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Celebrating National Nutrition Month®

March is National Nutrition Month®, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the significance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating habits. This year’s theme, “Beyond the Table,” addresses the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, from food production and distribution to navigating grocery stores and farmers markets — and even home food safety and storage practices. It also describes the various ways we eat — not only around a dinner table, but also on the go, in schools and restaurants, at games and events. This theme also includes sustainability, for instance, decreasing food waste from school and work to home and beyond.

As we navigate the complexities of modern diets and lifestyles, National Nutrition Month serves as a timely reminder to prioritize our health and make informed choices about the foods we consume. By embracing the principles of balance, variety, and moderation, we can cultivate healthier habits that promote wellness and vitality for ourselves and future generations.

This March, let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month by embracing the power of nutrition to nourish our bodies, nurture our health, and enhance our quality of life. Whether it is through trying new recipes, participating in community events, or simply making small, positive changes to our diets, let’s take this opportunity to invest in our well-being and empower others to do the same.

Here are some ways you can celebrate at home:

  1. Commit to trying a new fruit or vegetable each week during National Nutrition Month®.
  2. Give family members a role in meal planning and let them pick out different recipes to try.
  3. Plan to eat more meals together as a family or with friends during National Nutrition Month®.
  4. Explore local community food systems such as the Intervale Food Hub or the ACORN Food Hub.
  5. If you watch TV, take breaks during commercials to be physically active.
  6. Practice mindful eating by limiting screentime at mealtime — including phones, computers, TV, and other devices.
  7. Try more meatless meals — choices like beans and lentils are versatile plant-based protein sources that work in a variety of dishes.
  8. Let everyone help with food preparation — a skill for people of all ages. If you have kids, there are age-appropriate tasks they may enjoy learning how to do.
  9. Bring out the flavors of food by trying new herbs, spices, or citrus fruit such as lemon or lime.

Taking Charge of Your Health: Preventing Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when communities, organizations, and individuals unite to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes. Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide and if left untreated, it can lead to significant health complications. Diabetes Awareness Month provides a platform to share information, support those living with diabetes, and promote healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of this prevalent disease.

There are two types of diabetes, type 1, and type 2.  Type 1 is typically diagnosed in childhood and is not preventable, whereas type 2 can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes. Recent data from the CDC reports that 11% of the U.S. population has diabetes, that up to 23% may have undiagnosed diabetes and that almost 40% have prediabetes. You are at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

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Health Literacy and Why It Matters

Health literacy is all about understanding and using health information to make the best choices for your well-being. Just like reading a map helps you navigate new places, health literacy is the skill that helps you navigate the world of healthcare. It involves being able to read and understand health information, ask questions about your health, and communicate effectively with doctors and other healthcare professionals. When you have good health literacy, you can take charge of your own health, make informed decisions about your care, and live a healthier, happier life. It’s like having a key to unlock the doors of knowledge and better health.

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The Environment and Our Mental Health

As humans, our overall health is significantly affected by our natural and built environment: where we are born, live, learn, work, play, and congregate all influence our health. While we often think of these environmental factors as relating largely to our physical health, it is important to consider the effect of our environment on our mental health and well-being.

What we know for sure is that there are many factors that contribute to mental well-being, and we all benefit from stable environments, strong communities, and ready access to needed services. During this year’s Mental Health Month, which has been celebrated annually in May since 1949, Mental Health America invites you to Look Around, Look Within as we consider every part of our environment and its effect on our mental health and well-being. While some aspects of our environment may be outside of our immediate control, in other areas we have the potential to make change. Consider your home, your community, and the time you spend in nature and what you might modify to make these environments more supportive of your well-being.

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Have Fun and Get Active

Activity challenges are a great way to support you to be happier, healthier, and more energized by recognizing the benefits of every day activity. The Move More challenge is open from January 25th through March 7th. Earn points by engaging in the activities that you enjoy most. Set a goal to increase your activity or compete against your colleagues. This event is open to all employees and family members. All participates will be entered into a raffle for prizes including $100 gift cards. Join with the organization GMHEC, register as a GMHEC employee, create or join a team or participate as an individual. Click here to learn more and here to register.

