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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  • Reply Ashley Lane Hamlin

    AMEN, missy! I made a big difference in my health over 2010 with just small changes. I had to because of my PCOS- and I definitely don't always like it.

    But the truth is that it doesn't take a lot or torture to change and be happy with who you are.

    December 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply wishful nals

    great tips! that market looks unbelievable. hope you had a wonderful holiday, lady! xo

    December 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply holtkamp

    these are great tips! as an exercise science major, i don't believe in dieting either: you hit the nail on the head on that one! eating healthy and exercising is about how it makes you feel, not about squeezing into size 0 pants 🙂

    December 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm
  • Reply Nicole Jeannette

    This was so great! I'm really into healthy eating. My dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when I was a senior in high school and he has been able to stop it dead in its tracks by changing his diet. I have learned so much from him and feel that it's incredible how we don't do the math with our food — what goes in is what we get.

    Interesting tip, I watched a video from Dr. Josh Axe and he said that he loves olive oil when it's cold, but as it heats it can turn into a bad fat. He suggests using grapeseed oil (or even coconut oil, but I'm allergic to it) instead for high heat recipes.


    December 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm
  • Reply Tucker

    @holtkamp – exactly!!
    @Nicole – The doctor is absolutely right! I should have clarified. Thank you!! i do love coconut oil. bummer you're allergic.

    December 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Jenni Austria Germany

    i love malaga! and interesting about the fresh, frozen, canned order….i eat vegetables with every meal but almost always canned. scary!

    December 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm
  • Reply Petchie

    Thank you for all of these helpful tips. As the new year is approaching one of my new years resolutions is to start eating healthy so that I can get into shape before my wedding. This list will definitely come in handy!


    December 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm
  • Reply Flora

    I love eating roasted garlic as a treat, too. The husb thinks it's kinda gross but it tastes so good!

    I eat fresh as much as possible. Thanks for the tips!


    December 28, 2010 at 3:43 am
  • Reply Sist and Sist

    you are amazing! i love your mom for instilling this in you. i want to be the same way with our little kiddies. treats in moderation and everything else healthy living!

    December 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Sara Bentley @ Purses Pastries Etc...

    Sarah! We'd get along really well in person! 🙂 I'm happy to say that I pretty much go by this too — I hate and NEVER diet! And I totally agree re people and hurtful comments. Why do some think that it's okay to make disparaging remarks about thin people when they wouldn't about heavy people? Weird… and very impolite!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm
  • Reply Erin Crispin

    That is a great post! I wandered over here from BlogHer ads and I was excited to see another wife of a professional athlete blogging. It is wonderful to see all the traveling you are enjoying. All the best!

    December 29, 2010 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Jillian

    great tips! i usually get in a lot of fiber and fruit but i need to work on those veggies. xoxo jcd

    December 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply Lexi

    I never realized you mentioned me in this blog post. You are a doll. I agree with everything you wrote here. I miss you dearly, and I can't believe it's been a year since you were in the office with me.

    January 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm
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