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Journal Writing Project - Eat right with color-you are what you eat

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

Maybe one more piece of cake, just another serving of pie, or perhaps just one more scoop of ice cream to go with our dessert. Sure, when making this decision we remember we've heard it more often than not-eat healthy, be active. Except when it comes down to it, the right choice is not always the easy one. Maybe you've recently made a New Year's resolution for 2011 to make healthier choices or to reach a weight loss goal, so have you kept up with your resolution? Well, if you need some inspiration... March is the perfect month for you.

As most people don't realize, March is actually known as National Nutrition Awareness Month. This is probably the best suited time of the year for a month dedicated to nutrition awareness. This year's theme highlights the concept of "Eat Right With Color." The American Dietetic Association directs this concept to people of every age group-both young and old. So whatever you consider yourself, they've got you covered. So, why is March such a perfect link to nutrition, health, and personal wellness? As Minnesotans, we are all too familiar with what's known as "cabin fever." The long winter tempts us to burrow into our heated homes. But now the wait is over with spring right around the corner. The ideal time has arrived for us to end our so called "hibernation," get out, be active, and eat healthily while focusing on making beneficial nutritional decisions.

We should all be aware of our personal health habits and realize that there are consequences for poor choices. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other medical conditions that can eventually lead to death stem from poor nutritional and fitness choices. Prevention of such diseases, conditions, and even tragedies is easily accomplished. It begins with our day-to-day decisions of how we eat, sleep, and exercise. Choosing the best options for our bodies and overall well being is no easy task, especially when we are surrounded by America's fast food frenzy and busy schedules. However, everyone has the same capability to living a healthy lifestyle. Not to demote places such the golden arches of McDonald's, Wendy's, Culver's, or any other American classic of fast food, but it is wise to follow the old fashioned rule of moderation is the key.

So, what steps encourage a healthy lifestyle rather than always discouraging good habits? Well, that goes back to the theme of this year's nutrition month-Eat Right With Color. The National Dietetic Association, or even common sense, can tell you that you should focus on balancing your diet between the five food groups. Food can be interesting without added sodium and artificial preservatives compiled with teaspoons of added sugar. Focusing on a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grain, lean protein, and dairy products will contribute to a reasonable diet. Combine that with any physical activity or exercise and you are on the path to a long and healthy life. When you look at the challenge, you can see that as long as you make positive decisions, a dietician or health guru is not required to put you on the road to being a fit individual.

Putting mind over matter can work wonders when you are contemplating that second round of dessert tonight. But ,just remember, you are what you eat. Eat right with color and you can enjoy a healthy, active life.

Mitch Walbridge is a student at Lanesboro High School. He is one of 10 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its twelfth year.

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