FitFactor: Kick March Off Right with Balanced Meals

Not only is March Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month, but it has also been designated National Nutrition Month! Take this time to evaluate your current eating habits.
How many healthy foods are you eating consistently? What are you lacking? Do you eat too much of one thing? There is always room for improvement when it comes to healthy eating, but don’t get discouraged if you slip once in a while. This month, think about realistic changes you can make to your diet that you can sustain over time. Think positively that you will succeed – half the battle is in your mind!
Eating a balanced diet, along with consistent exercise helps us get to and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn takes pressure off our joints. Additionally, getting enough vegetables, fruits, protein, whole grains and healthy fats bolsters our immune system, supports healthy development and helps protect against diseases. Getting a variety of foods within each group is important as they all offer different functions and benefits. In order to get all the nutrients your body needs, mix it up and keep it colorful!
One adjustment is simply adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Only one in ten adults in the U.S. meet the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, the majority of us should be eating more of these two food groups. The CDC advises that adults consume 1 ½ to 2 cups fruit and 2 to 3 cups vegetables for adults daily, varying a bit depending on age and sex.
With a few minor changes to your everyday habits, you can easily get the servings your body needs. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand to eat for snacks or in a smoothie. Make a salad or saut̩ed vegetables for a side dish, and squeeze in additional veggies wherever possible Рin soups and sauces, in sandwiches, on pizza and in noodles and curries. Try out this recipe for ramen noodles with bok choy and load up on your dark, leafy greens!
Ramen Noodles with Bok Choy, Mushrooms, and Shrimp

  • ½ of 8 oz package of ramen (Chinese) noodles
  • 1 bunch of bok choy, chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms
  • 8 oz of cooked or uncooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed (Any other meat can be substituted here)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • ½ to a whole jalapeno, sliced (a whole jalapeno will result in a very spicy broth)
  • 2-3 tbsp miso paste (any type will do)
  • 1-2 tpsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp hoisin sauce (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 eggs

In a four quart pot, sauté the garlic, ginger, and jalapenos for a few minutes until soft. Add the uncooked shrimp or other type of meat. Sauté until nearly cooked through, adding a little water if necessary. Add bok choy and mushrooms, stir and cook for a minute or two.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring water to boil and once boiled, add the whole eggs and cook for 7 minutes.
To the meat/bok choy/mushroom mixture, add the miso paste, soy sauce, and enough water (or chicken broth) until the pot is 2/3 full. Bring to a low boil, cook for a few minutes and then taste, add salt, more miso paste, soy sauce, or hoisin sauce if necessary. Once the broth is flavorful, and if the eggs are done cooking, add the shrimp (if pre-cooked) and ramen noodles. Cook for 3 minutes.
Serve in a bowl garnished with ½ of medium-boiled egg. Serves 4, two small bowls each.