Archive for eating habits

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

by Jessi Cargill

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

Its that time of year: Shopping, parties, dinners, and traveling to see family & friends. Unfortunately, it also means a lot of opportunity for predators.

So here’s 10 ways you can keep you and your family safe this holiday season:)

1) Walk confidently and with purpose. Observe those around you. Assertive body language can help keep you out of the target pool.

2) Keep your head up. This is NOT the time to be on the phone texting, talking, checking off lists, or updating your status on social media. Distraction makes for easier targets.

3) Be wary of anyone approaching you in parking lots or any area slightly away from the bulk of the crowds.

4) There’s safety in numbers. So whether its shopping, a night out on the town, or traveling, go with a group when possible.

5) Don’t leave valuables (purses, tablets, wallets, gifts,etc) visible in the car while you are shopping. If you have to leave them, hide them before getting to the parking lot.

6) Park in well lit, high traffic areas. Avoid parking near anything that might limit visibility.

7) Carry only the credit cards and ID that you need. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Cards can be replaced, cash cannot. Also, be aware of what you’re wearing. Wearing big, or lots of ‘sparkly” jewelry may draw unwanted attention.

8) Keep doors locked and windows up & locked if you are sitting in your car waiting to pick someone up. (Also, still not a good time to be distracted by your phone. It can wait…go back to #2)

9) Do not post your travel plans on social media.

10) As always – be sure and trust your instincts. If you see or feel anything suspicious, there is a reason to pay attention to those feelings. Don’t be embarrassed to go back inside and ask someone to escort you to your car or to be loud (yell, scream, honk your horn) and draw attention to your situation.

#awareness #befearless #mysafetymyresponsibility #designingasaferwoman 

Making December Great Again!

“The secret to bigger change is usually found in those small things you do daily. Small steps, and smart daily choices, add up. Healthy and happy is found in the daily details of lifestyle.”

by: Lisa Harrington

December is here, and for many, it is the most wonderful time of the year. However, when it comes to sticking to wellness goals during the month of December, sometimes we don’t make our smartest decisions. December is a challenge for all of us, routines are disrupted and old, unhealthy choices can come creeping in, making the wellness challenge ever trickier. Try following these 3 strategies to maintain healthy goals over the winter holidays.

  1. Identify Your Wellness Strengths and Weaknesses: We all have them, so take time to identify yours. Once you have considered that, then you can develop strategies to adapt and improvise; helping yourself achieve a happier, and healthier holiday outcome. For example, if you do not like walking in cold weather then perhaps you can put together a winter walking uniform that will keep you warm. Then give it a name, like “Mom’s Indomitable Snowman Suit” and enjoy bringing your family or friends a few smiles every time you engage in your physical activity goals! Use your imagination!

If you know that baked goods with added sugars/fats are your pitfall, then you might offer to bring a healthier (but still tasty!) tray to work and family gatherings. A small, smart decision like this leads to other daily, small smart decisions on health. And you are most likely going to give in to a craving, either with too little movement, or too much food. It’s alright; just know that you can get back on track with your next smart, healthy decision!

  1. Watch Portions Closer than Ever: Portion control is the best way to still have a little fun with food while focusing on your health so that you will be around to enjoy many more holidays!  Look for smaller sized plates or spread your food selections out on a larger plate.  Focus more on the people and conversations at food gatherings and eat slower, savoring every bite.  Think, “less is more” with certain holiday favorites. Take sample size bites of the starchy foods, such as casseroles, stuffing and rolls and share desserts with another person.  Take a breath and think through your portions—you can do this!
  1. Be Present in the Moment: Do not wait until January to pick back up on your health and wellness goals.  Diet and lifestyle change is an ongoing process—think of it as slowly un-locking a part of you that is trying to break out and exist. We all have some capacity to fill our mouths with more nutritious foods or lead more active lifestyles, so it is up to each of us to give that person within us a chance to live. Do not lock your healthy, active self away until next month.  December can, in fact be one of the most wonderful times of the year!  So bring your best self out now to engage with your family, play with your friends and serve your community.

