10 Habits, 10 Weeks and a Healthier 2013

Link to the Banana Bread Breakfast Bar Recipe

I’m not into detox diets or diets in general.  These teasing tactics only put off the inevitable return to poor eating habits.  Instead of jumping on the current diet fad incorporate these 10 habits over the next 10 weeks for a healthier 2013.

#1.   Switch to tea a few times a week. While coffee has some health benefits, tea’s health benefits are undeniable.  Try green, black or white tea hot or cold.  Try it without sugar if possible or with just a drizzle of honey.

#2.   Swap out sugary cereals. I hate to break it to you but it’s time to let the fruity loops and marshmallow treats go.  Trade them in for a whole grain cold cereal, oatmeal or this delicious Farro with Bananas, Walnuts, and Dried Cranberries for breakfast.  If you need more time, go half and half with a new lower sugar, higher fiber cereal.

#3.   Go meatless once a week. Evidence continues to mount on the benefits of plant based diets.  Vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight, lower rates of cancer and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among other benefits. Give up meat at least once a week to reap some of those benefits. Check out Meatless Monday for vegetarian recipe ideas.

#4.   Drink water before your meal. For those who need to lose weight, research shows drinking 2 cups (16 oz.) of water before a meal can help with weight loss.  Stay hydrated with water and other beverages, whole fruits and veggies or broth based soups and vegetable salads.

#5.   Eat breakfast. Yes, it’s the most important meal of the day.  Breakfast skippers tend to weigh more and have other unhealthy habits like drinking too many sugary beverages and eating high calorie snacks.  So, don’t skip breakfast.  If time is an issue, make it quick. Try yogurt and fruit, nut butter and toast or a veggie smoothie with flax or chia seeds.

#6.   Fill up on fiber. Fiber helps you feel full faster and longer.  Aim for 25-30 grams a day. Get it from fruits, veggies, beans, whole grain cereals and nuts.

#7.   Make half your plate fruits and veggies.  Use this rule at all of your meals to easily keep calories in check and nutrition high.

#8.   Snack smart. Skip the chips, cookies and other refined carbohydrate snacks. Opt for edamame, roasted chickpeas, apples with peanut butter, Greek yogurt or nuts to smash hunger. The protein and fiber combination will fuel you through a workout or keep you full until mealtime.

#9.   Do something you like. If you’re not a fan of the gym (like me!), don’t go.  Find an activity that you like so you’re more inclined to do it.  You can hike, bike, roller skate, Zumba or join a dance troupe.  Whatever it is, just make sure you love doing what you do so you will keep doing it.

#10. Connect with a friend. Instead of catching up with friends over dinner and drinks all of the time, set up a regular walk or run date with a friend or colleague.

 

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Image reprinted with permission from http://www.thesweetlifeonline.com and http://www.healthyaperture.com

 

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