March is a long month. No days off. Winter is dwindling away, and we are anticipating the first day of Spring which, by the way, is Saturday, March 20th this year. Spring is the time of year for new beginnings, new life, and yes, new habits. March also happens to be National Nutrition Month (I think you see where this is going). Right! It’s time for us to examine our current eating habits, and if you’re anything like me, change them for the better.
Poor nutrition is one of those areas that seems to get a lot of media attention, but most people don’t have the time, the energy or even the money to address it. Many of us don’t recognize how unhealthy eating habits truly pose a risk to our daily health and wellbeing. Poor nutrition can contribute to stress, fatigue and our ability to work, which can ultimately result in some pretty serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes or stroke. (sahealth.sa.gov, n.d.)
In a relatively recent study of nearly 200 countries, a poor diet was linked to the deaths of more people globally than smoking or high blood pressure. Let’s just sit with that statistic for a moment. I know my immediate reflection was our society’s relationship with food-- super-size portions, All You Can Eat buffets or unlimited refills. We are not a society that revels in moderation, but rather in over-indulgence. But it seems what we eat is not our biggest problem—it’s what we don’t eat. (Norton, 2019)
Americans are always strapped for time, and it seems the meal that’s getting left behind is breakfast. We don’t have time, we’re not hungry or we prefer the trendier option of flavored coffee, drizzled with this, infused with that and injected with who knows what. A survey polling 2,000 Americans found that the average person eats breakfast only three times a week, while 13% rarely ate breakfast…EVER. (Shoup, 2019).
Breakfast is not the meal to skip, it is an essential part of the day—kick-starting our brains and providing our bodies with the energy we need to help us think and perform better on the job. So, in an ironic nutrition twist, March’s challenge is not to abstain from foods you love. Instead, the challenge is to eat breakfast Monday through Friday all month. Do I recommend that you eat a breakfast that includes healthy proteins and carbs to maximize your brain power? Yes, I do. But I leave that up to you. See the attached printable Breakfast Bonanza Challenge calendar with healthy suggestions!
For some this will be easy. For those of you, I double dare you to pay attention to what you eat all month. For others, this will be extraordinarily challenging. I ask you to be open and give it a try.
Norton, A. (2019, April 3). Unhealthy Diets May be World's Biggest Killer. Retrieved from webmd.com: https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20190403/unhealthy-diets-may-be-worlds-biggest-killer#1
sahealth.sa.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Risks of Poor Nutrition: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/healthy+living/is+your+health+at+risk/the+risks+of+poor+nutrition
Shoup, M. E. (2019, July 22). What's For Breakfast? Fewer Americans are eating breakfast. Retrieved from foodnavigator-usa.com: https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2019/07/22/What-s-for-breakfast-Fewer-Americans-are-eating-breakfast#