Remember, we want to help you achieve your nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle goals—this December and all throughout the year!  Now get out there and make it a happy, healthy holiday!

~Lisa

It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.

how well you know

by: runhers women’s association

“It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.”  Let’s break that statement down. Fast learning is good, as long as you are drilling straight into the facts. Or getting to the heart of the matter quickly with good information. You don’t need more info. You need the right info, at the right time.

Reading a headline, or seeing an image on the television, in the paper, or on social media, doesn’t automatically mean it is true. So, you may ‘know’ something, but it may not be actually or even partially true –  or it could be a twisted opinion of something. And in many cases, it’s a flat out lie. Often times it is a clickbait type attention grabbing headline designed to get an advertisement (or three) in front of you. Willful ignorance is the not the way out, especially when setting examples to kids, or others you may have influence with.

Speaking of influence, many experts, leaders and celebrities are not educating you – they are being paid to sell you specific products. In fact, most sports stars and celebrities are endorsing unhealthy food and drinks.  Even our ‘peers’ are now selling out to companies who will provide them a few dollars of free product – in exchange for endorsements, which the company writes, on their social media feed. The more ‘likes’ (analytics) you can generate, the better. And marketers believe that peer to peer selling is the most effective way to move product right now.  So, be careful what you allow yourself to know fast – and don’t fall for all the ‘10 things you are doing wrong’ links. You’re NOT doing everything wrong!

If you are interesting in knowing more on the social media ‘influence factor’ – this is a good start. “Being A Social Media ‘Influencer’ Is Officially Meaningless.” http://www.vocativ.com/332174/social-media-influencers-lol/

On the opposite side, how ‘well’ you know fast, is a more robust view and understanding of what you are reading or seeing.  At IBM, Tom Watson had one word posted around the campus – think. Steve Jobs said at Apple that we have to make the details unforgettable, even intuitive. They knew, along with many other talented thinkers, that it is well worth the extra step, staying with a problem a little longer, to get through the clutter and find clarity. They actually did question almost everything.

Others insulting our intelligence is not the answer. Yet, every day we are bombarded with words, statements, and advertisements that do insult our intelligence. Our bullshit radar is on high alert almost full time these days. Or we have been habituated to filter and ignore, or accept the noise. So, science is faked (pseudoscience), health claims are unsubstantiated, research and studies are completely biased, or the number of participants in a ‘study’ is very low (non-conclusive) – and on and on.

So, how do you find clarity and truth in all of this? It’s not always easy. Of course there are things you don’t know, or are doing wrong. That’s the case with all of us. We can all do better. As women, when the hair stands up on the back of our necks in a social situation, we know something/someone is just not right. It’s sensory, and very real. You call bullshit, or leave that environment. It’s nearly the same thing with continued learning, whether it’s personal – or you are learning to help your family. Both are very important.

One way to getting to the root of an issue is using Sakichi Toyoda’s “5 Whys” technique – a simple but powerful tool for quickly uncovering the root of a problem, so that you can deal with it once and for all. Ask why 5 times on the matter at hand.  It can produce amazing results.

So, open your mind, and trust your instincts! Be your own best advocate, and that will take you a long way. And by the way, science says you think better when you have a run, or a walk – which only cost you a little time!  Not to mention all the other good feels!

“Hey Clickbait, there’s something wrong with you.”

“Hey Clickbait, there’s something wrong with you.”
~ internet of things

From viewing today’s twitter feed:
@wrongwrong – You’re doing abs all wrong (running, exercising, eating, etc)
@wrongfood – Forget everything you know about food.
@wrongway – Why you are not getting the belly you want – 6 weeks to a flat belly!
@wrongsecret – Secret yoga poses to lean you out.
@secretscience – 6 foods for 6-pack abs
@buymyshit – Try this at night, you’ll wake up gorgeous.
@glamsquadtricks – Celebrity secrets to the beach body you want.

