National Nutrition Month: Conway Edition

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Prime Carolina Coast, Prime Independent Living

Spring is here again, and with it comes that timeless urge to reorganize and renew. Harnessing those impulses, National Nutrition Month gives us space to do a little spring cleaning of our nutritional habits. How can you use dietary practices to make the most of your health and happiness? At Prime Carolina Coast, we employ several nutritional practices in our active adult community. Here are our top five tips on making a nutritional plan that works for you.

Consult with professionals.

Your first step should be a consultation with your personal physician and a dietitian if possible. While doctors are not necessarily dietitians, they know your health particulars and can point you toward your specific dietary needs. And these factors can vary more than people realize.

We’re familiar with accounting nutritionally for common conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, but did you know that some older adults need additional protein to maintain muscle mass or improve immune functioning? Your doc or pharmacist can also inform you if meds you’re taking have side effects such as a dry mouth, lowered appetite or thirst, or suppressed taste and smell. This knowledge helps you create a diet that’s both properly nutritious and appealing to you.

Once you know the health considerations, dietitians can navigate the specifics of your nutritional plans with you. If you’re struggling with a particular issue, such as hypertension or unhealthy weight, they can educate you on which foods to prioritize or avoid. Together, you’ll create a daily food plan that works for you.

Get familiar with standard recommended guidelines.

If you don’t have direct access to a dietitian, that’s okay. Experts (including dietitians) have put together standard nutritional guidelines to help us all out. provides an interesting and user-friendly rundown on the recommended food groups that should show up on your plate.

One rule that’s universal—eat fresh produce whenever you can! It doesn’t have to be raw. It needn’t be a salad (unless you like those). But your plate should generally be half full of fruits and vegetables. Why? Fresh produce has gut and mental health benefits. And according to a recent study reported by the American Heart Association, participants who received weekly deliveries of fresh produce experienced overall better heart health.

At our active adult communities, our dining facilities provide community apartment owners with three great meals a day, all including fresh fruit and veggie options. This convenience can make all the difference in developing and maintaining good habits.

Make eating healthy easy for yourself.

Speaking of convenience, if figuring out how to eat well sounds like a chore, you’re not alone. Only 10-12% of Americans get the daily fruits and veg they need, according to the CDC, and often those are drowned in salt or fats like cheese. Our familiar foodways simply don’t include the optimal nutrients we need.

Half the battle is finding veggie (or veggie-inclusive) dishes that you enjoy eating and can make easily. Thankfully, the internet has your back. Take time to research recipes on sites like Eating Well, or find guidelines in tried-and-true approaches like the Mediterranean diet. Maybe partner with a friend and have fun trying out new recipes twice a week. When you find ones you like, make sure to save them for easy reference.

Eat with others.

Not only is eating with companions a wonderful experience, but it can also improve your nutritional gains. Scientists believe that a congenial meal with loved ones and friends improves digestion and feelings of satisfaction. While you nourish social bonds, you also increase your general well-being and your metabolic health.

If you eat mostly alone, it’s worth the effort to try eating with others more often. Start with making a regular appointment with friends, perhaps once a week, and increase those engagements as possible. If you can’t meet up in person, try videochatting while you both eat. Long-distance companionship is better than none.

Part of the benefits of an active retirement community like Prime Carolina Coast is that great people are only a few steps away. You can invite neighbors to meals cooked in your fully-equipped apartment kitchen or meet with a group of community friends for a meal in our comfortable dining area.

Pursue positive balance.

As you pursue a great nutrition plan, a word to the wise. Avoid centering your food habits and thinking around deprivation—what you can’t or “shouldn’t” have. Remember that there are healthy and delicious ways to enjoy all kinds of tastes—from savory to sweet—even if your health demands you eat within strict boundaries. Focusing on the positives of what you can enjoy will make your food experiences more satisfying and joyful. And that’s important!

At Prime Carolina Coast, we believe food nourishes the whole person. Our owner is a registered dietitian, and we know the power of food to support good health and great community.  Our kitchen team cooks home-style meals from scratch that are both nutritionally balanced and deliciously satisfying. They’re even happy to incorporate favorite recipes from our community members! And for those special treat occasions we all need, our cafe provides free soft-serve ice cream daily. Bottom line, we want our community members to be well-fed, both in body and in spirit.

Food is life, and celebrating National Nutrition Month is a great way to acknowledge that. Start this spring with a renewed focus on getting the nutrition that will give you a long, happy, and healthy life. If you want the convenience that an active adult community can offer in that pursuit, contact our team at Prime Carolina Coast. It’s our pleasure to be a part of giving you the effortless life you dream of! 

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