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12 Months of Wellness (March): Commit to Nutrition

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already in the third month of our 12 Months of Wellness challenge. You know what they say—time flies when you’re having fun. Are you ready for the next one? For the entire month of March, we’re challenging you to commit to nutrition. Of course, given that it’s National Nutrition Month, we’re guessing this month’s theme probably comes as no surprise. The whole “commit to nutrition” thing may sound a bit vague, so let us explain… We all live busy lives that are filled with a multitude of decisions; decisions we’re forced to make each and every day. From the clothes you wear to whether or not you get in a workout session at the gym, some of these decisions are easier than others. One decision that we hope to make a little easier for you this month is making smarter, healthier food choices. Don’t worry, don’t worry—we’re not asking you to adopt a strict diet and cut out every kind of food indulgence you enjoy. Everyone likely has their own idea of what qualifies as “healthier,” and some may choose to make more extreme changes than others. All we ask during the next 30 days is that you make an active decision to change something about your eating habits for the better. Need a little motivation? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • Don’t go cold turkey, just go dark. We meant it when we said that you don’t have to cut out all the foods you enjoy from your diet. Love chocolate? Uh, us too. While regular milk chocolate doesn’t offer much in the benefits department, dark chocolate is another story. Swap out your sweet treats for a bite of extra dark chocolate (we’re talking at least 70% cocoa) and indulge guilt-free without depriving your taste buds.

  • Make a swap. Ditch the white rice and opt for brown rice instead. Replace the iceberg lettuce in your salad with spinach or kale. Top your whole-wheat toast with almond butter instead of peanut butter. Even just the smallest—and sometimes least noticeable—of changes can make a huge difference in your health.

  • Bring in, don’t take out. Make a change both your health and your wallet will thank you for. Even if you think you’re making a smart food choice during your lunch hour, nothing beats a meal prepared at home. Not only does it put you in control of each and every thing making its way to your fork (even the healthiest-looking options at your favorite lunch spot could be hiding some not-so-healthy ingredients), but it also helps you avoid making a regrettable choice when the temptation arises at the checkout counter.
Who knows? The changes you decide to make this month may end up being lifestyle changes you commit to—and benefit from—for the rest of your life. Now go out there and get busy! Have a favorite healthy recipe? Post it. Committing to snacking on healthier food options? We want to see it. Share your progress and connect with others using the #PerriconeMD hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep an eye here for a wealth of nutrition-related news and diet how-tos coming your way throughout the month.