The month of March is National Nutrition Month®, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging you to Put Your Best Fork Forward. When you work in an allied healthcare career, your days can be long, but proper nutrition throughout your shift can help keep you happy, healthy and ready to serve your patients with a smile.
In honor of this special month, we have recently teamed up with health care educator, author, and expert nutritionist, Dr. Nancy Munoz, DCN, MHA, RDN, FAND to help you beat that mid-day energy slump.
“It can be difficult, but not impossible to maintain a healthy eating pattern on the run.”
Dr. Munoz suggests to start your day right, choose a healthy breakfast. If eating on the go, don’t be afraid to ask for substitutes like Canadian bacon instead of bacon or sausage. A whole grain English muffin or bagel is a smart choice too. A smoothie made with juice, fruit and yogurt is a great way to start your day.
“Practice behaviors that you want others to emulate.”
If you spend much of your workday behind a desk, make it a point to get up and move. Dr. Munoz says that recent research suggests that walking for two minutes for every hour sitting helps to reverse some of the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Encourage your patients to do the same. A study from the University of Utah School of Medicine supports that small changes in exercise can have a big impact. Don’t be afraid to share these tips with your patients and co-workers, after all, helping people stay healthy is a priority for everyone.
“We need energy to care for those that depend on us.”
Eating fuels every cell in your body to promote performance. It is necessary to consume the right number of calories for your body, eat lots of grains, vegetables, and fruit; and eat less of the foods high in fat and sodium. The good news is healthy snacks don’t have to be boring. Dr. Munoz suggests trying this make-ahead recipe. One serving provides 180 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein.
Beet Chips with Curried Yogurt
2 T. plain low fat Greek yogurt
1/8th t. Curry powder
1 C. beet chips
Combine yogurt and curry. Serve with beet chips.
Want to learn more?
Practicing these tips and tricks can help you make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. NHA certification holders, and alumni can learn more from Dr. Nancy Munoz by completing her brand new continuing education series called, Nutrition and the Older Adult Patient . In the series you can learn about topics such as:
- Screening for Malnutrition
- Dietary Guidelines and a Healthy Eating Pattern
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Heart Failure and Nutrition
Not only will you learn something, but it can help you stay certified. NHA certificate holders are required to complete 10 continuing education credits every two years. All NHA certification holders have access to our full library of continuing education units included in their fees. Log in to your account and start browsing courses.