13 Healthy Resolutions for 2013

Happy and Healthy new year to you! Have you made any new year’s resolutions? If so, have you been able to keep them after one week? Most of you know how we feel about making resolutions because they just don’t work (about 8% of people keep their resolutions at the end of the year). So instead of making resolutions that you can’t keep, we came up with a very do-able list of 13 Healthy Resolutions for 2013.

  1. Eat Breakfast everyday. Mom was right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Eating within an hour of waking jump-starts your metabolism for the day, improves mental function and focus, and makes you more successful at maintaining a healthy weight. Just make sure that your breakfast has a good amount of protein (about 20 grams) and fiber (at least 5 grams), which will keep you fuller for longer and prevent sugary cravings.
  2. Spread your protein out throughout the day I get this question all the time: How much protein do I need? Needs vary based on your age and body composition, as well as how much and what kinds of exercise you do. A good rule of thumb is that you need (approximately) 0.5grams of protein per pound of body weight. Spreading it out among each meal and snack will keep you feeling more satisfied and promote a more stable blood sugar level throughout the day.
  3. Try new veggies and fruit If you find yourself eating the same fruits and veggies every day, it’s time to set out on an adventure. Try one new fruit and/or veggie each week. All fruits and veggies are healthy, but we prefer dark green leafy veggies (kale, chard, spinach), bright orange veggies and fruit (butternut squash, sweet potato, mango), onions, garlic, and all sorts of mushrooms.
  4. Go organic Every year, the Environmental Working Group comes out with a list called the Dirty Dozen - the 12 fruits and veggies with the highest pesticide load. Try to buy organic versions of them if you can. They also have a list called The Clean 15 – fruits and veggies that don’t need to be organic because their pesticide load is so low. The debate still rages whether or not organic produce has more nutrients than conventional produce, but there’s no doubt about the fact that you have a choice about how much pesticides you ingest. Go organic on the Dirty Dozen.
  5. Meatless Mondays U Rock Girl is a big fan of going meatless at least once a week. Vegetarian diets (when done the right way) are associated with lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you’re not quite ready to dump the animal protein altogether, why not join the Meatless Monday campaign? Forgoing meat (and poultry) just one day a week is better for your health, good for the planet, and can save you $$$.
  6. Go nuts! If you’ve been on the fence about adding nuts into your diet because they’re high in calories and fat, fear no more. Nuts and seeds (chia, ground flax, hemp) are such great foods because they are a blend of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, and fiber. We prefer raw, unsalted nuts and nut butters, but if you like roasted nuts better, at least go for dry-roasted nuts. Aim for 1/4 cup of nuts, 1-2 tbs. of nut butters, or 1 -2 tbs. seeds as your serving. They can be incorporated into smoothies, added to oatmeal, used as a crunchy salad topping, or cooked into a stir-fry.
  7. Drink up! You’ve heard it before, try to drink 8 (8 oz.) glasses of water every day. While some people dismiss that rule, we still think it’s a good one. The best indicator of your hydration status is the color of your urine (pale yellow to clear is ideal). If water doesn’t excite you, try tea (green, black, white, or herbal), or make your own “spa” water. Into a pitcher of water add squeezed lemon, lime, and orange; muddled berries; crushed mint. You can also use sparkling water.
  8. Cook more, weigh less The average entree at a fast food establishment is 1,000 calories. That’s easily 2 meals worth of food. And that’s before the side dishes, bread, chips, or drink. Control the quality and quantity of what you eat (and save a ton of $$$) by cooking more often. Our favorite tip: cook large batches of food and save half to freeze in individual portions. Then you have your own “frozen” line of food that you can pull out for any lunch or dinner for weeks to come. some of our favorite recipes to do this with include chili, quinoa jambalaya, and our Chicken Ole! done in a slow cooker. Your wallet and waistline will thank you.
  9. Move it or lose it Sorry, but you can’t achieve ideal health and a rockin’ body without exercise. It’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Many of our clients complain about exercise because it’s so boring. But not all exercise is boring. What do you LIKE to do? If it’s fun, then you’re more likely going to stick with it. Do you need some motivation? Then hire a personal trainer to work with you. Ideally you want to be challenged when you work out and keep changing it up every month so your body doesn’t adapt to your workout. Try out some classes at your local gym or YMCA or sign up for a 5K and start training. Workouts should include a cardio component, weight training, and stretching.
  10. Catch some zzzzzs Are you sleeping at least 7 1/2 hours a night? If not, then you might be struggling with you weight. Inadequate sleep (both in quality and number of hours) plagues most people and is a big contributor to weight gain. That’s because the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which control your appetite and fullness, get thrown out of whack when you don’t get enough sleep, making you feel hungrier and take longer to get full. Hit the sheets a little earlier tonight and turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before you go to bed.
  11. Relax  If you consider yourself a “stress bunny”, walking around with your shoulders practically up to your ears, it’s time to take a chill pill. All that stress floods your body with cortisol, a fat-producing hormone. Take a few minutes every day to do some deep breathing, which helps you lower your blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and get yourself calm and back on track. Try “checking out” for 2 minutes at a time, three to four times a day.
  12. Laugh more  You’ve heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, can improve your immune system, increase learning, memory, alertness, and creativity. Maybe it’s time to check out some funny videos on Youtube?
  13. Be happy Are you old enough to remember the song “Don’t worry, Be happy”? Happy people are healthy people and more likely to achieve their health, weight, and wellness goals. What make you truly happy? Do you have something in your life that you are passionate about? Do some soul-searching and figure out what will bring you happiness and joy and make sure to include that in your daily life, even if for a few minutes.

 

 

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