Spring Clean Your Eating Habits This Nutrition Month
Nutrition Tips from Lanette Kovachi, Global Dietitian at SUBWAY® Restaurants
Now that winter is officially over, don’t just spring clean your home, spring clean your eating habits! Take advantage of the change in season to dust off your winter blues and kick start yourself into healthier habits that will carry you through till next spring!
To help you start this season off fresh, SUBWAY® Restaurants Global Dietitian, Lanette Kovachi has some simple tips that anyone can incorporate into their daily lives to get started on the path to healthier eating:
Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Making healthy choices begins at breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast every morning can help promote healthy living. Try to avoid bagels, muffins, and donuts as they are packed with empty calories, loaded with simple carbs and low in protein – the perfect combo to leave you feeling hungry after a short while.
Instead, choose a breakfast that contains a good source of protein and fibre, but not high in calories like an omelette. Try swapping out a regular egg for egg whites in your omelette and pair with whole grain toast, or try a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with protein-packed low fat milk to help you feel full longer.
Snacking between meals is an important way to keep your body satisfied, so you don’t overeat at lunch and dinner. Smart mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks should be high in fibre, and/or should include protein.
Tip: Try fresh fruit, cut veggies with hummus, whole wheat crackers with light cheese, low fat yogurt, whole grain granola bars, or a handful of nuts.
Go Light at Lunch
Don’t lose your momentum at lunch. Stick to a lunch that is packed with lean meats, fruits, veggies and high fibre grains. Try a SUBWAY® sandwich with lean turkey, chicken or roast beef on 9-grain wheat bread.
· Swap your regular SUBWAY® sandwich for a SUBWAY® chopped salad. It has all the veggie goodness in a bowl without the bread. Enjoy it as a vegetarian option or add your choice of meat for added protein like SUBWAY® Restaurants grilled, all white meat chicken strips made with no artificial colours or preservatives.
· In need of a warm up? Try pairing a SUBWAY® chopped salad with the new Tomato Basil soup, available at SUBWAY® Restaurants for a limited time. The Tomato Basil soup is vegetarian (may contain dairy).
Downsize Dinner Portions
By dinner time, you may be feeling good about the choices you’ve made throughout the day and decide to reward yourself with a double-portioned dinner. Don’t do it. Stick to eating sensible portions throughout the entire day.
Tip: When making dinner at home, try to keep your portions down by using a smaller dinner plate. As a general guideline, keep your meat serving to about a quarter of your plate, your starch (i.e. potatoes, rice or pasta) to a quarter and fill the rest of your plate with veggies. Try to eat just enough so you feel satisfied, but not uncomfortable.
Cut Back on Sodium
We all know that sodium is something that we need to be mindful of. Here are some simple ways you can cut back:
· Making fruits and vegetables the basis of your diet will slash sodium levels. Fresh fruit and vegetables are filling, healthy, and naturally low in sodium or sodium free. And best of all, it will fill your diet with tons of disease fighting-nutrients.
· Read the nutrition facts on the packaging at the grocery store to evaluate some of the everyday items you buy. For example, look at your sandwich bread and compare it to the other labels – try to pick the bread that has the lowest sodium and the highest fibre.
· While cooking at home, replace table salt with salt-free seasonings; there is a delicious variety available in the spice aisle of the grocery store.
Be a role model for healthier eating
Making healthier eating choices and leading by example is a great way to influence positive changes in people’s lives, especially children. When you cannot eat together at home, choose a better on-the-go option like SUBWAY® Restaurants. SUBWAY® has a kid specific meal deal called a Kids’ Pak® which comes with a four-inch sandwich, apple slices, Minute Maid Apple Juice and a giveaway such as a toy – just what you need to make eating better easy and fun!
I think that reviewing our eating habits, and trying to keep them in check, should be important year-round. The reality is we all fall off the wagon every so often, and that’s fine as long as we bring it back.
Being responsible for my daughter’s diet was definitely much easier when she was younger. Now, as a teen, she has developed an eating habit that I don’t approve of all of the time. I am; however, proud that I did instil some values that shine through every so often. When my daughter was little, I would only allow fast-food eating a few times a year and that was the only time she was allowed to have pop too. If we were out, and she was hungry, I’d allow her to pick something to eat at SUBWAY®.
Now, as a teenager, she ‘hangs out’ with her friends and has junk food much too often. That’s what teenagers do, after all. I’m happy that when she goes out; especially when she goes out with her friends, she still prefers going to SUBWAY®. In my opinion, it’s the healthier option out there.