As many of you continue to put your New Year’s resolution into practice, I would like to talk about healthy living. Eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight are always at the top of the list for New Year’s resolutions.
Before the pandemic, gyms were packed in January and perhaps until mid-February. The numbers often dwindle come March and then increases again just before summer. The sale of exercise equipment usually skyrockets in December and January, with buyers having great intentions. However, come March, the treadmill may become a clothes rack, and/or we start seeing a lot these used exercise machines for sale.
My suggestion is this. When it comes to healthy living – that is, eating cleaner, exercising regularly and consciously taking care of yourselves better, mind and body, let’s forget about making this a New Year’s resolution plan. However, instead, make healthy living an important part of the way you live daily. This includes having a healthy diet or meal plan. The term ‘diet’ is used here in a general sense to mean food choices not necessarily weight loss. Yet, keep in mind that when you change your eating habits, make the right food choices, eat healthier and in moderation, drink more water, increase your activity to factor in, for example, walking or taking the stairs if you can. With these initial changes, you will gradually see weight loss and likely, an increase in energy level.
This means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, with minimal and non-processed fresh foods. Consuming more fruits and vegetables, less meats (if you are eating meats, focus on lean protein, or if possible, tofu, also high in protein), grains, nuts and healthy fats – are all packed with naturally occurring nutrients.
Remember to reduce or limit your sugar and salt intake. Also avoid over-cooking to retain the foods’ nutrients, particularly your veggies. Steam your vegetables, rather than boil. Your veggies should not be soft and mushy, but still have a little bit of crunch to them (depending on the vegetable). I like to season mine with minced garlic (roasted garlic is also tasty), olive oil and black pepper to add flavour. Add your own favourite seasonings. Roasted veggies are also another delicious option. If you are wondering how long you should steam your vegetables, here are a few tips.
- Broccoli and Cauliflower: 5 minutes
- Chopped carrots, beets: 6-7 minutes
- Green beans: 4-5 minutes
- Asparagus, green beans: 4-5 minutes (depending on thickness, I often cut them in half to reduce cooking time)
- Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard and other leafy greens: 4-5 minutes
These incremental lifestyle adjustments can become a natural way of living. With time, you will see and feel the difference and like it.
Have questions on how you can eat healthier and healthy living? Share them with us. Some will be answered here.