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National Nutrition Month: Be Smart with Your Health

National Nutrition month, who’s 2016 theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” is here! If you made a resolution to eat healthier or exercise more this year, then this March is the perfect time to evaluate your eating habits and make an action plan for how to integrate more nutritious meals into your diet. Instead of having a general goal like “eat healthier food”, try making SMART goals. SMART stands for:

Specific

Having a specific goal for yourself when it comes to healthy living makes it easier to track progress. Having a large, long- term goal is good, but it is best to set steps for yourself in between to be sure that you’re making progress.

Instead of generally saying “I want to eat more vegetables” set a goal for yourself to eat at least one serving of vegetables with your dinner.

Measurable

How will you measure your progress? Set target dates for your milestones or use numbers to measure your progress.

If your goal is to eat at least one serving of vegetables with your dinner, decide that you will do this three times per week. You now have a specific goal that you can measure each week.

Attainable/Achievable

When it comes to nutrition and health, what is most important and feasible for you? It is good to shoot for the stars, but setting an achievable goal will more likely help you get there, and be satisfied when you make it to the finish line.

How will you achieve it? If you are going to eat vegetables with dinner three times per week, give yourself options on how you will add the vegetables to your meal that make sense for you. This can be by adding a salad to your dinner or eating sautéed spinach with every meal.

Realistic

It is important to be realistic with your goals. Now that you have specified your goal, have a way to measure how you are going to do it, and made sure it is attainable, it’s time to make sure that this is something you can commit to doing.

Time-bound

Without a time frame, there is no sense of urgency. Saying “someday” will not help you achieve your healthy goals, therefore you should set monthly, or even yearly, goals for yourself.

Finally, how long are you going to do this? Give yourself a deadline.

At the end of this if eating healthier was your original goal, your SMART goal should sound something similar to this:

“I will eat at least one serving of vegetables with my dinner, three times a week by adding either a salad or sautéed vegetables to my meal. I will do this for the next two months and then re-evaluate my goals.”

Using SMART can not only help with healthy eating, but with exercise routines too. If you’re missing out on regular exercise by not being active during the week, then create a SMART goal to help attain that.

The US dietary guidelines state that about 75% of the population has an eating pattern that is low in dairy, oils, fruits, and vegetables. By setting SMART goals to incorporate healthier meal choices in to your eating pattern you can “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. Along with making the conscious decision to select better foods when grocery shopping, add Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ Complete capsules are whole-food based and offer 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains that can help you increase your intake of daily nutrients and will help you fill the gap in nutrition and attain your goal of a healthy lifestyle.

What will your SMART goals be this year?

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?parentnav=FOOD_NUTRITION&navid=DIETARY_HEALTH&navtype=RT

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DietaryGuidelines

http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/introduction/a-roadmap-to-the-2015-2020-edition-of-the-dietary-guidelines-for-americans/#navigation

http://www.kean.edu/sites/default/files/u7/SMART%20Objectives.pdf

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