When work gets stressful, most of us reach for comfort food that may not be healthy. Nourishing yourself is smart for your heart and an effective way to take control of your health. November is Eat Smart Month and the American Heart Association is offering tips for New Hampshire residents to be Healthy for Good™ at work.
“Having a busy schedule can present nutrition challenges and additional stressors, but simple changes and investments in your own health can make an impact on your well-being and help you enjoy life even more,” said Anne L’Heureux, Hannaford Supermarkets dietitian. “Start small by making one more healthy choice today and build on it tomorrow.”
One healthy decision, like choosing baked over fried food for lunch, may not seem like much on its own, but success leads to more success and over time those little things add up to more health.
A recent survey conducted by Aramark and the American Heart Association showed more than three out of four employed U.S. adults say they’re more likely to make healthier decisions at other times of the day if they eat healthy at lunch.
“Don’t let the stress scare you,” said Anne. “It’s ok to sometimes treat yourself, just don’t lose sight of the nutrition basics like consuming adequate water throughout the day, combining protein and fiber at meals to help stay full, and incorporating fruits and veggies at both snacks and meals.”
The American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Eat Smart Initiative offers these tips for nourishing yourself:
- Bring your lunch and get creative with swaps: Cooking at home is a great way to take control of your diet and tweak favorite dishes. Reduce sodium by replacing salt with herbs and spices, adding more fruits and vegetables to dishes and using lower-sodium canned and frozen products. Combine lower-sodium foods with regular versions to help your taste adapt.
- Snack smart: To avoid overindulging when you can find the time, prep with nutrient-rich, Good Mood Foods that don’t sacrifice taste.
- Take your time: Don’t rush through your lunch break! Enjoy mealtime alone or with friends or coworkers and pause between bites to savor your foods.
- Practice gratitude: It can help lower blood pressure, improve your immune system and spur you to eat better and exercise more. Write down five things you’re grateful for and share them with your family and friends. Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.
Eat Smart Month is part of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good™ movement, which is designed to help you make lasting changes through simple steps in four areas: Eat Smart, Add Color, Move More, Be Well. This year’s campaign is locally sponsored in New Hampshire by Hannaford Supermarkets.
Learn more with our free American Heart Association Eat Smart Month Resource Kit locally sponsored by Hannaford Supermarkets.