Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
(BPT) - How are this year's resolutions doing? Chances are, you may have fallen off the resolution wagon, especially if you were overly ambitious. Fear not — it’s never too late to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle that result in big health improvements. Review your hardest-to-keep resolutions and adapt them into goals you can easily maintain.
Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
1. Your resolution: Exercise one hour every day
Realistic goal: Add movement every day in 5- to 10-minute increments. Take a short walk around the office, stroll outside during the lunch hour or after dinner, jump on that exercise bike in the basement for a spin each morning or dance to music while you’re getting dinner ready. Sticking to a short period of movement a few times a day is a great way to boost energy and start building the exercise habit. While most of us find it hard to commit to big chunks of time, it’s tough to say no to 5 or 10 minutes. Arrange to walk with a friend if that helps keep you on track.
2. Your resolution: Drink eight glasses of water every day
Realistic goal: Increase water consumption by one glass at a time — when you first wake up, or before lunch and dinner. Drinking water before meals helps you feel full and aids digestion. If water doesn't entice you, make it easier for yourself by finding a water bottle that’s easy to carry around. Add a splash of lemon or lime for flavor. Once you’re in the habit of drinking water before one meal, it will be easier to add a glass before other meals as well.
3. Your resolution: Cut out all sugar
Realistic goal: Find healthy alternatives to reduce your sugar cravings. Try Monk Fruit In the Raw, a zero-calorie sweetener made from the vine-ripened monk fruit, which is native to Southeast Asia. This certified vegan, naturally gluten-free product is available in packets and a Bakers Bag and adds light sweetness to foods. Add it to your favorite baking recipes, smoothies or add a sweet touch to unsweetened beverages.
4. Your resolution: Cut out all snacking
Realistic goal: Find healthy, easy-to-prep snacks to stave off cravings for junk food, and to prevent you from overeating at mealtime. Small handfuls of nuts, raw veggies and fruits are obvious choices. Limit your snacks to 2-3 times per day. If your sweet tooth is your downfall, use a natural sweetener to sprinkle or drizzle on berries, or add a spoonful to your tea or coffee.
5. Your resolution: Stick to a specific diet
Realistic goal: Examine the diet you’re trying, whether it’s keto or paleo or something else, to identify the most important elements, and don’t go cold turkey. The keto diet is mostly about cutting carbs and sugars, plus highly processed sugar-free diet foods. The paleo diet also emphasizes proteins, cutting all dairy and sugar. Because both of these trending diets recommend eliminating both sugar and any artificial sugar substitutes, a sweetener such as Monk Fruit In The Raw is a great alternative. Cutting all carbs or dairy can be too challenging for most people — try reducing the “forbidden items” gradually to wean yourself from your usual eating habits.
Don't give up on those resolutions, even if you’ve slipped a little already. Adjusting your expectations will help you adapt more healthful habits you can stick with for a long, healthy life. And that’s a resolution worth keeping.
Nutty Grain-Free Granola and Yogurt Parfaits
4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl combine Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almond meal, flax seeds, chia seeds, egg whites, coconut oil and monk fruit. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. To serve, divide a few blackberries among 4 parfait glasses. Top with a spoonful of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of granola. Repeat layering once more, finishing with granola on top. Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
One in four people die from heart disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
3 Ways to Make Your Heart Healthier
(Family Features) Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? One in four people die from it each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Smoking, being overweight or having diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease all increase your chances of getting the disease.
The good news is that you can do something about it.
“It’s never too late – or too early – to lower your risk for heart disease,” said Josephine Boyington, Ph.D., a nurse, licensed nutritionist and program director in the Division of Cardiovascular Health at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Heart disease is a general term for a variety of conditions, such as clogged arteries, that make it difficult for your heart to pump blood properly,” she said. “Adopting small changes, like moving more and following a heart-healthy eating plan, can make a big difference. Research has shown that making healthy lifestyle changes that last can be a lot easier when you have friends or family doing it with you.”
To mark American Heart Month, the NHLBI – the nation’s leader in research on the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders – is encouraging that kind of group support. It is celebrating “Our Hearts,” a national effort to motivate Americans to join each other in adopting heart-healthy behaviors throughout the year and beyond.
