Happy National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month!!! 😀

[And Happy Birthday to my dear friend Mary! <3 Have a wonderful birthday, hun! 🙂 ]

The first National Nutrition Week was in 1973. By 1980, the campaign stretched to an entire month — the month of March. I thought about how I could recognize National Nutrition Month here on Prevention RD, and I decided to highlight a different disease or condition each day that can be impacted by nutrition. I view nutrition as very powerful stuff; I feel proper nutrition can help prevent anything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease. So each day in March I will highlight a specific condition and it’s nutritional significance. While many of you may know this information, I feel it is my dietitian duty to get the word out. And sometime between today and March 31st, I hope you can learn a thing or two, too!

First up: Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women. Heart disease encompasses coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease. Ways to prevention heart disease: smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, lowering cholesterol, exercising, and controlling blood pressure. All but smoking cessation are diet and nutrition-related.

Specifically, reduce caloric intake and increase caloric expenditure through exercise to lose weight, if necessary. Increase dietary fiber intake through fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes while decreasing sodium (salt) intake by reducing processed food intake and dining out. Omit added salt to foods and rinse canned vegetables well. Opt for low-sodium varieties when available. Initiate an exercise routine that includes both cardiovascular and resistance components and aim to include 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. The lower the intensity of your workout, the longer the duration ought to be.

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I don’t know if you noticed but the National Nutrition Month theme this year is: Nutrition From the Ground Up! And what a timely theme it is as I finished my garden bed yesterday! Lily and I posed in the bed below.

[ Disclaimer: I look like a hot mess because I had just played a hockey game! ]

The dirt should be delivered today or tomorrow. Getting the dirt from the driveway to the backyard is the next task! I need to heal my blisters quickly 😉 Gardening is hard work!!

And it wouldn’t be a Monday post without a new recipe to share…

Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from wholegraingourmet.com

1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (grapeseed or canola)
1 Tbsp molasses
1 egg (beat with 1 Tbsp water)
1 tsp Vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Hint: when measuring out the honey, spray the measuring cup with oil or baking spray–your honey won’t stick). Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff. Add the chocolate chips.

Cool the mix for 20 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 335º F.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your baking sheet (I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper). Press down with a fork to ensure even cooking. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie.Yield: 19 large  cookies

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 149 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 66 mg. sodium; 19.4 g. carbohydrate; 1.3 g. fiber; 1.1 g. protein

Result: Eh. I give these cookies a “C”. They were very easy, but the flavor is just a bit burnt and I’m thinking this could be due to the honey in place of sugar. Honey burns very easily. Would I make them again? Maybe.

Question: Did you know it was National Nutrition Month? Is there a certain disease/condition you are interested in learning more about in relation to it’s nutritional implications? I may be able to squeeze it in, or it may already be on my list 🙂

Random question: I’m thinking of painting my garden — any color suggestions? I originally thought red, but I’m leaning towards green. Thoughts? Help!

P.S. The disease/condition requests are separate from the Q&A questions. Send any Q&A questions on over — I should be posting this week’s Q&A tomorrow or Wednesday! Thank you!

Have a wonderful week,

36 Comments

  1. March 1, 2010 / 6:03 am

    What better month than March to celebrate nutrition? Spring is just around the corner and fresh produce is going to be readily available soon–yay!! Bummer the cookies didn’t turn out the greatest–the ingredients sound like they would turn out delish.

  2. March 1, 2010 / 6:08 am

    I’m so excited for your garden! How about painting it yellow….like the sun!

    I would love to know more about gluten intolerance. There is a lot out there on Celiac, but there is more and more on gluten intolerance as a separate condition. I do not have Celiac, but a gf diet improves my IBS symptoms. I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance through Enterolab….ever heard of them?

    • March 1, 2010 / 8:01 am

      Celiac and gluten sensitivity are on the list! I’ve never eeard of that lab, nope…is it one that’s private and through the mail?

  3. March 1, 2010 / 6:17 am

    I did not know that this month was national nutrition month, but how perfect for my taste the rainbow challenge! I can’t wait to hear about preventing diseases through nutrition. Your posts are always so informative!

    • March 1, 2010 / 8:05 am

      Thank you! I’ve played everything but goalie. In high school I played left wing, in college I played center, and now I play right wing and defense on occasion. 🙂

  4. March 1, 2010 / 7:18 am

    Hey Nicole! Ok, a few things, FIRST it’s SO COOL That oyu are starting a garden. One of the major reasons why Nick and I want to move is so we can have a garden. I can’t WAIT!

    Second, I read your comment last night and while it does sound like you do a lot of sitting at work, you sound like you are truly motivated to keep being more active. I mean, 2 hockey games this week and over 25 miles per week of running?! That’s awesome! Good for you. Many people give up on the weekends (as I’m SURE you know!).

    Another thing. Check out the ADA website and get their NNM gadget. Also if you do a post about what the NNM theme means to you, and send it to them, they will post is on their blog!

    • March 1, 2010 / 8:07 am

      Thank you Gina…for the encouragement (I’m trying!!!) and for the NNM heads up! Definitely looking into that!

  5. March 1, 2010 / 7:48 am

    Definitely paint the garden green!

    I have to say, I love your blog. You give some really great information. I had no idea it was national nutrition month! I’m looking forward to learning about the different diseases that can be prevented through good nutrition.

