At the beginning of every year, men and women around the country begin their new year by solemnly making promises for a healthier lifestyle that ultimately lasts a few weeks before an obstacle is encountered that derails them from achieving their goal. I have lost count at how many times this has happened to me!!
We have so much going on in our lives that we often don’t take the necessary time to ensure that we are creating a healthier life for ourselves.
As Oprah has said in the past, “When you know better, you do better.” As a working mom, I have recognized that I can’t do it all and that I have limited time for myself each day so I better make those minutes or hour count. My new attitude is to “SIMPLIFY” and “EXECUTE”.
Here are some tips to keep the momentum of a healthier New Year going:
1) Breakfast is the meal you can’t skip!
I have a difficult time following this one. I’m up at 5am and on the go from there. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it kick starts your metabolism. This meal doesn’t have to be a large one, but you should eat something. Start off with a piece of fruit such as a banana which contains potassium that is a crucial electrolyte. I like mixing strawberries and blueberries with Greek yogurt to supplement.
I got into smoothies last year. My favorite kind involves peanut butter, unsweetened almond milk and a banana. Almond milk is a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk. It contains multiple proteins, vitamins and minerals including omega fatty acids which help with lowering cholesterol and promoting anti-oxidant effects. It wins bonus points because of its lower calorie and saturated content compared to cow’s milk.
2) Branch out with your veggies!
For as long as I can remember, I have used a mesclun mix or spinach for my salads. Well, there has been a growing trend for beets, kale, quinoa and brussel sprouts and the verdict is in. These veggies are a big hit!
I can’t say enough good things about kale. It is an amazing green, leafy vegetable that is a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, K as well as other important minerals such as iron, potassium, copper and lutein which promotes good eye health. Kale also contains carotenoids and flavonoids (also found in red wine) which may be instrumental in cancer prevention and lowering cholesterol. Similar affects can be seen with brussel sprouts.
Beets are in!! I have grown to love and appreciate this tasty vegetable while dining out in NYC. Many restaurants now serve a variation of a beet salad which may include a small portion of goat cheese and caramelized onions for flavor. For a slightly calorie friendly choice, incorporate beets with juices and smoothies. Pregnant women will fall in love with this vegetable, which is rich in magnesium, iron, vitamin A, B, C, magnesium, and beta carotene. Females will find that their iron stores are replenished!
Beets also have beneficial effects on the heart since they contain betaine which can help decrease homocysteine levels in the blood that has been linked with heart disease.
Quinoa is a grain which appears to have super powers! In addition to being one of the most protein rich foods in our food pyramid, quinoa also contains an abundant amount of fiber which we will all need in our diet to help avoid constipation and lower cholesterol and sugar levels. It also contains manganese and B2 (riboflavin) which improve muscle and brain metabolism and exert antioxidant properties.
Start substituting your portion of rice or pastas with this grain!
Check out these yummy recipes!
a) Asian Quinoa Meatballs https://damndelicious.net/2014/10/15/asian-quinoa-meatballs/
b)Roasted Beet and Kale Salad https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/232590/roasted-beet-and-kale-salad/
3) Simplify your dessert
-Instead of dipping into that Haggen Daz butter pecan ice cream (WHICH I Love!!) or cheesecake, try a slice of apple with a teaspoon of peanut butter or indulge in vanilla frozen yogurt or Greek yogurt with dark chocolate shavings as a topping.
4) Start drinking more water today!!
There are so many reasons why we need to learn to love drinking water for our health. You should be striving to drink at least 8-9 glasses of water a day!
Check out my blog on the super powers of water, http://maggiecadetmd.com/the-super-powers-of-water/
5) GET SOME SLEEP ALREADY!!
Parents are very familiar with the joke that there is never a good night’s sleep once a child is born. I can attest that I have not gotten close to 6 hours of sleep since I became a parent. As a doctor, I am trained to ask patients this question on a daily basis and emphasize the importance of adequate sleep to maintain a healthier lifestyle. I need to start following my own advice!
Getting at least 7.5- 9 hours of sleep per night for adults can help in maintaining immune function and metabolism, enhancing memory and learning, improving performance in school, work and athletics as well as alleviating stress. Inadequate sleep may lead to obesity and risk of infection.
6) EXERCISE- CHANGE IT UP!
In today’s world, we are all on the go from the time we wake up to the time our head hits the pillow after we’ve completed our responsibilities with school, work, friends, family, social and networking events. Trying to find a time in the day to get to the gym or attend your favorite Soul cycle or yoga class may not happen for many of us despite our valiant efforts.
SIMPLE EXERCISE MOVES
Here are a few simple and time saving exercise moves you can do to increase your heart rate and stay trim.
a) Remember that famous scene in the movie ‘Rocky” where Sylvester Stallone powerfully runs up the stone steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky movie series? That scene is enough to inspire all of us.
Find a flight of stairs wherever you are and walk or run up one by one or skip a few as part of your exercise routine. It’s a simple exercise and does not require you to leave your house, apartment building or office building. If you want a challenge, use light free weights.
b) As a young girl, I remember having to do jumping jacks in the gym class before playing any sport. Well, this exercise can help increase your heart rate while toning your body.
c) Use a jump rope! Every young or old person or athlete has used this simple device at one point for training or fun. Jump ropes are inexpensive and doing multiple rounds of jumping can definitely tone your arms and legs while getting your heart pumping.
d) Holding a plank pose- Not everyone can do a push however, this simple move can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles, spine, wrists, and arms by holding the position from 30-60 seconds.
SO, don’t worry if you have already fallen off the wagon already. There is always time to remember those resolutions and get back on track to adopting healthier lifestyle habits for a REJUVENATED YOU!!!
Disclaimer: This blog contains my personal opinion based on personal and clinical experience, tips from trainers, health coaches and lastly research. You should always consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or other healthcare professional to discuss your own health and lifestyle goals and regimen based on your medical history. Thank you for reading!
Disclaimer: This blog contains my personal opinion based on personal and clinical experience, tips from trainers, health coaches and lastly research. This blog does not endorse specific treatments, procedures, products. You should always consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or other healthcare professional to discuss your own health and lifestyle goals and regimen based on your medical history. Thank you for reading!