Health can happen one step at a time!

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By Denise Murray

Health and recipe blogger

 Did you make a New Year Resolution to Live a healthier lifestyle and find yourself falling short of it already?...there is no reason why you can't start again!

 A GOOD WORD...INVIGORATION

Invigoration -1: the activity of giving vitality and vigor to something

2: quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous 

"A sure way to get discouraged is to think about nothing but yourself …When you reach out to somebody else, it's good for you. You get your focus off yourself…."

Excerpts from Jentezen Franklin's "Believe That YOU CAN". 

To be successful at any change, you need to really want it. Unless you take time to consider what it is you really want (rather than what you should do or should stop doing) you will invariably end up making a resolution to which you are not entirely committed.

Without commitment, you aren't motivated and after the first setbacks or obstacles you will quit. So the first rule of New Year Resolutions is only to make ones that you are committed to – don't make a resolution simply because it is "the thing to do", or because someone has told you that you should.

The irony of it is that New Year's resolutions have the potential to be very powerful because making them is such a well-recognized practice. Everyone knows that everyone else is setting resolutions. And what a great mutual support network that can provide! This external motivation and support, along with your internal motivation - the desire to succeed - is what can make the difference between success and failure.

Questions to ask yourself to determine if you can take ownership of your resolution include:

Is this resolution my idea or someone else's?

Does this resolution motivate and invigorate me?

Does this resolution sit comfortably with other factors in my life, such as my values and long-term plans?

Remember that there's no reason why your New Year's resolution should take all year to achieve. 

Health can happen one step at a time!

First and foremost, get the family involved in meal and snack planning…so you choose foods that will be enjoyed and eaten, not thrown away or traded for less healthy options…As well, when kids help prepare the food, they are more likely to try the food.

I have had many cooking classes with children where we made veggie wraps, and ratatouille ….they complained while making them that they would never eat such foods…they tasted them, and ate them all up!

Did you know that...Research also shows that 50% of today's adults walked to school as kids. Today, less than 5% of kids walk to school.  100 years ago, stress meant you were experiencing hunger - as in a real hunger, like a famine. Today, stress makes us eat because of those same internal brainwave stress cues.

Health Tips:

  • Avoid refined, processed foods (basically, anything with white flour).
  • Avoid toxic fats, i.e., foods that are fried or made with hydrogenated oils.
  • Eat foods rich in phytonutrients, e.g., berries, raw vegetables and soybeans. 
  • Keep a set of medium-weight dumbbells by your bed. Do a couple of reps when you wake up and at night before bed. 
  • Put a stationary bike in front of your TV and only watch while pedaling.
  • Develop a stretching routine for increased flexibility. For instance, try simple yoga poses.
  • Walk 30 minutes a day- no excuses...Find a buddy for support
  • Restock your kitchen with healthy food
  • Reduce your caloric intake by 100 calories and lose a pound a month
  • Eat only when you are hungry, and start your meal with at least an 8 ounce glass of water…chew slowly, and swallow first before your next bite…allow your brain and stomach time to let you know you have eaten.
  • Reduce portions by using smaller plates (9 inch diameter instead of 11+ inches)
  • Eat nine serving of fresh/raw fruits and vegetables each day 
  • Eat 1 ounce of nuts each day (one small handful)
  • Eat fish at least three times a week such as salmon, mahi mahi, flounder
  • Avoid trans-fat and saturated fats at all cost
  • Avoid white food such as enriched wheat flour and simple sugar, including high fructose corn syrup.  High-fructose corn syrup forces our insulin to work overtime. So, our blood sugars are bouncing up and down so rapidly that our body can't adapt. It also stimulates changes that make us hungry more frequently, so we end up gaining weight.
  • Drink one or two glasses of water before a meal to help fill your stomach up with fewer food calories                                                                            

Best of Cooking, Denise

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