Healthy Thursday: Small Changes, Big Rewards


Near Wallace Falls State Park, WA, 2010

Near Wallace Falls State Park, WA, 2010

So many people are looking for ways to be healthier these days.  Busy schedules, family commitments, commuting can take it’s toll on our health. It is easy to feel frustrated with health professionals, fitness buffs or gym rats telling us to lead healthier lives, work out more, ‘just 30 minutes a day’ and so on.  Where to find the time?  You may be living healthier and just not know it, or by just making small changes to your day, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

I’ve talked before about making small changes in your kitchen, in my cookbook and here on the website’s blog. Removing processed foods from your cupboard, foods made with processed white and wheat flour, sugar (ingredients ending in -ose, or including corn syrup), cutting down on high fat, high carb foods that leave you slow, sluggish and thick in the mind and waist.  Instead, one morning, try oatmeal with craisins (cranberry raisins), blaisins (blueberry raisins), chaisins (cherry raisins) or plain raisins with a tab of unsalted sweet cream butter and a tablespoon of sugar or honey!

Using full fat or flavored creamer in your coffee?  Try some non-dairy creamer and a few drops of vanilla and cinnamon, or half a tablespoon of cocoa and a dash of nutmeg for your morning commute. You’ll save money and your waistline! Have no choice but to eat at a fast food joint for lunch between sales calls? Have a large salad with roasted chicken or a double cheeseburger with double lettuce, double tomatoes and double pickles and a small fry, no salt. The extra vegetables will fill you up and give you needed fiber.  Go for the double, I say, only if you’re not eating fast food every day of the week.  Once a month or so is fine. Try not to eat more than one meal a week that includes beef.

Other ways that are well-known but deserve reiterating, parking further from doors and walking, taking stairs, running for the bus/taxi/daycare. Taking an early morning walk or evening stroll after dinner exercises the body and mind. Make a family event out of it, take your own coffee, cocoa or flavored water with you.  On weekends find a state park, local neighborhood or another city neighborhood park to explore.

Your body will thank you.

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