Friday, December 1, 2017

Healthy Habits for the Holidays




Give yourself a different gift this year: start a healthy habit!  After all, it is not one meal on the holiday that makes a difference, it is your habits on all the other days of the month that help or hurt your health. 
The definition of a habit is: 
The tendency to do an action which has become easy through repetition. 
Easy is much better than hard and it only takes 20 days to make a healthy habit, so if you get started today, it will become easy by the New Year!
Which healthy habit will you choose to practice until it becomes an easy part of your life?  Any of the following healthy habits will make a huge difference in helping you feel better! Pick one and start today:
EAT BREAKFAST. 
Most people who have healthy habits eat breakfast.  It speeds up your metabolism, gives you energy and helps you think more clearly.

CHOOSE A FRUIT, A VEGETABLE AND/OR A SALAD WITH EACH MEAL. 
These three foods make us feel full and add lots of nutrition and fiber to make us feel great from the inside out!

CHOOSE LESS OF THE MAIN DISH. 

The biggest reason most of us are too heavy is our portion sizes. If you add a fruit, vegetable or salad to each meal, your portion of meat or casserole can be less and you will feel satisfied.


SWITCH HEALTHIER FOODS FOR LESS HEALTHY.   

Drink water instead of pop. Order salad instead of fries, and oatmeal instead of donuts. Add an apple for a snack instead of chips.  Practicing these simple changes will build your confidence that you can make a difference for your health.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What Makes a Healthy Snack?





SNACK
TIME



Who doesn’t like to snack?   Some snacks, like fresh fruits, vegetables or nuts can add valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber to the typical diet which is lacking in those nutrients.  Most other snacks such as chips, pop, candy and baked goods can add unhealthy amounts of white flour, sugar and extra calories to the typical diet which is already too high in those foods.

So how can you tell what a healthy snack looks like?  Let’s explore:

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
These foods add a great deal of health to our diet. An apple, some grapes, some baby carrots or celery- how hard is it to add these foods?  For most of us, it is only a matter of planning ahead.  If someone takes the responsibility to get the carrots out of the fridge into a bowl, or to cut up a few apples, or put a bowl of fruit out, the response is usually that those snacks will be eaten and enjoyed.  Will you be the one to help your family?

Whole Grains
Whole grains are important to heart health.  Most of us need to work on getting the recommended 3 servings of whole grains daily.  How do you know if a food is whole grain?  Read the first ingredient- it should say “Whole oats” or “Whole wheat flour” or another whole grain.  “Wheat flour” or “enriched flour” mean white flour, not such a healthy choice.

Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and Seeds are proven to add healthy fats and fiber to provide a satisfying snack.

2 gm Fiber
We need at least 25 gm of fiber daily, but most of us get 12 gm or less.  This nutrient is linked to better heart health, lower weight and lower risk of some cancers.  Fiber is in all fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is listed on labels.  A good snack contains 2 gm or more of fiber.

Less than 150 Calories
Those of us who try to eat healthier, know we have to constantly work to control calories.  This work is blown away if our snacks are not controlled.  Keeping a snack to less than 150 calories helps keep the daily total to a reasonable level.

Less than 8 gm Added Sugar
The new labels, which you should start seeing soon for packaged foods, will include the grams of added sugar.  Most of us know that added sugar is bad for our health.  Check out labels for gm of added sugar and try to keep it as low as possible.  8 gm is the equivalent of 1 tsp of sugar.


SNACK
TIME