Scroll down the timeline. Click on the link. Read. Click on another super sounding link. Read. It’s a different sensational headline about how I am not doing this or that right, how I should change, be better, be like this, and be like that. What you are really telling me is I’m broken – and I need your help. I need your product, your fix, to be all that I should be. I’m not good enough. I better click and see what I’m missing. Yes, I am somewhat insecure, and self-conscious about what I see in the mirror. I don’t look like any of the women in the magazines or the advertising. If only I try this or that …

STOP. What the hell is going on? Smart advertising, neuro marketing, that’s what. Slick images that are photo-shopped, or even completely computer generated. Teaser phrasing – and wording to pique your curiosity. Professional athletes, or fitness models/competitors that spend hours every day in the gym. Don’t think for a minute these advertisers haven’t done their research, and know you are scrolling through the social media feeds until some headline captures your attention, or hits home (my hips) a certain way. Wait, I can re-shape my hips with one easy to use product? Before and after pics don’t ever lie … right?
It’s called Clickbait. And it’s effective. Let’s explore.

Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
The key words here, quality and accuracy. Sounds like we digressed to the current state of politics, right? Well, the 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of what you’re clicking through on these sensational headlines doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Simply put, its bullshit, designed to get you on the path of a purchase somewhere down the road. If you re-tweet or ‘like” – it’s more likely for your friends to think you’ve researched or checked this out already, so a peer endorsement is way better than an advertiser’s claim. That’s where the socially influencing systems are at work, spreading junk science to the masses, many times without the re-poster even being aware that the claim is false. We want easy, we yearn for shortcuts – this is the society we live in.

The truth is … there is truth, and there is bullshit. The old saying, ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ has stood the test of time. You are worth more – take the time to do your own research on the facts before you try, or buy. Be your own best advocate. Question everything. There’s no one size fits all. You’re not doing everything wrong. You are doing many things right – reward yourself for that. At the end of the day, it really is all about those small daily smart decisions that add up over time, to significant change. You are not clickbait, you are smarter than that. Stay curious. Adapt good things into your world as you find them. Designing your life, your way, takes time. Have fun with the process!

metabolism – myths and facts

via The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Reviewed by Wendy Marcason, RD, LDN

Why can one person eat like a growing teenager and not gain a pound, while another person’s every indulgence shows up on the scale?  Chalk it up to individual differences in metabolism, muscle mass and physical activity. Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert what we eat into the energy we need to survive and function. It powers everything from breathing to blinking. A fast metabolism is like a hot furnace that burns through fuel (calories) quickly. A slow metabolism needs less fuel to keep a body running.

It’s tempting to throw up our hands and blame weight issues on a slow metabolism, but there are ways to support metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.

Claim: Our metabolic rates can’t change.

The truth: While it’s true that genetics help determine our metabolic rates, we can boost metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass.  Muscle burns more calories per hour than fat, which means that people with lean, muscular bodies need more calories to function than people with a higher percentage of body fat.

Our muscle mass decreases as we age, which slows metabolic rates by 2 to 8 percent per decade. But you can counteract this process by picking up the weights. “Having good muscle mass, especially towards your 40s and 50s, is important,” says Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD, registered dietitian. “If you start with a good baseline, your metabolism isn’t going to decrease as much.”

Claim: A diet of green tea and chili peppers will boost metabolism.

The truth: No magic food will speed up metabolism. Some studies have shown that green tea and hot chilies temporarily boost metabolic rates, but the lift isn’t enough to offset eating too many calories.

“Just because you’re putting a lot of chili peppers in your food doesn’t mean you can eat more of it,” says Villacorta. The path to healthy weight loss is through portion control and a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods, not through a diet doused in chili peppers.

Claim: Eating late at night slows metabolism.

The truth: It’s the extra calories – not when you eat them – that cause weight gain. There is little evidence to support the fact that eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. However, you may be more likely to snack mindlessly in the evenings while watching television. Calories in these snacks add up, and that can cause weight gain.

Claim: Very low calorie diets and skipping meals can jumpstart weight loss.

