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Sensible Choices for the New Year

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 // Uncategorized

I like practical advice.  Weight is usually gained over a long period of time.  Rapid weight loss is usually followed by rapid weight gain.  We need to make healthy lifestyle changes that make the difference over the long run.  The following article is from the Baptist Medical System’s E newsletter.  My only objection is the egg white breakfast tacos.  Why ditch the yolk?  It’s a great source of protein.  They’ve gotten a bum rap for the amount of cholesterol in the yolk, but egg intake hasn’t been shown to affect blood cholesterol levels.

Simple and Sensible Swaps to achieve Health for Life
By Jennifer Meachum RD, LD, CNSD, Baptist Health System Dietitian

Happy New Year! I know many of you have already started 2011 with a BANG, working tirelessly and diligently on your resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, or be fit. Although I am pleased to see so many people excited about diet and exercise, this enthusiasm can be short lived if you have set poorly defined and unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions. Long-term, unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment, a decrease in self confidence, or a loss of interest when immediate results are not seen. You then begin to seek refuge in your old unhealthy habits reverting back to what is comfortable and safe.

This year I challenge you to adopt a new way of taking charge of your overall health and wellness. Lose the New Year’s Resolutions and “quick fix” mentality; instead choose Health for Life. Choosing Health for Life is not about instant results rather it is about making permanent healthy lifestyle changes and taking a proactive instead of a reactive approach to your healthcare. Health for Life means constantly setting small, realistic goals that are measureable and achievable to ensure success, build self confidence, and keep you motivated.

Your Health for Life is largely dependent on the food choices you make and your eating habits. What we eat or don’t eat can have an impact on our weight, physical capabilities, disease risk, brain function, energy, and mood. When it comes to making changes in your diet, once again small changes and substitutions can make a big difference in your health and wellness. Below I will share sensible and simple swaps you can make in your diet that will help you gain confidence in making nutritious choices, develop permanent healthy eating habits, and have a positive impact on your health.

Breakfast

Swap instant oatmeal prepared with water with instant oatmeal prepared with skim milk for an additional 8 grams of satisfying protein and bone building calcium.
Swap a plain white bagel with cream cheese with a whole wheat English muffin with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter for filling fiber and a spread packed with heart healthy monounsaturated fat and protein.
Swap 2 bean and cheese tacos on flour tortilla with 2 egg white tacos (scrambled egg whites with onions and green peppers and low fat cheese on corn tortilla) for an impressive slash in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Snacks

Swap a handful of salted peanuts with a handful (about 12) of walnuts to boost your intake of heart healthy Omega 3 fats.
Swap ½ cup canned fruit for ¾ cup of blueberries for an antioxidant punch.
Swap cheese flavored crackers with 10 whole grain crackers and one ounce low fat cheese for a powerful combination of lean protein and nutrient dense carbs.

Lunch & Dinner

Swap that second or third slice of pizza with a Spinach salad (2 cups of fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp Olive oil based dressing) to help achieve your daily recommended intake of green leafy vegetables and heart healthy fat.
Swap a baked potato with a sweet potato, packed with disease fighting and age defying antioxidants such as beta carotene and Vitamin C.
Swap a cheese burger with a veggie burger for a meatless alternative that can aid in weight loss and help decrease your total cholesterol.

Beverages

Swap a 12 ounce diet soda with a 12 ounce glass of iced green tea to help rev up your metabolism while warding off heart disease and cancers.
Swap an 8 ounce frozen strawberry margarita with an 8 ounce glass of white or red wine for a savings of over 300 calories and a bonus of cancer fighting flavanoids.
Swap a 12 ounce orange flavored fruit drink with an 8 ounce glass of 100% orange juice for immunity boosting Vitamin C and a serving of fruit.

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