It’s January again, and a time to make New Year’s resolutions. As you set your 2012 goals, remember that taking small achievable steps is the best road to health.
When a baby learns to walk, it takes hours of practice, but eventually they walk all on their own. This is the best approach to building a healthy lifestyle. Focus on taking slow, consistent steps and building lasting habits. Habits mean real change – versus radical changes that often lead to failure.
Our taste buds and bodies can only crave the nutrients we need from what we normally eat, even if it is low quality food. We have to retrain our tastes so that we eventually crave more nutritious food. But it takes time for us to retrain these tastes – so take small steps and be patient.
Here are some simple and achievable goals to improve your health in 2012:
1) Drink more water. Water supports all of the body’s systems and it helps to reenergize us. Here is an easy way to increase water intake – take a large glass of water with you to bed and put it on the night table. First thing in the morning, drink as much of the water as you can. This will rehydrate your body and help flush out toxins that have accumulated overnight. Try this for a week and notice the changes in your body.
2) Eat your greens. One of the healthiest foods we can eat are green vegetables, they are packed with nutrients and help alkalize the body. Aim to eat something green every day like spinach, kale, cabbage or broccoli. Try some new recipes that make these veggies taste delicious. I wrote a blog post on the wonders of broccoli. You will find it by clicking here.
3) Eat your antioxidants. Start small by aiming to eat 1-2 fruits per day. Try to include antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, blackberries, apples and pears. Did you know that blueberries get the top antioxidant score? Read this.
4) Increase your fiber intake through whole foods. One of the biggest problems with the North American diet is that it lacks fiber and has too many refined grains/flours. Increase your fiber by including ground flax, apples, pears, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal in your meals. This will improve your digestion, keep your blood sugar levels balanced and satisfy your appetite.
The best source of our nutrients is from a diet with a variety of whole foods. A whole foods is as close as possible to its natural state (with minimal or no processing). For example a potato is a whole food. But it can be processed to varying degrees: homemade mashed potatoes with the skins are still a whole food, because nothing has been removed. But dehydrated potato flakes, potato flour or frozen French fries are not whole because they have been processed, refined or altered. So fruits, vegetables, whole/unprocessed grains, fish, nuts, chicken are all great whole foods to include in your diet.
Good luck with your small steps to a healthier 2012. Make sure to celebrate you progress as you build good habits for lifelong change. Share your journey with us! We love getting feedback. Here on this blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is an ideal way to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.
Until next time,
Happy New Year!