The truth: Weight loss is all about creating an energy deficit – ingesting fewer calories than your body expends each day – but creating too large of a calorie deficit can backfire. Our bodies are smart, and programmed for survival. Severely limiting calories can make your body think it’s entering a famine, and that it needs to do more with fewer calories. Your body adapts to the restricted caloric intake, and uses fewer calories to perform the same tasks.

“We encounter people who are burning lots of calories, but not eating much, and they can’t lose those last 10 pounds. Their metabolism is essentially on lock down,” says Villacorta.

 

a good way to start your day

Editor’s Note:  With fall in full swing, we get to thinking about nice welcoming mugs of goodness to warm our bones.   Research has shown a strong association of teas with long life and health in many ancient cultures.  After reading this WebMD article, you will find that green tea is very beneficial for your health.  We enjoy iced green tea in the summer, now it’s time to make it a year round drink, a daily ritual!  Drink it to relax, and for your health.  Enjoy the article!  Cheers!   

A cup of green tea is a good way to start your day.

By: Paula Spencer Scott A WebMD Feature

“It’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink,” says Christopher Ochner, PhD. He is a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Green tea is beyond a super food.”

In the past 20 years, thousands of studies have shown green tea’s benefits.

Healthy Cells

Why is green tea so good for you? “It’s all about the catechin content,” says Beth Reardon, RD, a Boston nutritionist. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. Green tea is not processed much before it is poured in your cup, so it is rich in catechins.

Healthy Heart

Green tea has been shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. A 2013 review of many studies found green tea helped prevent a range of heart-related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure.

Brain Health

What’s good for the heart is usually good for the brain, and your brain needs healthy blood vessels, too. In one Swiss study, MRIs revealed that people who drank green tea had greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains.  Green tea has also been shown to help block the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Diabetes

Green tea seems to help keep blood sugar stable in people with diabetes. Because catechins lower cholesterol and blood pressure, they can protect against the damage a high-fat diet can cause, Ochner says.

Weight Loss

Green tea can help increase and even change your metabolism, so you burn more calories from fat. Studies show that green tea can also help you keep weight off once you’ve lost it.

It’s also a smart swap for sugary drinks. “All things being equal, if you sub 1-2 cups of green tea for one can of soda, over the next year you’d save over 50,000 calories,” says Ochner. That’s more than 15 pounds.

Cancer Role

Studies on green tea’s impact on cancer have been mixed.  But green tea is known to aid healthy cells in all stages of growth. There are some indications green tea may help destroy cancer cells.

Less Stress

Sipping tea helps you slow down and relax, Reardon says. An amino acid called theanine found in green tea can provide a calming effect.

For a healthy cuppa:

  • Don’t add green tea to boiling water. You’ll kill helpful catechins. Better: 160-170 degree water.
  • Add lemon. Vitamin C makes the healthy compounds in green tea easier to absorb. Dairy, on the other hand, makes it harder to absorb the catechins.
  • Levels of the healthful compounds in green tea can vary. Rule of thumb: Pricier teas usually have more, and canned green-tea drinks have less.

Aim for at least four cups a day, two with caffeine and two without. Even more than that seems to have little health downside, other than the possible effects of caffeine, Ochner says. “There could not be a more simple way to improve your health,” he says.

demystifying the food label

Editor’s Note:  We recently received an e-mail from Cheryl M. in Little Rock, “I’ve recently started your Sofa2Success  program, and I am wondering if you’ll be adding more information on how to select the best food to go along with my increased activity?”

We always say it’s the little things that make the big difference.  With food labels it’s no different.  Once we know and understand the basics, we can navigate the endless choices that are presented to us at the grocery stores.  If you are not familiar with all the information presented on food labels, this article is for you.  We’ll be doing another article on ingredients/additives as well as the advertising claims some companies make versus the real nutrition facts soon. You will laugh out loud at some of the claims!  Please be thoughtful about what fuel you put in you and your family’s bodies!  The more you know …   

Article Via:  American Heart Association

Learning how to read and understand food labels can help you make healthier food choices.

Here are some tips for making the most of the information on the Nutrition Facts label.


