March is National Nutrition Month, so lets look at some tips for improving nutrition in your busy lifestyle.

One of my favorite ways to ensure that there is plenty of fresh and nutritious food in my diet is to prepare things ahead of time. Cutting up vegetables or fruit all at once also saves time during the week since I don’t have to do as much cleanup after every meal. Things I cook with a lot – like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes – are chopped on Sunday and placed in the fridge where they will be easy to find. With those ingredients I can make Italian, Thai, Mexican or Chinese dishes depending on my tastes. Oatmeal with dried fruits and nuts makes breakfast quick and nutritious, so I put the toppings into airtight containers to keep them fresh and easy to find. Salads can be thrown together fast, or I can grab sliced fruit for part of my lunch.

Eating your biggest meal of the day in the morning and your lightest in the evening is much more healthful. Doing this gives your brain and body fuel that they need to function well throughout the day. It also prevents you from over-eating later in the day because you are starving. Late night snacking has ruined many a diet plan.

You can ensure a more nutritious lunch by packing your own instead of eating out. Sandwiches and fresh fruit are easy to throw together. I still love all-natural peanut butter on whole grain bread for a great mix of protein and complex carbohydrates to give me energy to get through the afternoon. Another option that I use is taking any leftovers from dinner earlier in the week. I eat healthier, save money and clean my fridge out all at the same time.

Most people have faced the dilemma of trying to decide what they want to eat for supper when they are already starving. That is the worst time to make diet decisions. An easy solution to this problem is planning your weekly meals out in advance. By planning your menu, you can have things prepared ahead of time. Pre-planning also makes shopping easier. When you have a list and stick to it, you are more likely to make healthy choices in the store instead of wasting time wondering the aisles trying to recall if you have any granola left in the pantry or worse just grabbing things off the shelf at random.

To celebrate National Nutrition Month, try a few of these tips to increase the amount of fresh and nutritious foods in your diet. Your body will thank you!

Do you have any nutritious tips you use in your busy life? Please share them in the comments below.

Christopher Burton, MD
Christopher Burton, MD

Christopher Burton, MD is a physician, speaker, coach and author, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. Dr. Burton also provides one-on-one Health & Wellness Coaching for select clients who want to improve their life significantly. In addition to his practice and coaching, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, and businesses, and travels internationally teaching on various topics including the treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.