March is National Nutrition Month — a great time to focus on what you eat and learn a bit more about healthy nutrition.

What you eat has a significant impact on how you feel, what you look like and how healthy your body and mind are. Research shows that a diet high in lean or plant-based proteins, veggies and fiber promotes good health while a diet high in sugar, fried foods and processed meals is unhealthy.

A good way to begin getting more of the good stuff into your body is by tracking what you consume. Using a food app or diary can show you where you need to make changes.

Eating less of the bad stuff and adding in more of the good stuff is a simple way to practice healthier eating habits. Less sugary, high-calorie desserts, more vitamin-packed fruits. Less artificial, high-processed snacks. More Omega 3 -ich snacks like nuts and chia pudding. Ease up on the trans and saturated fats and add more monosaturated fats. Making some small changes can provide great rewards.

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

Going about your day, you’re likely to come across advertisements or sales pitching for the latest nutrition fads. It may involve a diet that eliminates an entire food group or a tea that replaces meals. These are not good nutritious options, mainly because the future effects outweigh the immediate benefits. It doesn’t need to be so complicated. Forget the fad diets and supplement strategies for now and focus on shopping the perimeter of your grocery store. Stock up on colorful produce, healthy starches (like sweet potatoes) and lean proteins.

Pay attention to what foods help you feel good. Your body will tell you what it needs to thrive.

For instance, if you eat fried, fatty foods, you may feel overly full, gassy and overall yucky after. When you eat a bright, colorful buddha bowl, you may feel light, more energetic and satisfied. You may not be able to see your cholesterol spiking or your blood pressure rising but headaches, gastritis and weight gain is your body’s way of saying “stop eating that!”

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It’s important to not worry while trying to eat better.

For example, if it makes you nervous to eat out, have more options than you think. You can enjoy a great cup of coffee and hearty, veggie-filled egg-white omelet at Moriches Bay Diner.

If you’re craving appetizers and drinks, head over to La Buena Vida for their deliciously prepared artichoke hearts and a glass of wine. For date night try Mama Lisa’s tasty Chicken Alla Franco with light oil. Sometimes you just want dessert, and you should have it!

Mama Lisa’s offers decadent desserts from GF Sweets and Treats, including gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free options!

Remember, healthy nutrition is not about restriction. It is about practicing better eating often.