Perseverance in the face of challenge

For many of us, 2020 has been one of, if not the most challenging years of our lives.  Covid-19 is putting tremendous pressure on us all, especially on parents with children at home.  More and more parents are reporting high levels of stress, anxiety, and feelings of being on edge since the pandemic started and this distress has a ripple effect on children, families, and relationships.   Being proactive and taking action is critical during times like these to sustain our health and well-being.

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The ergonomics of working from home

With so much to think about in our new reality of working from home, one thing that we often fail to consider until it’s too late is the ergonomics of our home work space.   Over time poor ergonomics can lead to musculoskeletal issues including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, back and neck pain as well as headache, fatigue and decreased productivity.  By using the simple acronym NEW we can get our ergonomics in check and stay healthy and productive when working from home. 

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Celebrate National Nutrition Month by investing in your health

March is National Nutrition Month and along with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I invite you to focus on developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  A healthy diet and regular physical activity are essential to a healthy life and, despite what we may think, small habits done consistently can have a big impact on the quality and quantity of our lives. This year’s theme, “Eat right, bite by bite” highlights the benefits of small action.  Bite by bite and step by step we can achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being. Here are some of my top tips for making healthy eating and physical activity the easy choices .

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Take the critical first step

We’re five weeks into the new year and for many of us our aspirations for 2020 have already fallen by the wayside.  Life has a way of distracting us from what is most important and if we’re not careful, before we know it, time has slipped away.  There is a verse in a Pink Floyd song that resonates with me every time I hear it. “And then one day you find, ten years have gone behind you.  No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun.” Life is short and we only have one chance to live the life we want. The time to act is now but how do we actually get ourselves to take action?  How do we “get motivated”? 

Here’s the secret about motivation…motivation comes after we start.  Yes, the best way to get motivated is to take action. Taking action is not always easy.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all and to do it perfectly. We become too focused on the outcome.  Let’s forget about the outcome and focus instead on the process. Focusing on the process, especially on just the first step can significantly increase our likelihood of success.  Every habit that we have or that we want to have starts with a trigger, one small action that is like the first domino which sets the chain in motion. Once we do that first action, the rest of the steps fall into place with minimal effort.   All we have to concern ourselves with then is taking that first step.

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Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition month so there is no better time to talk about healthy eating and to think about how we might be able to optimize our diet.   What we eat plays a significant role in how we feel both mentally and physically and on the quality and quantity of our life. People who consume a diet based on whole foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables are less likely to suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression or with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

One of the best ways to optimize our diet is to eat plenty of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables.  Antioxidants, the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors, protect our cells and body structures from free radical damage.  Free radicals are derived in the body during normal metabolic processes and also from environmental exposure to things such as environmental pollutants and industrial chemicals (Lobo, Patil, Phatak and Chandra, 2010).   Free radicals act as little scavengers in our body, snatching up electrons from our cells causing cell damage and death which leads to illness and disease. A diet rich in antioxidant-containing fruits and vegetables can reduce and/or prevent free radical damage and keep us looking and feeling our best.   

Not only do fruits and vegetables help keep us healthy in mind and body but they also add pizzazz to our meals, are a great way to add variety to our diet, and help to fill us up without adding significant calories, which is great for our waistlines.  Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Check out these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and, if you’re feeling adventurous, try one of my favorite recipes….roasted root vegetables.  I like to use sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes if you can find them….they are AMAZING), beets (preferably golden beets or candy cane beets as they are more mild than red beets), parsnips, carrots and butternut squash.  I will warn you though – you might be tempted to eat the entire pan.

If you have a favorite produce-rich recipe I’d love to hear about it.  Drop me a note at  

Happy eating!