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my soapbox

{at the market in malaga, spain}

I’ve received a few emails lately from readers asking for health tips.   And since we’re coming up on 2011, I for one, want to make this the healthiest year yet.  Maybe you do too … and maybe this little list will help make that a reality.  (and serve as a reminder for moi!)

It all started with my mother.  She was a nutritionist, and because of that I’ve certainly had an advantage in developing healthy eating habits.   {thanks mom!}  It is helpful to know that I am  from a family of miniature people.  we are all really small.  tall and small.  so maybe only halfway miniature.  But we ALL have healthy eating habits.  Read:  it isn’t just genes.  Being thin isn’t always a nice thing – sometimes you get called an ethiopian.  That actually happened to me recently.  side note:  I firmly believe that people can make just as hurtful comments about your weight when you are thin than when you are not.   That deserves its own post entirely.  But the bottom line is – be kind, especially when you want to make a comment about a persons body.  For now we’ll just talk about some healthy habits.

 here’s a few things I do without much thought:

  •  I use olive oil.  maybe you don’t like the taste?  i do not even notice.  After a while, I will bet you won’t either.   You will probably prefer it. 
  • I sometimes eat roasted garlic for dessert.  (random, but garlic has pretty incredible properties!)
  • daily supplements I take:  Vitamin D & C.  a multivitamin.  and tumeric.  iron.
  •  I try to eat out as little as possible.  everyone can cook.  
  •  Eat fresh veggies and fruits when you can, frozen when you can’t.  I stay away from canned.
  • learn portion sizes.  get smaller plates.  
  •  Buy fresh so you don’t have to read labels.  Stay away from the packaged and processed.   But if it is – read the labels.  Be knowledgeable about what you are eating.
  • Vary your fruits and vegetables. 
  •  Eat healthy snacks.  Don’t let that blood sugar drop too low.  An evil twin comes out when mine does.   I always have almonds or walnuts in my purse.  
  • I do not count calories, I count saturated fat grams.  and sugar.
  • Track your fiber intake for a few days on livestrong.    I made my college students do this and it was disturbing.   Not a single student was getting enough!  Find out if you are.  If you aren’t, then add some fiber rich foods – avocados, whole wheats, beans … 
  • try different vegetables and fruits.  at least taste it.  don’t shy away from it because you didn’t like it when you were eleven.  You’ve grown up, so can your taste buds. 
  •   you have a craving?  go for it.  just eat a small portion.  i never deprive myself but i rarely over indulge.   And when I do, I don’t feel guilty.  I enjoy it.  until I start to have a tummy ache.  which only serves to teach me I shouldn’t have had so much (:  
  • I am not a believer in dieting.  The facts are there – very few people maintain their weight loss on fad diets.  I believe a diet is what you eat.  Not something you go on for a bit and then get off.  Make your change in diet a doable lifestyle and I find people are far more successful.  
  • It isn’t all about weight!  There is a healthy weight for each person, and it is an individual number.   People should care about the state of your heart, not the size of your jeans.  
  • As far as exercise goes, I am not the best example.  I walk a lot.  and maybe I’ll get back into running one day, big maybe there.  but walking does the trick and helps me feel good.  My best advice and what I would teach my patients in cardiac rehab is to start small.  It takes 5 minutes to become aerobic and thus beneficial for your heart.  Start there if you need.  Then move to 10, 15, 20 … It will get easier and easier.   If you need some exercise motivation my friend Lexi is good at inspiring exercise.  you can read her blog HERE
I hope this little list helps you live a little healthier and happier life.  
Cheers to a healthy 2011!!!  

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