Manage Your Mind

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, many people say, “I know what to do … I just don’t do it!”

We know we should fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables.

We know exercising is important.

We know water is healthier than sugary beverages.

When knowledge isn’t the issue, it’s time to look at things differently. It’s time to work on mind management!

How can you help your students or clients use mind management to achieve their nutrition, health, and fitness goals? You can start with the following messages, which are communicated through our motivational posters:

I Am motivational poster

  • Forgiving a setback: When you overindulge or skip a workout, acknowledge it and move on. Beating yourself up makes it harder to get back on track.
  • Not giving up: When you get discouraged, think about what’s going well for you. You may not be losing weight, but do you have more energy or feel more comfortable in your clothes?
  • Planning and working to success: Even if you know what to do, you need a plan and you need to keep working on it. A healthy lifestyle is a life-long process.

Mindful Eating poster

  • Why am I eating? Ask yourself this question when you reach for food or beverages. Take time to figure out if you’re truly hungry.
  • Enjoy the experience: Don’t rush through meals and snacks. Savor every bite. Slow down, put your food on a plate, sit down.

Keep a Healthy Mindset poster

  • I can do it: Positive, compassionate self-talk is key to mind management.
  • Never quit: Nobody is perfect; giving up is not an option.

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

 

Take Action on Nutrition Security

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week released Actions on Nutrition Security, a report highlighting the agency’s commitment to ensuring both nutrition security and food security to support optimal health and well-being for all Americans.

You’re probably familiar with the term food security, but what exactly is nutrition security? USDA puts it in simple terms:

  • Food security is having enough calories.
  • Nutrition security is having the right calories.

This new initiative is especially timely, given the rising costs of food, gas, and other consumer products. As inflation continues, healthy eating on a budget is becoming more and more of a challenge for the typical American family.

You need to teach your clients, employees, and students that healthy eating on a budget is possible. We have tools to help you do this, starting with our Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint.

The Healthy Shopping on a Budget presentation provides practical information about low-cost choices in each food group. It also includes a collection of recipes that are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and tasty.

To be most effective, you’ll need to modify the Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint show to take into account your audience and where they live and work.

This will take a little research on your part. Here are some questions to get you started:

Farmers markets:

Supermarkets:

  • Is there a full-service supermarket in the area?
    • If not, do your clients have transportation to a grocery store?
    • If not, are there nearby corner stores or convenience stores that sell healthy items, like fresh produce, at affordable prices?
  • Which stores have the best prices on quality fresh produce?
  • Is there an Aldi nearby?
    • If so, find out when regulars say is the best day to shop there for fresh produce (hint: it’s usually Wednesdays).
    • If so, what items should your clients look for at Aldi? (Here’s one list by a registered dietitian).

Food Assistance:

  • Where can your clients go when they can’t afford to buy food?
  • Are there food pantries that offer fresh produce? Salt-free or no-sugar-added canned foods? Whole grains?
  • Do schools or churches offer free food distribution?
  • Is there a community garden nearby that allows neighbors to share the harvest?
  • Do your clients qualify for programs like Meals on Wheels?

Answering these questions are key to being able to educate people about healthy eating on a budget.

You’ll find an infographic that summarizes USDA’s new nutrition security initiative here.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Which Side Are You On?

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about anything controversial!

In fact, our Which Side are You On? PowerPoint show will appeal to everyone who wants to eat healthier for any reason.

One side is the typical American diet of fast food and sugary beverages. The other side is a healthier eating pattern filled with nutrient-dense, less-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

Which Side are You On? uses more than 50 professional photographs of real food to compare the two sides.

This is a great way to do nutrition education for visual learners, people with low literacy, or any audience you want to impress. They will appreciate the picture comparisons and the messages will be easy to remember.

Use Which Side are You On? to teach:

  • Older adults at a senior center or retirement community.
  • Parents of young children (maybe for parent’s night at a child care center or elementary school).
  • Middle, high school, or college students or student-athletes.

Bonus – it’s only about 20 minutes long, leaving you plenty of time for Q&A or a cooking demo!

