March has
arrived and so has National Nutrition Month. The Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics choose an excellent theme this year ‘Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day’.
Personally I find this refreshing because it recognizes all different types of
eating regardless of culture or ethnicity. Being of a mixed background myself I
enjoy different types of eating; those of my own ethnicities and new acquired


Middle Eastern My Plate

Right, Your Way, Every Day’ highlights the reality that every diet regardless
of culture can be healthy. For example, just because an authentic Middle
Eastern diet does not include broccoli does not make it unhealthy.  On the contrary the Middle Eastern cuisine
utilizes numerous healthy fruits and vegetables not common in the American diet
like grape leaves, olives, figs and persimmons. 
It may be different but it is still healthy.


My Plate
which was launched in 2010 makes healthy eating easier than even.  We just need to follow these simple


1.    Half of your plate should be
vegetables and fruits.  And no, potatoes
do not count as a vegetable here.

2.    One quarter should be starches
and grains, preferably whole grains whenever possible. In this quarter include
foods like rice, whole grain bread, bulgur, freekeh, potatoes (yup you got it,
potatoes belong here), quinoa, etc.

3.    In the final quarter pile up
on lean and plant based proteins.  Good
protein sources such as chicken breasts, lean steaks, beans, and nuts.

4.    Have a low or fat free dairy
product with 3 of your meals.  A cup of
skim milk with breakfast, low fat yogurt for dessert or an ounce of low fat cheese
with a fruit for a healthy snack are just a few options.

5.    Finally, when preparing your
food make smart decisions about the fats you use.  Choose healthy sources like olive oil, canola
oil, flaxseed, avocado, or other monounsaturated or polyunsaturated healthy fat


Use these
generalized tips to make your own choices based on your cultural cuisine and
personal preferences.  Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month together! Let’s pave to road to health for ourselves and generations to

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