Eating right improves your mental outlook, gives you more energy and can even make it easier to manage chronic health conditions. If you're a veteran, you're eligible for support to help make a balanced diet your lifestyle.
Do you maintain a balanced diet?
Research shows that there is a greater risk of weight gain in the lead up to, and following, transition from the ADF.
People who have poor nutrition or are outside the healthy weight range are more likely to have heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and depression, while a poor diet will increase your stress levels which makes even small problems harder to deal with.
Lauren's story highlights the key role exercise and nutrition played on her weight loss and wellbeing journey, illustrating how transformational her way of eating was in managing a long term health diagnosis..
Self help - improving your diet
You can improve your diet today by:
- drinking enough water (try for eight glasses a day)
- eating whole grains, lean protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables
- limiting salt, sweets and unhealthy fats
- planning your grocery shopping before you shop so you don't get distracted by unhealthy choices. Try to stick to the edges of the supermarket. The edges (where they keep the meat, fruit and vegetables) are healthier than the aisles
- keeping a range of fresh, healthy snacks to grab when you're on the go, such as whole fruit, veggie sticks or low-fat cheese cubes
- eating mindfully. Take the time to enjoy your meals. Switch off screens and social media, and slow down your eating. The slower you eat, the less you will consume. The benefits of slow eating include better digestion, better hydration, easier weight loss or maintenance and greater satisfaction with our meals.
Add some delicious and healthy meals to your weekly routine
Food should be tasty and joyous. It is easy to get lost talking about ingredients and dieting, identifying some new meals that are both delicious and healthy to add to your weekly routine is one way to celebrate food, and stay healthy
Find a range of delicious dishes prepared for Veteran Heath Week on our recipes page.
Visit Eat for Health to test your food knowledge, and find some healthy recipes.
Cooking and nutrition activities for the ex-serving community
Cooking for one or two
The Cooking for One or Two program was developed for veterans in consultation with nutritionists and DVA's Dietician.
The program aims to improve the quality of life for participants and their families by providing lessons in basic cooking skills and nutrition, and to promote the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices.
The course runs over five sessions of around 2.5 hours each.
Dietetic support through DVA
If you're a veteran, you may be eligible for specialised dietetic support.
Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Card
If you have a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold), DVA will fund dietetic services to meet your clinical needs.
DVA Health Card - Specific Conditions (White)
If you have a DVA Health Card - Specific Conditions (White), DVA will fund dietetic services if related to an accepted war or service-caused injury or disease.
To learn more about eligibility, visit DVA.gov.au (HSV21 - Dietetic Services).