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Meagan Hoover - 2021 Nutritional Tips

The beginning of a New Year brings aspirations of getting your health and wellness on track and what better time than now to get started. Meagan Hoover holds a Bachelor 'sDegree in Nutrition and Dietetics and is sharing her nutritional tips for 2021.

Your Health Journey in 2021:

1.Improvement, not perfection

Getting started on your health journey involves lifestyle changes not only "diet." It's important to remember that some days, weeks, and even months will be better than others. Remaining mindful of the overall positive changes you're making instead of focusing on not being "perfect" will help you sustain long-term change.

2.Have a game plan

The new year also brings new challenges and obstacles that can throw you off course with your eating and exercise.Making a meal plan for the week and finding meals that are easy to prep ahead of time will reduce the guess work and stress out of staying consistent.

3.Eat the rainbow

I'm not referencing a skittles commercials here but instead, talking about incorporating foods for every color of the rainbow into your daily eating. The colors in foods provide essential nutrients that our body can't make on our own.By getting a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet,you can be assured you?re getting what you need.

4.Drink more water and get more sleep

This is one that often gets overlooked but is essential to our health. If you?re feeling tired during the day or find yourself hitting a wall in the afternoon, try increasing your water intake and getting an extra hour of sleep. Gradually increase these to find the perfect balance for you!

5 .Don't take the "all or nothing" approach

Instead, focus on small changes that can be sustained throughout the year. For example, adding a new seasonal vegetarian/vegan recipes very month that's easy to make and introduces you to new produce. Eating seasonal produce is also cheaper than produce that is out of season. Some winter produce includes butternut quash, acorn squash, kale, collard greens, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, and avocados.

6.Shop local

To find seasonal, locally sourced produce, shop at your local grocery markets such as CID?s, Sol Food, Taos Market and Taos Farmer's market when open between May and November. As we know, COVID-19 has created many hardships for local businesses, but we have the opportunity to support these local grocery stores and insure that the Taos community continues to thrive.

Meagan's Nutritional Journey

In 2019, Meagan was volunteering at Roadrunner Food Bank and decided to take her involvement to the next step.She then applied for the SeedCorps / AmeriCorps program, where she was responsible for supporting partner agencies in their operations and supplying nutritional education to clients.

As you can imagine, when the pandemic hit, there was a surge in individuals dealing with food insecurity. Not only did Meagan see how troubling this was for so many in our state, but it was also difficult as someone serving these communities.

Meagan saw every day how New Mexicans had to make tough decisions such as paying for their medicine or paying for their groceries. Although this was extremely difficult to experience, she found comfort in knowing she was finding individuals and families resources to make daily life a little easier.

When Meagan?s service term ended in August of that year, she felt like her service was unfinished, so she signed up to do another year of the program. This year her role has changed, as she is part of a team dedicated solely to nutritional education. Now that the world has gone digital, Meagan has been assigned to finding nutritional resources and making them available to anyone across the state.

The most useful skill that Meagan has learned during her service term is compassion and understanding of what people are going through. This will serve to be invaluable as she ventures into opening her own nutritional counseling business in 2021. Meagan recently graduated with a Bachelor?s Degree in Nutrition and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Nutrition program atUNM with the ultimate goal of becoming a registered dietitian.