Five Simple Steps to A Healthier New Year

Many of us rush to adopt New Year’s resolutions, only to drop them within weeks. Forget unrealistic goals and take a look at these achievable resolutions instead. Here are 5  simple steps that you can start doing right now (and always).
  1. Bring a fruit or vegetable to work or school.

    We can all stand to eat more fruits & vegetables. Fortunately, it’s easy to get ready. Pack a piece of fruit or veggies to eat with your lunch, or to have as a snack. If you feel you don’t have the time to peel or cut whole fruits or veggies, many stores now offer pre-cut ones to go. Remember, go with the option that will result in you actually eating the fruit or veggie. A ripe, juicy melon that sits uncut and grows moldy in your fridge does nothing good for your health, or your wallet.

  2. Replace one of your favorite grain products with a whole wheat version.

    If you bake frequently, replace some of the white flour in your recipes with whole wheat flour. You can usually substitute anywhere from 1/3 to ½  of the flour with no noticeable difference in the end product. And don’t forget about whole wheat pastas – today’s whole wheat versions have come a long way and taste just as great as regular “white” pastas.

  3. Try a do-it-yourself meal instead of a take-out meal.

    If you eat out often, choose one night a week (the least busy night) to make something at home. Not a cook? No problem. There are so many products available now that help you shortcut your way to a home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen – get out that crock pot. You can even make extra so you have leftovers to freeze or pack as lunch for work or school the next day.

  4. No more sodas! (whether they are regular or diet).

    If you drink several cans a day, start by drinking one fewer can each day. Regular soda fills you with sugar, and nothing else. Diet soda is really no better; some studies suggest that even diet soda drinkers still have a high risk of obesity and other health problems. Reach for a calcium-rich beverage like low-fat milk, or other fortified non-dairy alternatives like soy milk. When you feel like something a little sweet, brew up some tea and squeeze in a little fruit juice. Carry a water bottle with you and sip from it throughout the day.

  5. Feed yourself within two hours of waking up.

    Eating breakfast regularly will set you up for better food choices during the rest of the day. If you are not a breakfast eater, start with something simple like a piece of fruit or string cheese. If you eat breakfast regularly but are getting tired of the same old things, experiment and don’t let the traditional definition of breakfast limit your choices. Breakfast doesn’t have to be breakfast food. Leftovers from last night will work just fine.

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