Start here. Note the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package.

Check total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you’re really consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the Percent Daily Value (% DV).

Limit these nutrients. Remember, you need to limit your total fat to no more than 56–78 grams a day — including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol (for a 2,000 calorie diet).

Get enough of these nutrients. Make sure you get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you need every day.

Quick guide to % DV. The % DV section tells you the percent of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV — 5 percent or less is low. If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV — 20 percent or more is high.

Here are more tips for getting as much health information as possible from the Nutrition Facts label:

  • Remember that the information shown in these panels is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending upon your age, gender, activity level, and whether you’re trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Find out your personal daily limits on My Fats Translator (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/My-Fats-Translator_UCM_428869_Article.jsp(  In general, as you think about the amount of calories in a food per serving, remember that for a 2,000-calorie diet:
    • 40 calories per serving is considered low;
    • 100 calories per serving is considered moderate; and
    • 400 calories or more per serving is considered high.
  • There is no % DV shown for trans fat on the panel because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have enough scientific information to set this value. We recommend eating less than 20 calories or (less than two grams of trans fat) a day – that’s less than 1 percent of your total daily calories (for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet).
  • When the Nutrition Facts panel says the food contains “0 g” of trans fat, it means the food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
  • When the Nutrition Facts label says a food contains “0 g” of trans fat, but includes “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list, it means the food contains trans fat, but less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. So, if you eat more than one serving, you could quickly reach your daily limit of trans fat.

In addition to the Nutrition Facts label, a lot of foods today also come with nutrient content claims provided by the manufacturer. These claims are typically featured in ads for the foods or in the promotional copy on the food packages themselves. They are strictly defined by the FDA. The chart below provides some of the most commonly used nutrient content claims, along with a detailed description of what the claim means.

 

If a food claims to be… It means that one serving of the product contains…
Calorie free Less than 5 calories
Sugar free Less than 0.5 grams of sugar
Fat
Fat free Less than 0.5 grams of fat
Low fat 3 grams of fat or less
Reduced fat or less fat At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product
Low in saturated fat 1 gram of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat
Lean Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Extra lean Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Light (lite) At least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product, or no more than half the sodium of the regular product
Cholesterol
Cholesterol free Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat
Low cholesterol 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Reduced cholesterol At least 25 percent less cholesterol than the regular product and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Sodium
Sodium free or no sodium Less than 5 milligrams of sodium and no sodium chloride in ingredients
Very low sodium 35 milligrams or less of sodium
Low sodium 140 milligrams or less of sodium
Reduced or less sodium At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular product
Fiber
High fiber 5 grams or more of fiber

If you can’t remember the definitions of all of the terms, don’t worry.  You can use these general guidelines instead:

  • “Free” means a food has the least possible amount of the specified nutrient.
  • “Very Low” and “Low” means the food has a little more than foods labeled “Free.”
  • “Reduced” or “Less” mean the food has 25 percent less of a specific nutrient than the regular version of the food.

 

 

 

 

small things add up


small things really do count …

2012 is well underway, resolutions may still be in full force (maybe not) and the holiday bulge may still be hanging around (ouch!). People tend to make lofty New Year’s goals to be healthier, but aren’t successful because they aren’t specific enough, too rigid to achieve and stay on track, or maybe you just haven’t followed through.

For many women, all it takes is one candy bar or one bad meal and the rest of the day, or even the week is ruined. We beat ourselves up over the one lapse. Instead look at the big picture and know that we can get back on track. Break it down and know that the small things can make a dramatic difference in your quest for a healthier you. Try these simple day to day tips – the small things will add up to something big!