Ready to start? Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
1. Adopt a healthy eating plan. Try NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. It’s free and, when compared to a typical American diet, has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol levels. The DASH eating plan features fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans, nuts and lean meats, and it limits foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium. Have fun with menus by inviting friends to join you for a heart-healthy dinner party or start a lunch club at work and trade creative recipe ideas with your colleagues.
2. Move more and #MoveWithHeart. One of the major risk factors for heart disease is inactivity. Getting up and moving helps lower that risk – and you don’t need to put in hours at a time to see results. Breaking up your daily activity into small chunks, such as 10-minute increments three times a day for five days a week, can begin to make a difference. To stay motivated, find a walking buddy or make a standing date to walk with a friend or neighbor, dance at home with your kids or play a pickup soccer or basketball game with colleagues. The bottom line: just move.
3. Quit smoking. It can be hard to stop, but the benefits to your lungs and heart are huge. For inspiration and to keep you motivated, consider a support group. You can find resources and connect with a trained counselor by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting smokefree.gov.
For more information about heart health, and to discover what activities are going on in your community, visit nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends and family are keeping your hearts healthy.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Obesity, with corresponding ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, is a well-chronicled public health issue and has many communities looking for ways to positively impact their residents. With these modifiable tips, communities can work to improve the health and quality of life for residents.
5 Steps to Creating a Healthier Community
(Family Features) Obesity, with corresponding ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, is a well-chronicled public health issue and has many communities looking for ways to positively impact their residents.
What can prove to have an enduring impact on improving community health is a broad coalition of stakeholders coming together to create a culture of wellness. For example, the City of West Chicago, with its Healthy West Chicago initiative, is a case study in how to galvanize a community toward collective better health. With these modifiable tips from Mayor Ruben Pineda, other communities can work to improve the health and quality of life for residents.
Have a champion
Engage other community members
“The key to a sustainable, healthy future is to change the way the next generation thinks about nutrition and exercise,” Mayor Pineda said. “This makes the public school system critical to driving the behavioral changes that contribute to positive outcomes.”
Measure and adjust
Keep it fresh
For more information about how to implement a health and wellness program in your city, contact Mayor Pineda’s office at (630) 293-2200 extension 135, or visit healthywestchicago.com.
Photo of Mayor Pineda walking with students courtesy of Healthy West Chicago
City of West Chicago
A busy schedule doesn’t have to prevent you from taking steps toward a lifestyle that fosters overall well-being. There are many easy, small changes you can make toward better living that can make a noticeable impact.
Small Changes for Better Living
(Family Features) A busy schedule doesn't have to prevent you from taking steps toward a lifestyle that fosters overall well-being. There are many easy, small changes you can make toward better living that can make a noticeable impact.
1. Choose the long route. For many people, it's an automatic move to find the closest parking space or shortest distance to the door. With your lifestyle goals in mind, consider taking a different approach. Look for ways to work in more physical activity. Seek out a spot in the back of the parking lot as an opportunity to increase your steps for the day, or choose the longer scenic route when walking your dog at the park for a more pleasant experience all-around.
2. Go for guilt-free snacks. Better living isn't about giving up everything you like; it's about balance and moderation. For example, Nonni's Foods now makes a better-for-you chocolate chip thin cookie that lets you enjoy the indulgence without the guilt. Made with real, premium ingredients like dark chocolate, crunchy California almonds and coconut oil, the individual portion packs are portable for the perfect on-the-go snack to satisfy cravings anytime, anywhere. Available in Double Chocolate, Almond Chocolate and Toasted Coconut varieties, each pack contains three cookies that are low in sugar, fat and carbohydrates with an average of only 100 calories total.
3. Take time to recharge. Even when you're strapped for time, carving out a few minutes for yourself each day to focus on your mental well-being is important. This can include simply enjoying a few moments of silence or something more specific like meditating or journaling. Busy people tend to carry more stress, so looking for ways to inject these calming activities into daily schedules can help keep you refreshed and bring you more happiness.
4. Practice self-care. Especially when you're busy, it's easy to slack on self-care, but combine that with elevated stress and you may be especially susceptible to not feeling your best. Give yourself a boost with a daily vitamin or try a warm bath with Epsom salt to soothe your senses.
5. Space out your meals. Waiting hours to eat can cause people to overeat at major mealtimes - especially dinner. Taking time to plan simple snacks throughout the day helps ensure cravings are met and overeating is avoided when the dinner bell rings. Consider keeping a snack like Nonni's Artisan Thin Chocolate Chip Cookies on-hand for guilt-free snacking when hunger strikes.
