The word “health” can be interpreted differently to many people. Getting healthy might mean avoiding a heart attack or becoming a runner or eating more vegetables or even all of the above. Whatever health means to you I want to share 10 great habits for health – easy ways to stay healthier longer.
10 Great Habits for Health
The goal is to move a minimum of 30 minutes per day 5 days per week for heart health. This can also slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. If you’re new to exercise start with taking a short 10-15 minutes walk with your family after meals 3 times per day. Start walking one day per week and increase by one day every week until your goal is reached. And be consistent! Consistency is key.
Get 10 a day!
Of vegetables, that is! Specifically, non-starchy vegetables (not including corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, butternut squash or acorn squash). Vegetables add color, texture and disease-fighting phytonutrients to your diet. Stash easy to carry veggies with you for quick and easy snacks on the go: carrots, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, jicama…etc.
Avoid soda and drink more water!
Soda is packed full of non-nutritious sugar and wreaks havoc on your health. Step away from the soda and any other sugar-sweetened beverage and drink more water. Add lemon or lime or cucumbers and mint to your water for a boost in flavor.
Go whole or go home!
Whole grains, whole wheat, whole oats – the key word is “whole” and is the FIRST ingredient you should see on any starchy product. Don’t be fooled by the title of products – 9 grain does not always mean whole grain. Check the ingredient list! Whole grains contain tons of fiber that no only keeps you fuller longer, it also helps to control your blood sugar.
Cut back on red meat!
Red meat consumption has been linked to many diseases, one of them including diabetes. You can still enjoy red meat once a week, but in small portions. Choose lean proteins (white meat chicken or turkey and fish and eggs) more often and opt for plant-based protein every now and then (nuts, hemp seeds, tempeh).
Eat breakfast every single day!
There is a reason it’s called “break-the-fast” and you should be doing so every day! Starting your day a healthy breakfast can keep your energy levels up and you’ll get better control of your diabetes. I posted some healthy and easy breakfast ideas HERE.
Don’t you dare pick up that salt shaker. This also includes eliminating processed foods as much as possible. Aim for less than 2000 mg sodium per day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Carbohydrate portions are super important to understand not only for better blood sugar control but also for weight management. Don’t forget about protein and fat portions as well. Read HERE for more information on appropriate portions for better health.
Check your eyes!
Get your eyes checked yearly. Have them dilated and wear sunglasses outside. We need our eyes Every. Single. Day! Don’t miss an appointment.
Eat out less!
Not only does preparing meals at home give you 100% control over your ingredients (and salt intake), but you can also control your portions! Portions are outrageous these days when eating out and it makes it more difficult to stay on track with health and weight management. Cook at home more often to be sure of what you’re eating and better manage your blood sugars. Check out my recipe page (recipe tab on top menu) for healthy recipes.