Responsible choices can lead to better quality of life

Published 10:26 am Friday, March 24, 2017

Responsible choices can lead to better quality of life

I always love to hear that you read It’s Friday! and try the recipes, and are making changes in the way you eat.  That’s positive motivation for me for sure!  I enjoy writing about the things I love and nutrition and healthy lifestyle are at the top of my list. I know that life isn’t all about food but a healthy lifestyle is all about making healthy choices.
So let’s try this, The Total Body Lifestyle Diet. It’s about adding beneficial foods, creating new behaviors and fostering a sense of responsibility to improve the quality of our lives. And, it’s not just a fleeting, trendy diet that makes short term promises.  Instead it’s a lifestyle that will give you energy and freedom to make food choices, and, more importantly, help you build a healthy relationship with food.
First there are three principles in achieving a Total Body Diet Lifestyle that can help lead you to renewed energy, balance and a healthy body weight.  They are:
1. Balance your diet with foods from all food groups (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant and animal sources of lean protein, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products) to sustain health, energy, and well-being.
2. Get active every day with enjoyable movement: walking, jogging, running, biking, hiking, swimming, stair climbing, Pilates, yoga or tai chi for example.
3. Make your mental health a priority by fostering a positive attitude. Your mind plays a large role in your health and your relationship to what and how you eat and drink.  The way you think about your health and wellness plays a role in the action you take toward living a healthier lifestyle. If you prioritize your health, you’ll develop a “wellness state of mind.” You’ll think first about making the healthiest choice when it comes to food and physical activity.
To start making changes in your lifestyle ask yourself these questions; be honest with your answers:
• Why do I want to make changes now?  What is my goal?
•  How ready am I to make this change? Rate yourself on a scale from 1 (not ready at all) to 5 (very ready).
• Am I willing to try new, healthier foods?
• Do I want to become more active or change my physical activity?
• Do I understand that change is a gradual process taking time, patience and daily action?
Your answers will tell you if you’re ready to alter your lifestyle and create lasting changes. If so, you’re in the right state of mind to power forward. Your new wellness mindset will help you become more focused on and conscious of your choices.
To achieve a wellness state of mind there are 12 total body wellness rules to live by:
1. Set one realistic health and wellness goal today (but don’t promise yourself too much)!
2. Color your health happy by planning at least one meatless day into your week and including colorful vegetables.
3. Pamper your brain; fuel it well with carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables and whole grains plus beneficial fats from nuts, seeds, fish and avocado.
4. Keep your pantry, fridge and freezer free of foods with a lot of added sugar, solid fat, and salt.
5. Add healthful foods into your day: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins.
6. Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Keep a reusable water bottle with you to always have water on hand.
7. Make physical activity a regular part of the day. Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly.
8. Factor in dietary fiber with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils.
9. Spend less time sitting.  Stand whenever you can: work at a standing desk, pace during phone calls, walk at lunchtime.
10. Slow down your eating.  Take at least 20 minutes to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner (it takes 20 minutes to feel full).
11. Forge ahead – don’t let a bump in the road toward a healthy lifestyle get you down. Keep your wellness goals ahead of you and move forward.
12. Make time for restful sleep. Aim for 7 to 9 hours every night. This is the basis of a healthy lifestyle, you’ll find it easier to make good, healthy decisions throughout the day when you’re well rested.
See, it’s not just about food and diets! It’s lifestyle!
If you are ready for a total lifestyle change read Total Body Diet by Victoria Shanta Retelny and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Wiley, 2016.

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Energizing Foods for Sustained Energy

Foods high in added sugar and low in dietary fiber, protein and fat will give you a quick boost of energy, but not for long.  For sustained energy, eat meals that contain foods with a combination of dietary fiber plus lean protein and healthy fat. Fuel your body regularly — about every three to four hours — with either a healthy snack or meal to keep energy levels stable throughout the day.  Try these meals/snacks for extra, long lasting energy:

• One whole-wheat English muffin, 1 tablespoon nut butter and ½ cup fresh berries

• Six whole-grain crackers, 1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese and a handful of grapes

• ½ cup cooked oats, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 ounce pistachios and ¼ cup raisins

• 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, ½ cup fresh or frozen berries and 1 ounce sliced almonds