Now that my 30-Day, 3-changes Challenge is over, it is time for me to pick a new challenge. Like my previous challenge, I chose one which would enhance my health, improve my life, and increase my level of fitness.
I chose a Healthy Living Challenge.
For Part 1, I decided to do a general outline of dietary and physical intentions for this 30 -Day Healthy Living Challenge. My source of inspiration and information for these guidelines in particular is the DVD You on a Diet With Dr Michael Roizen and the book of “ YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management ”. Smattered in with these is my own hard-won understanding of what makes my body feel healthier/get more fit. As always, please do check with your doctor before making any changes in your style of living which affect an aspect of your health. Your doctor can advise you of the wisdom of making the changes you are planning to make, and will be able to determine if there are any reasons why you should not make them. Without further ado then
Dietary Suggestions/My Guidelines
Keep in mind that these suggestions and guidelines are my own, based on what has worked for me in the past, as well as recommendations from the book as mentioned. I am not a nutritionist nor a dietician. I simply am someone who would enjoy being healthier! Foods you would do well to avoid, according to the book, “You, On A Diet”: (Please note that you really have to check labels in order to avoid these. Some so-called “healthy” foods include these in their lists of ingredients)
This one is a toughie. So much of what we consume has sugar in it in some form or other. I find that if I eat nothing with sugar listed in the first five ingredients, I tend to feel healthier, have more energy, and lose weight when I need to.
high fructose corn syrup
white foods, including bleached flour
Instead, choose polyunsaturated fats or monounsaturated fats, which may help ward off depression.
Rather than using commercial salad dressings (which, by the way, may contain as many calories as the so-called “fattening” foods you are trying to avoid by eating a salad!), substitute an olive oil and vinegar mixture. Lightly drizzled on a salad, it tastes wonderful, and is actually good for you. As well, you will be avoiding sugar in its many forms, or sugar substitutes. You have to eat breakfast every day.
This is particularly difficult for me, as I simply do not feel hungry until around 10 a.m.
When I eat breakfast, I tend to be hungry all day long, a result of breakfast being what stokes your metabolic fire in the morning. Shifting that metabolism into high gear by eating breakfast is on way you can encourage your body to burn more fuel each day.
Another way to encourage that caloric burn: Exercise I love walking, and do so as often as I can find the time and energy to do so.
Daily is best, a minimum of 30 minutes total if you are fit enough to handle it.
Eventually, it is motivating to use a pedometer to track the number of steps you take every day. Aim for 10000 steps a day. For more information on doing this, please see 10000 Steps and Active 2010.
As well, working with weights will tone those muscles, which will result in a better, continuous calorie burn, even if you are not doing anything more strenuous than taking a nap! That, my friends, is what I call “power napping”!
You should do some form of stretching exercises several times per week as well. I like yoga, so will do that sometimes. However, wtih all the building, etc, I have been doing, it is tough to find the time. Simple stretches will have to suffice on the days when I am (pardon the pun) “stretched” for time. Eat Salmon.
Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to stabilize your heartbeat, lower your blood pressure, and may in turn help you to live longer. As well, Omega-3’s have been linked with lessening the effects of depression.
Suggestions, anecdotes, useful sources of information or motivation? Why not share? Comments and stories are always most welcome!