It’s that time of year again when many of us vow to improve our health… and who could argue with that?! Coming up with one or more health – related goals for the New Year is a good place to start. Unfortunately many people are a bit overzealous and end up with a list of resolutions that are pretty impossible to keep!
Consider Some or ALL of these Simple Resolutions for Better Health in 2019:
1. Drink more water.
In 2019 vow to drink more of the life sustaining liquid refreshment known as water. Not a fan of this flavorless, plain beverage? Then take steps to develop the “water habit” by keeping a container of water with you at all times. Sipping water throughout the day can add up to several glasses by day’s end. It is NOT recommended to regularly add flavor packets because these are quite acidic and therefore damage the enamel of our teeth.
2. Cut WAY down on heavily processed (refined) carbohydrate based food items.
This list includes:
Packaged items that are intended for breakfast meals such as: sugary cereals, toaster pastries and strudels, breakfast cookies, most sweetened instant oatmeal packs, etc. Opt instead for quick real food meals such as eggs, peanut butter toast or overnight oats.
See Bull City Fit You Tube video for easy instructions for making overnight oats.
Products that are sold as “snack” items such as: baked and regular chips of all kinds including “veggie chips”, cheese flavored fish shaped crackers, packaged noodles, most granola bars, etc. Eat a real food snack instead such as: raw veggies with humus OR apple slices with peanut butter OR roasted chick peas. Check out this simple recipe for roasted chick peas from Chop Chop cooking magazine: https://www.chopchopfamily.org/recipe/roasted-chickpeas
3. Eat more vegetables.
Not ready just yet to make half of your plate veggies? Start by finding ways to add small amounts of vegetables to more of your meals. For example have a couple of slices of tomato with breakfast and a few crunchy carrot sticks or pepper slices with lunch. Try chopped fresh spinach on your thin crust pizza… and eat a salad with it. Eating more veggies does NOT have to mean spending more money. A two pound bag of whole fresh carrots typically costs under $2.00 regardless of which store you shop from. Whole cabbage is another great veggie bargain.
4. Experiment with more plant based meals.
Replace the meat in one or more meals each week with lentils, tofu or beans. Check out the Vegetarian Resource Group website for some delicious plant based meal ideas. https://www.vrg.org/recipes/
5. Move more.
There are SO many hidden opportunities for movement:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Stay on your feet and walk around while talking on the phone instead of sitting.
Make several trips to carry things from the car to the house instead of carrying it all at once
Take frequent stretch - and – walk breaks when using the computer or when playing video games instead of sitting for hours
Pick up the pace ANY TIME you are walking instead of walking at a snail’s pace
MOVE around (march, jump, stretch, etc.) while waiting for your food to heat in the microwave instead of just standing there
6. Prioritize Sleep.
This often means turning off the electronics MUCH earlier in the evening. Having a definite routine at night can help calm the brain and to prepare for rest.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program