Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
From the Dietitian’s Desk
With Becca Rick, MS, RD
Self-care can support well-being in many ways. One method for practicing self-care is to create time for proper nutrition and hydration. Making time for eating meals and snacks throughout the day provides energy to tackle daily tasks, focus on what is at hand, and even support social well-being through sharing meals with others.
A high-quality eating pattern is full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, and oats), dairy, unsaturated or “heart healthy” fats (olive oil, avocados, and nuts), and lean protein. In addition to a nourishing eating pattern, engaging in physical activity and cultivating social interactions can also help maximize the benefits of total health.
Food and cooking can be a source of stress for many people. Often, feelings of anxiety and confusion surface when thinking about how and what to cook. During jam-packed weeks, meal planning is often neglected. By putting food on the backburner, the work week can easily become filled with imbalanced nutrition from rushed meals. Here are some tips for making intentional food choices that help keep energy levels high and reduce anxiety around food.
- Aim for three meals and two snacks each day.
- Eat breakfast daily to start the day with adequate energy and nourishment.
- Meal prep on your days off from work – take the stress out of packing a lunch or deciding what’s for dinner at the last moment.
- Drink more water to quench your thirst – try adding a lemon slice or mint sprig to mix it up.
- Use MyPlate as a starting point to guide your daily plan until you find your individualized balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat for optimal energy levels.
- Eat with intention – sit down and unplug during meals whenever possible to connect to hunger and fullness cues.
- Eat to enjoy – try to make family dinner or eating with friends a priority to boost mental well-being through social interactions.
Check out this recipe for “buddha bowls,” which can be prepped on the weekend for a weeks’ worth of healthy, balanced meals. These bowls are full of fruits and vegetables, which studies show can increase levels of happiness and improve mental health in general.