For more better-for-you snack ideas, visit nonnis.com.SOURCE:
This time of year, millions of Americans are making resolutions to lose weight. With new diet plans popping up seemingly every day, the process of choosing a plan that works for you and fits your lifestyle can be an intimidating one. Many experts agree, however, that a diet high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates offers significant benefits.
Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle
Consider a high-protein, low-carb and low-sugar option
(Family Features) This time of year, millions of Americans are making resolutions to lose weight. When it comes to adopting a healthy eating plan, it can seem like the options are endless. With new diet plans popping up seemingly every day, the process of choosing a plan that works for you and fits your lifestyle can be an intimidating one.
Many experts agree, however, that a diet high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates offers significant benefits. This was the foundation for the South Beach Diet, introduced 15 years ago by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston. Since its introduction, it has helped millions of people successfully lose weight, while its books became best-sellers with more than 23 million copies sold in print.
Now in its second year as a structured weight-loss meal delivery program, South Beach introduced an enhanced three-phase approach designed to burn fat, transform metabolism and boost energy, including a 7-Day Body Reboot to help break the sugar habit and South Beach Complete Shakes. According to the company, users can expect to lose up to 9 pounds and 3 inches overall in their first two weeks on the program.
Over-consumption of sugar, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease, is one of the biggest problems in many Americans’ diets, according to Agatston.
“Sugar, be it simple sugar or from refined carbs, should be avoided,” Agatston said. “In fact, I would say fats aren’t making us gain weight, sugar is. It’s not about eliminating fats and carbs, it’s about the quality of the fats and carbs you’re eating.”
To help break the harmful sugar habit, foods on the South Beach Diet provide 1 percent of calories from added sugars – significantly lower than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation, which suggests that no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugars.
So what’s the easiest way to live a high-protein, low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle? The answer could be a weight loss meal delivery program, like South Beach. For many, meal prep is equally as intimidating as sticking to a New Year’s resolution. The time required for food shopping and meal preparation often prevents a person from sticking to his or her healthy lifestyle. A weight-loss meal delivery plan allows one to make smarter meal choices and eliminates nearly all prep time. According to South Beach, its program delivers fully prepared, delicious meals that make sticking to a healthy lifestyle simpler and more convenient.
For added convenience, the South Beach Diet Tracker App provides access to meal plans and recipes as well as support and counseling from trained weight-loss coaches and registered dietitians.
Find more tips and tools to begin the weight loss journey at SouthBeachDiet.com.SOURCE:
South Beach Diet
Managing blood pressure can be difficult, especially during the holidays and winter months. A change in routine, family visits, traveling, illness, holiday menus and financial concerns can all conspire to derail your best efforts at keeping chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, under control. Here are three ways to control your blood pressure throughout the holiday season.
Managing High Blood Pressure During the Holidays
(Family Features) Managing blood pressure can be difficult, especially during the holidays and winter months. A change in routine, family visits, traveling, illness, holiday menus and financial concerns can all conspire to derail your best efforts at keeping chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, under control.
If you are one of the millions of American adults with high blood pressure, it is vital to keep your blood pressure stable. Drastic changes can put you at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Here are three ways to control your blood pressure throughout the holiday season from the American Heart Association:
Be Wary of Decongestants
Keep Track of Medication
“Factors like cold weather, sudden increase in activity like shoveling snow, stress and dietary indiscretion can contribute to a chain of events leading to more stress on the heart during the winter months, potentially triggering a heart attack or other cardiac event,” said Jorge Plutzky, M.D., director of Preventive Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a volunteer with the American Heart Association.
It is vital to keep track of your medication and take it as prescribed by your doctor to decrease chances of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association’s Check Change Control Tracker is one way to monitor your health, as it allows you to set up text message reminders, text in blood pressure readings, connect with volunteers or providers, and receive messages from volunteers or providers.
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
Staying active while traveling can be a challenge, as well. Try bringing simple exercise equipment like a jump rope or resistance band with you. Consider walking to sights or restaurants nearby, or finding a local park or indoor walking path.
For more information and tools about blood pressure management, visit heart.org/hbp.
Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, maker of Coricidin HBP, is a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure website.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
American Heart Association
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