It’s a new year and my main goal is to eat healthier, exercise and stay healthy. I’ve fallen off track on my healthy eating goals so many times I’ve lost count. This year I decided to pick myself up, brush myself off and get back on track. I made peace with the fact that there’s no quick fix, it requires a lifestyle change. I’ve tried fad diets, prepacked food diets, eating like a bird, not eating, you name it only to end up frustrated and returning to my bad habits.
They say timing is everything. When I was contacted by Molina Health Care to do a post on health issues that affect me and my family I gladly accepted. The first step to overcoming struggles is to talk about them. I had put together a list of tips to achieve and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle and I thought it would be perfect to share for this post.
The turning point for me to get healthy was when I looked at pictures and realized just how much weight I had gained. I reached a point where I hated to get my picture taken. I was missing out on three generations of family pictures with my daughter and granddaughter, because I couldn’t bear to look at the majority of the photos. If there’s a health issue blowing in the wind it will find my family, so I knew that I had to get serious and get to work. We have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetics, obesity, heart attacks, cancer and the list goes on.
Eating healthy was always a must in my home. A snack for my daughter was jello when she was growing up. I truly believe my high stress job took its toll on me over the years, but I knew that I could no longer allow my job to control me. My job was a means to make an income, not a means to end my life. Here’s the tips that I’m now using to stay healthy:
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet – I started a kitchen garden several years and I grow the majority of my vegetables during the summer along with fresh fruits. There’s nothing better than being able to pick fresh fruits and vegetables outside your door.
- Preserve fresh vegetables – I now preserve fresh vegetables during the summer to make soups and other dishes throughout the year. I also grow fresh herbs to flavor my dishes. If you don’t have a kitchen garden, visit a local Farmer’s Market. Seal and freeze the fresh vegetables for later use.
- Get a partner to help you stay on track – My daughter is a Beach Body coach so we have teamed up to ensure that I stay on track.
- Don’t deprive yourself – Give yourself a day or two to enjoy the foods that you truly love. Depriving yourself is a set-up for failure. Saturday or Sunday are my days to eat out and enjoy a burger, slice of pizza or pasta dish. I look forward to it and I don’t feel guilty.
- Give up the excuses – Make your health a priority.
- Exercise – Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. If you can’t get in 30 get in 5, 10, 15 or 20. Some is better than none.
- Educate yourself – Learn what foods provide nutrition and energy for the body. Prepackaged and junk food are empty calories and contain high amounts of sodium and sugar. I’ve replaced chips with popcorn, candy bars with fresh fruit, ice cream with frozen yogurt. Gradually add healthy items into your meal plan.
- Drink plenty of water and don’t skip meals – I love water, so drinking it has never been a problem for me. I replaced soda with water and Gatorade and eat 4 – 5 small meals a day.
- Learn portion control – I took a class at my local hospital on eating healthy. You will be surprised on what is considered a healthy portion. (I got my answer on how I gained the excess weight).
- Relieve stress and get rest – Know the stress factors in your life and eliminate as many as you can. Get plenty of rest. Replace bed pillows if they are old and purchase them according to how you sleep. I’m a side sleeper, so I purchased pillows made for my position. I sleep throughout the night now.