NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Every September marks Self-Improvement Month and KX News is telling you how you can make simple changes to improve your diet.

Kristina Hokenson is a registered dietitian and she helps people with intuitive eating.

“It helps people to get back in touch with their hunger cues, body signals, things like that. Really focusing on slowing down and just seeing what it is that their body wants to eat and just kind of working on their relationship with food,” said Hokenson.

Hunger cues are the way that your body lets you know when you’re ready to eat, like your stomach growling.

But Hokenson says that’s not the only signal that it’s time to eat and the cues can be different for everyone.

“Feeling faint, or hangry, when you get mad ’cause you’re really hungry. Maybe feeling less clear in your thinking,” said Hokenson.

And when it’s time to eat, there are ways to incorporate nutritious foods into your diet.

An easy way to do that is by slowly adding these types of foods to your everyday meals.

“Let’s say you’re having pizza tonight for dinner. Maybe you want to be adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet if that’s something that you’re working on, or that you’d like to do. Maybe you want to throw a side salad in there. Or let’s say you’re having oatmeal for breakfast. Frozen berries, you could just put 10 berries in the oatmeal and microwave that, and then you have added some fruit there,” said Hokenson.

When people think of improving their diet, they often think of removing certain foods.

Hokenson says people should put all foods on the same level.

“When we tend to put foods on a pedestal or think that they’re a bad food, it tends to be the thing, kind of the only thing that we think about. If you’re like ‘Hey, I’m never going to eat this again.’ Usually, the first thought is about the thing that you’re never going to eat again. So really neutralizing food and having a place where all foods can fit can be really helpful,” said Hokenson.

Hokenson owns Haven of Health and her goal is to help people make peace with food and their bodies.

She can be reached by email at Kristina.hokenson.rdn@gmail.com or by calling 701-354-3386.