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Healthy Eating in April

Plus Your Monthly Produce List!

One of the first pieces of nutrition advice that is often given is to eat more meals at home. Although this piece of advice can be helpful to stimulate awareness around the ingredients that we are consuming, it is possible to eat at your favorite local restaurants while maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

Integrating foods outside of our own kitchen allows for opportunities to implement convenience in what we eat, try new foods, and to enjoy the experience of eating a meal - which can ultimately help improve our relationship with food.

Tips for eating at your favorite restaurant:

  1. Don’t “save up” for a night out: If reservations for dinner out at a favorite restaurant are on the calendar, it may be tempting to skimp out on meals throughout the day to “save up” your calories. Instead, continuing with your normal eating patterns will help normalize your hunger cues. Similar to the thought behind the tip “don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach;” going into any meal too hungry can impair your ability to listen to your hunger cues and lead to overeating, which might ultimately result in decreased meal satisfaction.
  2. Make your meal balanced: A good rule of thumb when creating a balanced meal is allowing for 50% of the plate to consist of vegetables, with protein and grain each comprising 25%. Every entrée on a menu may not be a balanced meal; in that case, take a look for the items that are offered as sides – the missing piece to making your meal a balanced meal will most likely be offered there!
  3. Eat Seasonally: Some of the specials offered might just be foods that are in season! Enjoy these specials while they last, while also reaping the nutritional benefits of eating in-season foods.

Foods in season in April: apples, artichokes, avocados, asparagus, bananas, beets, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kiwi, leeks, mushrooms, peas, pears, rhubarb, strawberries, sweet onions

4. Leftovers: Don’t feel pressure to join the “Clean Plate Club,” instead, ask to bring your food to go and enjoy your leftovers for an easy meal at another time! If you feel that you may not have enough left over to make a complete meal.

Example: if you have half a piece of salmon, consider roasting frozen vegetables and making a side of pasta to complete the meal, or prepare a salad and use the salmon as your protein!

5. Practice mindfulness at the meal: Leave all the distractions at the door, put your phone away, and enjoy your dining experience!