  6. March 1, 2010 / 7:50 am

    yay for nutrition month! id love to hear about the relationship between diet/mental health too!! being a psych major that kind of stuff is soo interesting to me!

  7. eaternotarunner
    March 1, 2010 / 8:07 am

    I would love red for the garden it’s my fav color:-)

    I’m always interested in learning more about diabetes because my mom has it, and I know that is your specialty!

  8. March 1, 2010 / 8:15 am

    lovely pic nicole and perfect yummy cookies too..

  9. Elaine
    March 1, 2010 / 10:00 am

    Your raised bed looks excellent! I did this last year, but from a kit, after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (if you haven’t read this, you must). Unfortunately, my zeal for gardening fizzled by August, but we did enjoy lots of fresh organic veggies and herbs… and so, so many cucumbers. I’m gearing up to do it again this spring, and look forward to progress reports on your garden. Another useful book: Square-Foot Gardening.

  10. March 1, 2010 / 10:05 am

    Congrats for finishing the garden bed!!
    I’ve never heard of Nutrition Month but I think it’s a great idea to make people more aware of proper nutrition and health.
    Those cookies look good!!

  11. March 1, 2010 / 10:12 am

    those cookies LOOK better than a C, but unfortunately i can’t taste them via the computer to give my vote! psh you look hot, but not like a mess 🙂

  12. March 1, 2010 / 10:31 am

    I didn’t know it was national nutrition month. I’m interested to learn more about the diseases you highlight! I say go with the green for the garden…very earthy!

  13. March 1, 2010 / 10:40 am

    I did know it was National Nutrition Month but I don’t think a lot of people do..so thanks for dedicating time to it!

    Your garden is going to be so nice! What a big space. I am leaning towards red!

    Have a great Monday!

  14. March 1, 2010 / 11:21 am

    You’re such a good RD bringing up National Nutrition Month on the first day. I totally forgot about it in my blog post this morning… whoops!

    Have a great day Nicole!

  15. March 1, 2010 / 1:25 pm

    Bummer about the cookies….they sound like they’d be delicious! I’m a picky cookie eater, so I’m glad you gave us fair warning!

  16. March 1, 2010 / 2:16 pm

    How about something stress-related and health. 🙂

    I am so jealous of your garden, I live in the desert but grew up in Oregon. I can’t wait to see your progress!

    • Nicole
      Author
      March 1, 2010 / 5:43 pm

      Hey Lisa…I’m drawing a blank on stress and nutrition, but if I uncover something, it’ll for sure pop up! 🙂 Thank you for the suggestion!

  17. March 1, 2010 / 3:02 pm

    No I didn’t know it was national nutrition month… Can’t wait to learn more from you! I’d be interested in learning how nutrition can help with dementia and parkinson’s
    disease. Those are the 2 diseases in my family and my memory is already shot!

    • Nicole
      Author
      March 1, 2010 / 5:42 pm

      Dementia is on the list! I will add Parkinsons, though…great suggestion, Heather!!

  18. March 1, 2010 / 3:18 pm

    I love nutrition month because I get to pull out my nutrition file and do all of my nutrition activities with my little 1st graders!! So much fun!! 🙂

  19. March 1, 2010 / 6:45 pm

    Happy Nutrition Month to you too, and Happy Birthday to your friend Mary! 🙂 Your garden is really shaping up! I thinking green or yellow would be great colors to paint it.

  20. March 1, 2010 / 7:03 pm

    Happy Nutrition Month! I actually spent a couple hours at work preparing for a “Nutrition Booth” we are setting up next week in the hospital cafeteria to raise awareness! We have a ton of nutritional handouts to pass out along with some fun nutrition quizzes. The winners of the nutritional quizzes will receive pedometers!

    I love hearing about your garden plans! Cory and I can’t wait till we have a backyard to plant one.

  21. March 1, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    Happy NNM to you! I made sure to mention to my students, both college and my middle schoolers. The middle schoolers may have been less than thrilled but again it was at 7:50 this am when I busted in with a big Who ate breakfast? Come on everyone it’s national nutrition month. Yeah, I may have been a little excited.

  22. March 1, 2010 / 8:27 pm

    gosh Nicole you are just one RD with an innate talent for cooking and baking. I swear every day there’s something restaurant worthy that I would totally order off a menu…and occasionally consider making (because I’m so lazy i’m totally a one-pot meal sorta girl!)….these cookies sound absolutely perfect for me though…mmm

  23. March 1, 2010 / 9:10 pm

    Happy nutrition month to you too! I love that you are going to showcase/teach about a different disease. Can’t wait for all these posts!

    Those cookies look amazing. You would never know that they are “healthy”.

  24. March 1, 2010 / 9:52 pm

    Wouldn’t red make your garden look very Christmasy? I say green! It’s easy on the eyes, too! 🙂

    I didn’t know it’s national nutrition month! You keep doing your thing, Nicole! You celebrate it every single month, and make it more pleasant for others, too! 🙂

  25. March 1, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    I only remembered it was National Nutrition Month because my community instructor told us today *blush* Can’t wait to read all your highlights this month!

    I’m leaning toward red, but I may be biased because it’s my favorite color 😛

  26. March 2, 2010 / 12:27 pm

    Happy NNM! I love your garden and can’t wait to see it unfold! Those cookies look yummy 🙂

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