There’s also a Which Side are You On? poster. The poster and the PowerPoint come with our Fast and Lean Meal Planner Handout, which will help your audience start choosing the healthy side for all their meals right away.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Don’t Get Hooked by the See-Food Diet

A school nurse recently bought our See Food Diet Poster. She says she is trying to get all the kids on a good schedule with eating right, sleeping, and learning after all the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, she loves this poster so much that we made it into a banner for her – yes, all our posters are also available as banners!

The See Food poster features a beautiful fish swimming along in the sea. The fish is tempted by hook after hook baited with not-so-healthy food choices like soda, chili dogs, cake, and candy.

But if the fish takes its eyes off the junk food, it will find a treasure chest spilling over with healthier food choices.

The message? Don’t eat everything you see. Don’t get hooked!

Kids (and adults!) will love this colorful and fun poster. You can use it to generate discussions about:

  1. The food industry and how junk food and fast food are formulated to tempt your tastebuds.
  2. Mindful eating and how to pause instead of automatically taking the bait of unhealthy food.
  3. Planning ahead so you always have healthy foods handy.
  4. Using portion control so you can have occasional treats without overdoing it.
  5. Healthier options at restaurants and convenience stores, for those times when you find yourself hungry and away from home.

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Lead With Your Fork

Foods that require a fork (or spoon) to eat are usually chock-full of nutrients. This idea is beautifully illustrated in our new Lead With Your Fork poster.

Your students or clients will love this light-hearted take on the MyPlate concept that uses colorful photos of real food arranged in the shape of a person/plate, with a fork at the ready for some healthy eating. 

Leading with your fork is catchy phrase that might just make people stop and think before they eat. Here are some talking points to go with this concept:

  • Foods that you can eat out of a bag with your hands (think chips, fast food) usually provide lots of calories but not much in terms of nutrients.
  • Foods that you usually need a fork or spoon to eat (think salads, soups, vegetables, and lean protein) are usually nutrient-dense, healthier choices.
  • Leading with your fork rules out eating while driving!  
  • Leading with your fork means eating mindfully — sitting down, putting the food on a plate, taking small bites, putting your fork down between bites, chewing slowly, taking time to taste the food.
  • There are exceptions to every rule, and leading with your fork is no different. Yes, raw baby carrots are healthy and no, you usually don’t eat those with a fork. Same with an apple and other foods. But in general, the rule works. 
  • The next time you eat, ask yourself, could I eat this with a fork? If not, stop and think about whether it’s a healthy choice. Try it and report back!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Lighten Things Up with Humor

Nutrition is a serious topic, but sometimes a little humor can help you get your point across. The Nutrition Education Store has lots of fun posters that convey important information in a lighthearted way.

One example is the See-Food Diet/Don’t Get Hooked poster.

The subject of this poster is a beautiful fish (made up of fruits and vegetables of course!) swimming along in the sea. The fish is tempted by hook after hook baited with not-so-healthy food choices like soda, chili dogs, cake, and candy. But if the fish looks down just a little, it sees a treasure chest spilling over with healthier food choices.

The message? Don’t eat everything you see. Don’t get hooked!

Here are some talking points to go along with this colorful and fun poster:

  • Ask some questions about what’s going on in the illustration…
    • Who is fishing? (food companies)
    • Who is the fish? (consumers)
    • What hooks catch your attention in real life? (billboards, ads, supermarket displays)
  • Talk about how mindful eating can help you ignore the hooks. Ask yourself…
    • Am I really hungry?
    • Do I want to eat because I just saw a fast food billboard?
  • Discuss the fact that hooks with unhealthy choices are always within reach.
    • When you bite once, another will appear.
    • It’s a cycle that’s hard to stop once you start.
  • Emphasize that you have to bait your own hooks!
    • There is a treasure trove of tasty, healthy foods, but they probably aren’t dangling on a hook right in front of your eyes.
    • Put healthy choices where you’ll see them – whether that’s at eye level in the refrigerator or in a fruit bowl on the table.

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Use the code FALLSAVE15 to save 15% on anything in the Nutrition Education Store!