Along with the new year come many resolutions to make oneself healthier via loosing weight, becoming more active, giving up a bad habit or other forms of “healthy”. Being a member of a buying club, most of us already have “healthy” in our daily vocabulary. Still some of us wouldn’t mind shedding a few pounds or adding more activity to our daily routines. And rightly we should.
Adding exercise or activity to your day doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rush out and buy a gym membership, although you could if you wanted to. One way to add activity to your daily routine is to simply take the stairs, instead of the elevator. Or park farther away from the store entrance, adding extra steps to your walk to and from your car. For other simple ideas to increase your activity levels check here. If you do well with visual reminders, here are some Printable worksheets to track activity and help increase your activity level.
Now, what about food? Well many of us are already eating healthier. In our club we have members with a variety of dietary needs including: Raw diet, Traditional Foods (Nourishing Traditions style), Vegan, vegetarian, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and other special diets. So how do we improve on these? Eating nutrition dense foods is important for our well-being, but it’s easy to over eat when we are eating such foods. Slow down, chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth, both the action of chewing (which signals the stomach that food is on its way) and mixing your food with saliva (which contains enzymes to begin the digestion process) are vitally important and should be done well. In our modern fast food/microwave society, we find ourselves hurrying through meals, fast eating usually means that we haven’t chewed our food well.
A good rule of thumb is as follows: if you can tell what kind of food you are eating from the texture of the food in your mouth (not the taste), then you haven’t chewed it enough.
Chewing our food should not only make our food easier to swallow, it should slow our eating process down, so that we can enjoy our food, and allow our stomach the time to “feel” full, instead of leaping for that second helping before our stomach even realizes it’s got a job to do.
“Healthier” No-Bake Cookies, One more please??
Portion control is just as important as what we eat. It’s easy for me to think to myself, “oh, this is healthy, I can have another portion”. “Healthy” is my excuse to eat more. Defeating the purpose of “healthy” in the first place! Visual portion control helps can be found here. And a generic points system can be found here, if counting points is more your style.
Let’s not forget that other important element to our well-being, water. Clear, pure water. Boring you say? Our bodies need sufficient water daily for proper function, to flush toxins, keep us hydrated (and avoid that winter dry skin) and keep our blood flowing well. The amount of water necessary for optimum health varies between the “Experts”. Around my house we’ve gone by the recommendation of “divide your body weight in half, and drink that many ounces in water” daily. So for a 180 pound person this would be approximately 90 ounces of water a day, or 6 16 oz glasses (rounded up). Drinking water not only helps us with hydration, it also helps us avoid the “munchies”. Often when we think our bodies are telling us that we are hungry, really what we need is water. Drink a glass of water, and if you’re still hungry, a healthy snack is in order, such as an apple or carrots with humus. Here’s a fun little Hydration Calculator Quiz.
Hopefully some of these tips and suggestions will help you to achieve your health goals for the new year. Here’s to a healthy New Year to you and yours from your Southeast Kansas Buying Club!