March is National Nutrition Month, which will mean something different for everyone. Whether it’s low carb, vegetarian or paleo, people are nourishing their bodies in ways that make them feel good and align with their personal convictions.
Some will debate the merits of one diet over another, but the truth is that there’s more than one way to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Most will agree, however, that buying fresh, locally-sourced ingredients is ideal and people are paying closer attention to labels. In fact, according to the Texas Farm Bureau, the demand for organic, non-GMO ingredients is outpacing production!
What is National Nutrition Month?
Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1980, National Nutrition Month is “an annual nutrition education and information campaign” with a focus “on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”
For 2019, the Academy has placed an emphasis on greater flexibility and diversity in terms of defining good nutrition. According to their website, “there’s no one diet that is right for everyone, so it’s important to follow a healthful eating plan that’s packed with tasty foods and that keeps your unique lifestyle in mind.”
If eating a keto diet makes you feel good and has created a positive impact on your health, go for it. If following a vegan plan helps you feel strong and energized, keep going. If you prefer to eat from all four food groups to fuel your body, that’s fantastic. Make the choices that are right for you.
Across the country, there are areas where finding fresh, organic produce is difficult — has this been a challenge for you? Ashley Tyrner, founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct, has made it her mission to change that. After falling on hard times, the single mother realized how difficult and expensive it was to provide healthy food for her daughter, Harlow. That’s when she came up with her big idea.
In 2014, Tyrner quit her job to launch Farmbox Direct, a company that supports local farmers and ships boxes of fruits and vegetables to Americans all over the country. In the early days, she personally delivered many items herself, driving around the streets of New York City and Brooklyn late at night with then three-year-old Harlow as her sidekick. Today, her company has more than 10,000 customers!
Farmboxes change based on what’s fresh and in-season locally, so the selection will vary throughout the year. Still, there are nine boxes in three different sizes, with up to five substitutions allowed per box. It’s highly customizable with prices starting at $43.95. There are even boxes specifically for juicing!
Want to set a good example and teach your kids about the benefits of healthy eating from a young age? Check out the Harlow’s Harvest monthly subscription box. After seeing her mom work so hard to get Farmbox Direct off the ground, seven-year-old Harlow, a self-proclaimed vegan, decided to follow in her footsteps.
The goal is to make cooking together fun, interactive and educational. Inside the Harlow’s Harvest subscription box, you’ll find recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish you’ll be making and an online game connected to the month’s theme! Kids will also love receiving a new pin every month which can be added to their apron.
Boxes begin at $19 per month and, when you pay for the six or 12-month plan in advance, you’ll receive a free apron!
Fresh n’ Lean
Want to spring clean your diet but don’t have the time to shop or cook? Check out Fresh n’ Lean. Led by co-CEO and founder Laureen Asseo, the company ships nutritious meals at reasonable prices; plans start at $9.33 per meal and are based on 5-day or 7-day options.
Everything comes in eco-friendly, recyclable, BPA-free food trays with an emphasis on keeping packaging minimal. This also helps keep the meals from taking up too much space in the fridge!
With selections including paleo, vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, low-fat and dairy-free, Fresh n’ Lean uses locally-grown, in-season ingredients while skipping refined sugars and artificial colors, flavors and stabilizers. The end result is an incredible fresh-tasting meal delivered right to your doorstep!
Commit to Your Health
Experimenting with foods and sampling new cuisines can be a wonderful experience, but always consult with your doctor before making any long term dietary decisions. Cholesterol, allergies and other nutritional sensitivities may warrant special care when starting a new eating plan.
Whatever steps you take, make it a priority to determine which foods make you feel good and fuel your body — and then commit to your own health. Enjoy everything in moderation, but sticking to a healthy eating plan can improve your sense of well-being and prolong your life. To good health!