how you might fit in those food groups and make it your own? Get a downloadable FREE 3-day meal plan HERE.

Plan ahead to make nutritious meals for the week!

Planning ahead is KEY! Do you ever find yourself getting to the end of a busy day and realize you have nothing planned for dinner? For us, 9 times out of 10 we will eat out if we haven’t prepared or even planned anything. That’s where meal planning & even some meal prep can come in.

The meal planner can really help this happen. It’s app-based, which gives you the ability to plan ahead right at your fingertips at all times. Not only that, it is individualized and personalized to you and your family’s needs. Here’s what some of our clients said about the meal plan:

We have learned so much about healthy foods, and most importantly enjoying our meal times while preparing delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinners for ourselves and our kids…It has been such an amazing experience to finally be able to find someone that can guide us through this process instead of just a “diet”, given to us without knowing the things we like or exploring new things. This is teaching us a balance for the food we eat, is knowing the right portions, we are never hungry, we love what we eat and we are extremely happy with our progress so far.

Andy & Sonya

You need to experience this if you haven’t already. Let our dietitians guide you through the meal planning process.

Learn culinary skills to create delicious meals!

The first step for learning culinary skills is a simple one. Keep healthful ingredients on hand! I occasionally get asked what some “staples” are, but this is highly individual so it may vary for you. I typically have a variety of fresh/frozen fruits & veggies, grains like rice, pasta, quinoa, and proteins either canned, dried, or frozen on hand. When you create a grocery list, go through all the food groups and make sure they are included.

Another step is to practice food safety. See 10 tips for common food safety mistakes here. See which one you need to improve on!

Part of food safety also includes reducing food waste. For example, skills such as meal planning or putting the older produce to the front of the fridge can help to reduce that waste and make sure you use the food you already have.

Lastly, try new flavors & foods. We typically will plan our menu each week and try to incorporate at least one new meal or food item each week. We also like to utilize different cuisines each day (ie. burrito bowls, pad Thai, lentil soups). That way we have enough variety that it becomes sustainable & enjoyable long-term. Experiment with different kitchen tools & appliances to get new flavors every day. Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas!

Here are a few recipe books we recommend, all created by registered dietitians:

Choose healthful foods that you enjoy!

Part of a healthy lifestyle is not just eating the right foods, but also honoring your tastebuds! Have you ever started a bland/monotonous diet and got so sick of it? If you don’t enjoy it, you can’t sustain it! That’s why we incorporate intuitive eating principles to help you to make food choices that both honor your health and honor your tastebuds.

For example, I struggle to eat cooked spinach. But I LOVE it in a smoothie. So why would I force myself to eat it in a way that I don’t like it? Another example, veggies taste better to me when they are roasted or air-fried, rather than sautéed or boiled, so I often choose them roasted or air-fried. For my husband, his favorite food is pizza, so we allow pizza a few times a month, but top it with tomatoes or add a salad on the side. Instead of going out for ice cream, we swap it with frozen bananas that are blended with a little peanut butter & milk, and it tastes just like ice cream! See how we allow for indulgent foods while still incorporating healthful foods we enjoy?

Follow our Instagram page for ideas to spice up your daily nutrition!

Meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for individualized nutrition advice!

We have a team for a reason! Everyone is different and has unique needs. That’s why we’d want you to get paired with the dietitian who is the right match for you. Whether you need help with your kids’ nutrition, sports nutrition, diabetes, weight loss, or more. Learn from the nutrition experts as you create realistic and customized goals that will ensure long-lasting results. Let our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) coach you and help you achieve your dreams!

Find the right fit for you!

Working with you has helped me view food differently. When we first started working together, you really listened to me and understood my relationship with food. Your gentle, compassionate approach was very different from my rigid, deny myself many types of food that were hard for me to give up forever. Instead, you showed me how to look at the long-term goal. “Slow and steady wins the race”! Instead of denying myself, you taught me to enjoy my food, use portion control, and allow flexibility.

63-year old client of Christine’s

What we learn from this theme of National Nutrition Month®

Join us in making your nutrition individual to you. Tailor your daily nutrition in a way that supports your preferences while also honors your health. Working with a dietitian is a great start! We can help you identify areas that might need some healthification & personalization.

If one-on-one is not for you, try our self-paced 12-Fix Healthy Living Program! You have the ability to customize it and make it your own. Click here for more details.