I’m on vacation this week but the blog posts continue thanks to three of my talented friends, who are so awesome to help me out by guest posting for this week.
Jennifer kicked things off for us on Monday with a fun tutorial from making jersey headbands and scarves. If you missed Jennifer’s fabulous project, you can get to it by clicking the picture below:
Next up is my friend Amy McLeod. Amy is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Healthy Living Spokeswoman for Brookshire Brothers Food and Pharmacy.
Nutrition and health are a passion for Amy and for many years now, Amy writes and speaks about nutrition and creative ways to incorporate healthier foods choices into our diets. Amy is truly one of the most creative ladies that I know as she always has a practical and doable approach to incorporating more of the good stuff and less of the bad.
I asked Amy if she could would be interested in sharing some healthy tips for us for 2013. Ironically, she had just written an article for the Lufkin Daily News that I’m thrilled she agreed to share with us today.
Now that we have awakened from the food fog of Chex mix, chocolate and cheese, it’s time once again for the New Year and yes, the dreaded New Year’s resolution to exercise and eat better. It’s time for a clean plate, so to speak, for a do-over. Many of us will search the internet or bookstore for a fad diet, supplement or shake – a quick fix to ease the pain. Before you begin your search, you’ll want to take a look at these 13 ways to better your health in 2013.
1. Eat breakfast
Researchers agree there is a link between those who skip breakfast and obesity. “Breaking the fast” to fuel up and get your body and brain going in the morning will enable you to eat better throughout the day. Choose a combination of protein and carbohydrate such as a poached egg and whole wheat toast or, fruit and low-fat Greek yogurt for added staying power.
2. Choose fruit with each meal
Although juicing has become popular in recent years, nothing beats the flavor, fiber and nutrition of whole fresh fruit. Check with your Brookshire Brothers produce manager for selection and specials on seasonal fruits.
3. Choose vegetables with lunch and dinner
Easier said than done, but try to include at least one serving with each meal. For picky kids, sneak veggies into tomato sauce, soups or salads. For recipe ideas go to www.fruitsandveggiesmorematter.org.
4. Sans the sugar
Drinking beverages or eating foods with concentrated amounts of sugar on a regular basis can cause an undue rise in blood sugars. Take extra caution if you have a parent with diabetes, as diabetes tends to run in families.
5. Fit in flax
Flax is now found in food items such as breads, cereals and waffles. And the reasons are many, as flax is indicated in reducing cholesterol levels, adding important Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which have cardio-protective properties and flax is believed to be beneficial in cancer prevention.
6. Choose a multivitamin
Choosing a good multivitamin can help provide some insurance for those days when we don’t get adequate fruits and veggies. A liquid multivitamin is a good choice for those with swallowing difficulties. Gummy or chewable vitamins are good options for kids and adults.
7. Vive’ la Vitamin D!
Research indicates a probable link between low vitamin D and osteoporosis, heart disease, weight gain and fatigue. Brookshire Brothers pharmacy carries Mason Vitamins, which offers a variety of Vitamin D supplements in the $5.00 to $10.00 price range.
8. Say hola’to agua
Plain water may not be a flavor sensation but it’s a critical component of a healthy diet. Water is a key nutrient because the body cannot function without it. Water helps carry nutrients and waste throughout the body, helps stabilize body temperature and acts as a lubricant for our eyes and joints. To give water a flavor boost, add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange.
9. Cut the caffeine
Ok, so I’m not saying eliminate caffeine. I’ve done that once before and although I’m not a person of many vices, coffee is a vice that helps me say, “Hello world, I can deal with you now.” Limit to two 8-ounce servings of coffee or tea per day and re-route that daily Route 44 soda which boasts a whopping 513 calories.
Poor sleep= poor health. Get between 7-9 hours each night and you’ll improve memory and the ability to handle stress. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to overeat and grab calorie-laden high energy snacks.
11. Get by with a little help from your friends
Having accountability in your health efforts is helpful in maintaining new health practices. Start a walking or weight loss competition with family or co-workers to bolster motivation. Have participants pitch in $10 each and the winner gets the cash prize.
12. Practice self care
From a recovering overachiever, this has been difficult for me but one I’m working on. Self care may look different to each of us. For some it’s a once a week lunch date with your best friend. For others, self care is taking time to garden or listen to music. Do whatever it is that nourishes you. And if you don’t know what that is, think back to what you used to do before life got too busy.
13. Five minutes of silence
Yes that’s 300 seconds of complete silence daily. No cell phone, no texting, no kids, no to-do list. Hide in your closet, car or the bathtub. Un-clutter your thoughts. Your brain and heart will respond to the peaceful sound of silence.
Thank you so much Amy for your suggestions! There were many suggestions that I had no idea that I needed to think about? Vitamin d issues keep popping up! My doctor was just telling me that the majority of his female patients- over 40, are vitamin d deficient! I had no idea until recently the impact of this deficiency.
Thank you again Amy for such a great and practical list of some little things that we can do that collectively add up! I look forward to having Amy guest post again and share some of her amazing and healthy recipes!
I have one last guest blogger helping me out this week and my friend Denise will be here on Friday sharing her Friday Favorites!!