  • Drink more water – This one is crucial, adding more water to your diet alone can do so much good for your body. It also assists with weight loss. Drinking 96 ounces of water daily decreases fluid retention, improves liver function, appetite decreases, metabolic functions improve (more energy to burn more calories) and blood volume is maintained. Simple fix: keep a large bottle of water with you at all times because once you actually feel thirsty, dehydration has already set in. Mood swings and headaches are many times just simple hydration issues.
  • Unhealthy munchies – Stay away from the unhealthy snack trays and candy bowls. You know what we’re talking about! If you’re hungry, eat something healthier – try not to pick at something just because you’re stressed or bored. Simple fix – remember to eat all your daily meals – then keep healthy snacks with you during the day. Here’s a tip on an ideal day; breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack. By keeping regular eating habits you are less likely to be hungry and go for those unhealthy treats. A handful here and a bite there can add a lot of empty calories/sugar to your day. If you feel comfortable with it, keep a food journal so you have an idea of just how many calories you take in and when.
  • Think. Don’t eat it if it’s not worth it – There are some days a girl feels the need to splurge! Please make certain it’s something you really want to ensure that it was worth it so you don’t have that guilty “why did I eat that” feeling.
  • Soda and Sugary Drinks – We’ll do complete stories on ‘sugars’ in the near future. A diet high in sugar contributes to weight gain, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which raise the risk of heart disease, warns the Cleveland Clinic. It’s added in soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even added in many juices! Don’t get us started on foods! Surveys have also found that the average American consumes ~ 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Health gurus say we should really be drinking/eating a fraction of that amount. The recommended sugar intake for adult women is 5 teaspoons (20 grams) of sugar per day, for adult men, it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams) daily, and for children, it’s 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. A 12 ounce Coke has 39 grams of sugar as a reference point. We will have a forum soon on label reading! We are not saying to BAN everything – what we are saying is to be informed, aware and adjust accordingly. Everyone enjoys a sugary treat once in a while!
  • Vegetables – Veggies are good for you. Great source of fiber which is beneficial to be heart healthy, lower risk of colon cancer and keeps you “regular”! An easy fix suggestion is to substitute veggies for fries. Or ‘bake’ the fries! We all have heard about what fried foods can do to us! Try adding servings of veggies to every meal. Add colors, experiment and have fun with it. The fresher the better!
  • Portion Size – Yes, it is true – America has the largest meal and packaged portion sizes in the world! For example and let’s be honest here, we know candy bars and other sugary treats aren’t getting us any closer to our goals so if you’re going to eat it, PLEASE stay away from the super-size, king-size, etc. and go with the bite size. Use smaller plates for meals, do some food research, learn label reading and have some fun with it! Many restaurants are famous for huge portion sizes! Make one order ‘dinner for two’ like we many times do! Heck we even order off the kid’s menu if they’ll let us! You can be sensible and creative when eating out!
  • The Great Chocolate Debate – Look for a higher cocoa content – 70% and higher are the healthiest. The higher levels provide more nutrients, antioxidants etc. Less is more with this type of beautiful stuff! Slow, small bites are much more enjoyable and satisfying.
  • Try keeping a meal log – Always at a loss what to plan for dinner every night, run out of time to fix dinner so just stop for fast food? Take a few minutes on the weekend and plan what you’re going to have for dinner each week. Plan grocery shopping around that and have everything on hand so you can feel more confident and in control all week!
  • Move Around – Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Seriously just do it! Many people are at desk jobs all day. Take 5 minute fitness breaks! Take the chair away, walk around or even squat in place. If your company has flex time or a rewards system for staying healthy, tap into as many of those resources as you can! If not – ask about leading a “walking’ break or meeting or find some other creative ‘moving’ solution! The more you move, the more you can do! Once again and back to the main topic – the small things will add up to big things. Use your imagination. One size does not fit all! What may seem to be small improvements for one may be HUGE for others so it’s all about finding what works for you! Pick one small improvement that you can work on per day/week and focus on achieving that goal then continue on each week. Leading a healthy lifestyle is most definitely a marathon not a sprint, so work towards improvements that you can continue on long term not for a quick fix.

I hope this helps with remembering that small improvements, one step at a time, really are the way to go. We are never going to get everything right, but we can adjust and have lots of fun with it. The point is to move your body and put good stuff in it! Laugh, have fun and play like a kid!

Peace Love Run ~ Sara McCauley, Energy Director