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Nutrition and hydration are one of the core components to optimal health. Living a fast paced life can make it a challenge to eat and hydrate well. Knowledge and planning are key to success in this area of health behavior.

So what are the fundamental recommendations?

  • Eat most of your food closest to its natural state as possible - fresh fruits and vegetables or fresh frozen fruits and vegetables. Recommended servings per day - 5 servings such as 1 small apple; 1/2 banana; 1 cup of green beans; 1/2 cup of northern beans; and 1 cup of tomato and cucumber salad for a total of 5 servings. Learn about when fruits and vegetables are in season in North Carolina with this Availability Chart.
  • Eat lean sources of protein - examples include fish; chicken/skin removed; beef/lean cuts visible fat removed; tofu; beans; and nonfat to 1% dairy. 2-3 servings per day (the size of the palm area of your hand or deck of cards) (approximately 3 to 4 oz) or if dairy the recommended serving size listed.
  • Calories per gram of each macro nutrient - protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram; fat has 9 calories per gram and alcohol has 7 calories per gram.
  • Best choice of carbohydrate sources come from whole grain and high fiber foods - fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain cereals and breads.basket of food
  • Minimize your intake of processed food items that are made with sugar, salt, processed flour and food additives.
  • Choose monosaturated fat sources:
    • olive oil
    • canola oil
    • avocado
    • nuts
    • cold water fish like salmon
    • these fats stay liquid at room temperature
  • Over saturated fat sources
    • animal fat - chicken skin, beef fat, bacon fat, whole milk products
    • these fats gel or solidify at room temperature
  • Avoid trans fats as much as possible
    • these fat derivatives are used to cut manufacturing costs and extend the shelf life of products
    • read the food product label for phrases like partially hydrogenated... - if there - make another choice


Our bodies are comprised of approximately 60% water. Water is a vital life source that Glass of Waterkeeps our bodies functioning as they should.  For optimal health and wellbeing staying hydrated with adequate fluids is key to good health.  Some excellent sources for water:

  • Water- plain; or filtered; or bottled; mineral; or sparkling- it is all good
  • Water cut with some all natural fruit juice
  • Tea (decaffeinated)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

For an excellent article on Water please visit:

Understanding Food Labels

Guidance on How to read a food label - Check out this interactive link courtesy of Eat Smart Move More: