Get Healthy

March is National Nutrition Month, so here are a few tips to help you shift your healthy lifestyle choices into high gear.

Jerk rub and lime spice up a tilapia steak, served with asparagus and sweet red and yellow carrots.

Tilapia steak, spiced with jerk rub and lime and served with aspargus and lightly sauteed sweet red and yellow carrots, is simply delicious.

iStockphoto.com/kcline

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Washington, D.C. — March has been designated as National Nutrition Month® by the American Dietetic Association. It comes at a great time, as many people who set New Year’s goals of getting healthy are likely winding down on those resolutions. March is a great time to shift healthy lifestyle choices into high gear in order to unveil a healthier you, this summer, which is just around the corner.

“Having a month where we focus on nutrition is great,” says Enzo Febbraro, the co-owner and executive chef of D’Acqua Ristorante, located in Washington, D.C. “It gives us all a chance to look at what we can do in our everyday lives to make healthier choices with lifelong benefits. Plus, making some changes now will help you get into that swimsuit, this summer.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a healthy lifestyle includes choosing a balanced diet or eating plan. They recommend that, in order to live a healthy lifestyle and stay within a normal weight range, you should:

? Design your diet to emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables and milk products that are low-fat or fat-free.

? Focus on lean sources of fish, eggs, poultry, meat, beans and nuts.

? Keep saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, sodium and cholesterol to a minimum.

? Keep within the amount of calories that your body needs. Putting in more calories than are being used by your body creates weight gain.

Additionally, it is important to note that not all foods are created equal. For example, while it is important to eat fruits and vegetables, some canned varieties may come with added sugar, syrup or high amounts of salt. You can also lower calorie counts while maintaining high nutrition by making slight substitutions to the meals you are used to preparing, such as using low-fat milk instead of whole milk, or substituting beans for meat.

“It’s important to read labels and really watch what goes into the dishes you make,” Chef Enzo says. “Just an extra 100 calories per day over what your body needs can put on 10 pounds per year. Many small changes throughout the week can add up to big results when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.”

D’Acqua Ristorante, owned by Chefs Enzo Febbraro and Francesco Ricchi, is located at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington D.C. The restaurant, which features a coastal Italian menu with a seafood emphasis, was opened by the two highly acclaimed chefs in 2006, and has quickly earned great reviews. Enzo, a native of Naples, Italy, has traveled throughout Europe, preparing dishes at high-end restaurants and hotels. Francesco, a Florentine native, has owned a number of award-winning establishments, and has also hosted President George W. Bush. The restaurant is a popular political dining establishment frequented by the Washington elite, including senators, members of congress, and White House staff. To learn more about D’Acqua Ristorante, visit the website.