Health Is Happiness – Week One

I have been receiving Canadian Living magazine to my house for a year now – I bought the subscription through one of those school fundraisers and thought it might be good for recipe ideas.  It’s alright – I’ve gotten a couple from it.  My subscription is up next month and I wasn’t considering renewing it – but of course the October issue arrives and it’s got some good content!

The One Month Makeover : thirty-one small life changes that add up to a big difference.

Almost every magazine you open has an article or a challenge similar to this one – but I often find the suggestions to be WAY too difficult and take far more effort than I am willing to give.  But this one –  I feel like most of these are totally doable!  Simple and easy.

I’ll post one week’s worth of ideas for the next 4 weeks – some I already follow, some I am going to try.  I’ve fallen into a bit of a funk with my eating and exercise habits – I need all the help I can get.

Day 1 – Try an Exotic Fruit
Shake up your grocery list and introduce your family to new fruit snacks, meal and desserts that are fun and exciting to eat.  Instead of oranges, try lichees, which are also a good source of vitamin C.   Peel a pomegranate instead of a banana, or pick  mangosteens instead of strawberries – they’re packed with antioxidants that can prevent you from getting sick.

Day 2 – Take Sugar Out of Coffee and Tea
According to the Dietitians of Canada, lowering the amount of sugar in your drinks is a great way to help balance your daily calorie count and help reduce your risk for diabetes.  Start by using just one teaspoon less in your daily coffee or tea.  Continue using less until you’ve ditched the sweet stuff altogether.  Once you get used to the taste, you’ll likely find you don’t miss the sugar at all. (Note: true fact.  I made this move a couple of years ago – it’s not as bad as you think.   Now the thought if sugar in my coffee totally grosses me out.)

Day 3 – Drink Less Alcohol
Excessive drinking has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.  The Dietitians of Canada suggest limiting yourself to one or two drinks per day with a weekly maximum of nine drinks for women and fourteen drinks for men.

Day 4 – Eat Slowly
Whether you eat at a snail’s pace or shovel it in, it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’re full, which explains why slow eaters tend to be satisfied with smaller portions.  Avoid eating when you’re on the go, when you’re sitting at your desk or when you’re in a high pressure environment, as these conditions can encourage you to eat too quickly.  Instead, sit back, relax and take time to enjoy your meal. (This – I need to work on.  I eat every meal and snack like I’m in a hotdog eating competition.)

Day 5 – Get Eight Hours of Sleep
A good night’s rest allows your body to produce reparative protein molecules, lowers blood pressure and decreases stress.  According to the Canadian Obesity Network, it also helps you maintain a healthy weight by regulating the hormones that control appetite.

Day 6 – Avoid Eating A Processed Breakfast
The most important meal of th day isn’t quite the healthy start it’s intended to be if it’s loaded with sugary processed cereals and refined flour.  Instead, opt for foods such as fibre-rich fruit, whole grain bread and rolled oats.

Day 7 – Take the Stairs
Many of us spend our day in sedentary positions, sitting at desks for long periods of time. Climbing a few stairs each day is a simple way to incorporate activity into your daily routine and contribute to your cardiovascular health.

UH, easy!

Source: Canadian Living Magazine

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