Updated: Jan 11
I hope that everyone has had a blessed holiday season. As I sit and reflect on this past year, I can't help but help but think of the many blessings I have had this year. The biggest one is earning my graduate degree and starting my private practice. I am anxious to help people lead healthier lives.
Now that we move into 2023, I am like many of you and think about my New Year's resolutions. For most people, those resolutions are diet or health-related. I plan to incorporate some weight resistance training and pilates into my current workout regimen of running/walking and yoga. I had some minor setbacks this year related to working out, but I have overcome them and am moving forward.
When I began writing this blog entry, I intended to post some ideas for some healthy tips to follow during the holidays, but I was busy enjoying time with family, so that didn't happen. After reviewing them, I have decided they are appropriate all year round and not just during the holidays. I firmly believe that lifestyle choices affect our overall health, and while diet plays a key role, it's only one piece of the puzzle.
Tips for a healthier new year include:
Include healthy foods in your diet. Try to incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods daily. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, low-fat milk products, lean meats, eggs, peas, and beans.
Limit foods high in fat and sugar. These foods contain empty calories and are nutrient-poor food choices. Try to limit sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soda), baked goods, and candies. It's ok to fit some of these into your diet occasionally, but limiting them will benefit your overall health in the long run.
Keep moving and stay active. Try to include 2 1/2 hours of physical activity weekly into your routine. You don't have to be a marathon runner to be active and keep moving. If you haven't been exercising, start slow and work your way up. Take a walk with your family, walk your dog, or do yard work such as raking leaves or mowing your grass. On a side note: My mom is 77 and still does her yard work. I am in awe of her and hope I can do the same at her age.
Get plenty of sleep. Everyone has a busy life, and it's easy to ignore our sleep habits. A good goal would be to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Studies have shown that if you get fewer hours people tend to choose more high-sugar, high-fat foods in their diet.
Control stress in your life: Stress can increase cortisol levels in your body. Chronic high levels of cortisol can increase blood sugar and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Determine healthy ways to help alleviate stress. Some ideas include exercise, meditation, yoga, keeping a journal, or taking a nap.
Are you unsure where to start to make some lifestyle changes for the new year? Consider scheduling an initial nutrition counseling session with me, and I will try to help you achieve your diet-related health goals. I'm accepting new clients and happy to help you. I am in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Care Health insurance. If I am out-of-network with your insurance company, you may still have benefits for nutrition counseling. Also, helpful to know is medical nutrition counseling is eligible for using FSA and HSA medical spending accounts for payment.
What are your New Year's goals related to your health? Feel free to comment and share.