Be the MVP of Your Health: Make Healthy Choices During National Nutrition Month
From my early morning workouts, to the final buzzer on game day, my body stays fueled by the nutritious foods I eat throughout the day. Making healthy choices is essential for me to function at the highest level, whether I’m on the road for a game or at home with my family. March is National Nutrition Month and is a great reminder for us all to incorporate healthy eating into our daily lives. Whether you are an NBA player, a student on the go, or busy parent rushing between work and home, you can eat healthy and still enjoy the foods you love.
Sometimes I feel like I am constantly on the go and it can be a challenge to make healthy decisions when I’m traveling from city to city or shooting hoops with my three year old son. Life can be hectic but I have found that it’s easier to make good food choices when you plan ahead and keep healthy options on hand. I keep healthy snacks in my bag and bottled water with me at all times.
Eating healthy gives me the strength and energy I need to get through each game and helps me reach my full potential. As a student athlete in college I had little time to prepare food, so I would snack on fruit, especially apples. This gave me a quick and much needed energy boost before and after practice. Growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina I learned to love southern food. When I lived in New Orleans, I found recipes like red beans and brown rice that offer a nutritious meal with rich flavor. Since moving to Los Angeles I’ve found that fresh fruit and vegetables are much easier to come by, and I try to incorporate them into every meal.
These days, I am team health captain for my family and teammates and encourage them to eat more balanced, healthy meals. My mother has told me that she feels better and I know she will stick to her new routine not only for herself, but for her grandchildren as well. This month, I challenge you to find your own balance that includes healthy foods and physical activity. While you’re at it, sign up and earn your Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+)! Also, invite your family and friends to join you; it’s always more fun to have a team of people for support along the way. Here are some healthy tips to get you started:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains
- Choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, or cheese
- Drink water instead of sugary beverages
- Choose lean sources of protein
- Choose foods with less sodium
- Eat seafood
- Pay attention to portion sizes
Get more tips to stay motivated throughout National Nutrition Month. Check out Chris Paul's "Nutrition Tips" video and follow the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition’s on Twitter (@FitnessGov)!
Also, be sure to read through our new list of "10 Healthy Eating Tips" to jumpstart your nutrition goals.