Good Nutrition is More Than What You Eat
January 25, 2022 - Defence Stories
Feeding and nourishing your body well helps optimize your well-being, contributing to more vitality and resilience to enjoy your life and care for others. Self-care promotes your health and happiness; adding activities and nourishing foods rewards you by giving your body what it needs, promoting your health and happiness.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep feeds the brain by affecting hormones and brain signals. When we are sleep-deprived we make more impulsive food choices, crave nutrient dense foods, eat larger portions and snack late at night. With good sleep, we are more energized for physical activity and make healthier food choices.
- Be kind to yourself. Take the time to eat undistracted, either solo or with company, rather than eating while multi-tasking. By focusing on your meal, it will help you become more aware of what and how much you are eating, and when you are feeling full and have eaten enough for you.
- Get a move on! Exercise, such as a walk around the neighbourhood, some yoga or a strenuous aerobic workout, offers health benefits like reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression. Choose something you enjoy for sustainability rather than focusing on intensity – activity you do regularly and long-term will have benefits. It can also boost feel-good neurotransmitters so you will feel like cooking a healthy meal.
- Drink water. Slight dehydration can affect cognitive and physical performance. Keep a big glass of water on your desk and drink often. It helps keep joints lubricated, gets nutrients to cells, eliminates waste and keeps your bowels regular.
- Eat real food. Eating healthy, nutrient dense food needs a plan. Prioritizing nutrition means making a list and shopping for fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, and pantry staples. This may involve meal preparation so that highly processed “convenience” foods or take-out are not your ‘go-to’ choices.
Here are some quick, easy and healthy meals for you to try:
- Microwave frozen fish with a drizzle of olive oil, serve with whole wheat couscous or quinoa and frozen vegetables. Dinner in 20 minutes.
- Scramble eggs, or make an omelet, with whole grain toast and a handful of raw vegetables. Brunch at any time of day.
- Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread and a glass of milk. Great for home or on the go.
- Heat canned legumes (or another source of protein), cooked pasta, frozen vegetables and a dollop of jarred pesto. Budget friendly and fast.
- Add canned legumes and extra vegetables to a ready-made broth soup. Who says it has to be all home-made?
- High fibre cereal with milk/soy beverage topped with fruit. Nothing wrong with that!
Healthy food and mindful nutrition is taking care of yourself by giving your body what it needs. Keep it simple; try to cook, eat with others, and listen to how your body feels when it is hungry or full.
Check out these helpful links:
- Meal Preparation Tips (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website)
- Make Water Your Drink of Choice (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website)
- Facts on Hydration (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website)
Looking for more info? Reach out to your base/wing Health Promotion Delivery office for support to help you live your healthiest life.
Pam Hatton is the Nutrition Wellness Program Lead in the Directorate of Force Health Protection and provides science-based advice. As a member of the Strengthening the Forces team, she is involved in promoting healthy eating and nutritional wellness.
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