“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” We’re not quite sure who said it, but we are sure it’s true. March marks National Nutrition Month™️ making it the perfect time to set realistic nutrition goals. If your New Year didn’t start the way you’d hoped (who’s did?), you can start now setting goals for the year.
Here’s what we suggest:
Eat more vegetables. Look, no one said your goals have to be innovative and new. With very few people meeting the recommended veggie intake each day, this basic nutrition goal is one we should likely all add to our list.
How to do it? Find easy ways to fit in more veggies. Think spinach in a smoothie, serving a salad each night with dinner and serving raw veggies with your favorite dip. It’s also important to know that the biggest obstacle for many people in actually eating more veggies is buying more veggies. So consider making that — adding extra veggies to your shopping list each week — a goal itself.
Boost your calcium intake. Bone health isn’t exactly the health topic of the day making headlines these days, but that’s not because it’s not vitally important to overall health. In fact, about one out of every two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is a crucial part of building strong bones when you’re young and keeping them strong as you age. Women over age 51 and men over age 71 should be consuming 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day and all other adults should get 1,000 milligrams per day.
How to do it? Milk, yogurt and cheese are rich in calcium at roughly 200-300 mg per serving. Eating/drinking three servings a day (along with eating an otherwise healthy, balanced diet) should meet this requirement. Examples: A yogurt parfait for breakfast, cheese in a salad at lunch and a greek yogurt popsicle for dessert.
Ensure adequate protein. You may think the power of protein is mostly a concern for body builders and weight lifters. But it’s actually important for all of us. No matter your age, building and maintaining muscle strength is crucial to health and wellness. And while eating protein alone won’t build muscle (hint: adding strength training to your Goals List is also a good idea), without adequate protein intake, maintaining that muscle is very difficult.
How to do it? Aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal. Adding cheese to your eggs, making soup with milk or even baking with whey protein powder are all easy ways to boost your daily protein intake. Look to fish, poultry, lean meats, beans and nut butter as good sources of protein as well.