Ready for a healthier version of you this year? If you’ve resolved to lose weight, give up bad habits, or get fit, making a plan of action will help you stay focused and reach your goals.
While there are many ways to go about it, each involves taking one or more conscience steps at a time. Change doesn’t happen all at once. To help plot your course to wellness, we’ve put together a check list of 45 things you can do to further your journey to a healthier lifestyle this year. How many of these healthy habits do you already have in place? Want to improve your health and lifestyle?
Select two or more healthy habits to put into practice this week. Next week, add a few more or devise your own list. Each week consider what more you can do or change to improve your lifestyle and your health.
Here’s to a healthier you this year!
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living, and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Deborah is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac, and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.
Bread, milk, meat, yogurt, cheese, even fresh produce - most of the foods we buy are covered in plastic. The use of plastic is so commonplace that we may not stop to consider the impact it may have on our health. We must be as careful in the selection of the packaging as the food itself. Not only are we as healthy as the foods we eat, but as the containers we buy and store our food in. Why? The chemicals in plastic containers and in the lining of cans leach into the foods or beverages placed inside them.
Contaminants in food containers and storage wraps
How do you know if the can of your favorite organic soup is coated with dangerous chemicals? And what about the myriad of food products and containers we come in contact with daily? Some plastics are more stable than others and are less likely to break down or leach into its contents.
These harmful plastic chemicals are found in many food containers, and common household items.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is used commercially as a coating in food cans. BPA is a synthetic estrogen. When ingested it disrupts the reproductive system and adversely affects brain and nervous system development and causes other health problems.
BPS (bisphenol-S) was introduced as a safer alternative to BPA. However scientists at the University of Calgary research found that bisphenol-S causes the same abnormal growth surges of neurons in an animal embryo as was found with BPA, and is thus considered unsafe.
LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) and PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride) have been used in plastic food wrap since 2006, replacing phthalate. However, LDPE may contain DEHA another possible endocrine disrupter linked to breast cancer in women and low sperm counts in men. Since the actual chemical components of plastic wrap are not listed on the box, consumers beware. LPDE is also used to make grocery bags, frozen food bags and sandwich bags.
PS (polystyrene) aka Styrofoam is used to make carry-out food containers and coffee cups. Studies conducted on polystyrene linked it with neurological damage, reproductive issues, and various cancers.
V/PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is used in meat packaging and rigid plastic containers. PVC contains Phthalates which have been found to impact the endocrine system by disrupting hormones and are known carcinogens.
Buying BPA-free canned goods
How can consumers find out what harmful chemicals are lurking in canned goods, and other household items? In 2014, the Environmental Working Group analyzed 252 canned food brands produced by 119 companies to determine which companies packed their food into cans coated with BPA-laden epoxy. The results: 78 brands (31% of the brands sampled) used cans with BPA-based epoxy lining for all their products. 31 brands (12% of the brands sampled) used BPA-free cans for all their canned products. Check the EWG’s list to determine if your favorite brands of canned food products are free of BPA. Here is the link to their findings: http://www.ewg.org/research/bpa-canned-food.
Why you shouldn’t microwave or heat plastic food containers
Heating plastic containers or using plastic wrap in a microwave causes the BPA or other plastic chemicals to leach into its contents 55 times faster than when used cold or at room temperature. Putting hot foods or liquids into plastic containers has the same adverse effect. Transfer food from take-out containers to glass before reheating, to prevent the chemicals in the plastic from leaching into the food.
20 Ways to reduce the risk of exposure to BPA and other harmful plastic chemicals
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Deborah is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.
A new year grants us the opportunity to evaluate the past year and proactively plan and move forward on our quest for wellness. Giving up bad habits, losing weight and getting fit are among the top resolutions set annually in the USA. A healthy lifestyle incorporates each of these and other vital components. Lifestyle changes can be overwhelming. Many people get discouraged early in the process. To achieve the vital goal of wellness, we must first understand the keys to health. It’s an important undertaking, one that you don’t have to start or walk alone.
I’ve consulted a panel of natural health professionals to offer their expert advice. Dr. Stephanie Maj begins by stating the core areas each of us must address as we pursue wellness. We hope to encourage and motivate you!
5 Steps to Wellness Include Chiropractic
There are 5 critical steps to wellness: eating right, stress relief, exercise, eliminating toxins, and what most self-help health books omit, Chiropractic care. In my book, You Can Be Well, I explain how chiropractic corrects interference in the nerve system. Research shows that when you have interference in the nerve’s function at the spinal level, this leads to a cascade of harmful results. Some of those results include: increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), increased stress hormones, decreased immunity (cancer & infections), decreased sense of well-being and a decrease in complex learning abilities.
-By Dr. Stephanie Maj, chiropractor, owner, Community Chiropractic, Chicago, IL, http://communitychiropractic.net/dr-majs-new-book/
Introducing New Healthy Habits
Instead of focusing on end results for your New Year’s Resolutions, select two healthy habits each week. Every week add two more healthy habits. Choose your own, or find hundreds of healthy habits to keep you on track, in my book, The Power of 4. The results develop on their own and it’s much easier to implement two things weekly for permanent lifestyle changes and long term fat loss.
-By Paula Owens, MS, Nutritionist, Fitness Expert, Holistic Health Practitioner, Author, www.PaulaOwens.com
How to Incorporate Exercise into Your Lifestyle
To begin, choose an exercise plan that:
-By Dr. Kevin Lau, Chiropractor, Nutritionist, App Developer and Author of Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment.
Eliminating Toxins from your Diet is Essential to Health! Is Diet Soda Really a Healthy Food Choice?
Brain cell death, high blood pressure, weight gain, and demineralized bones and teeth are just a few of the trade-offs one gets when mistakenly thinking that a zero calorie, diet soda is a good choice. Magnify that by the addictive qualities of the chemicals and artificial ingredients and diet soda consumption is a major cause of repetitive stress to the nervous system. When we have patients whose health doesn't stabilize or they can't seem to get the best results, we always look to dietary habits. Eliminating diet drinks is one of the first things they can do to help themselves feel better, get better results, and start to lose weight. Contact me and we can help you too!
-By Dr. Shelly Jones, chiropractor and owner, Chiropractic Wellness Center, Inc. of Columbia, SC
The Key to Fitness Success
After 50 years of working out and talking with thousands of people who are able to get fit and stay fit, there is one common thread that links them all - consistency!
Set a goal to find an exercise regimen that fits your lifestyle and keeps you motivated - whether it’s a piece of equipment, a health club or personal trainer - then stick with it.
Start by working out 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes. If you prefer to exercise at home, select a piece of equipment like the Total Gym incline bodyweight trainer that offers unlimited variety, flexibility and safety for all ages and fitness levels to literally train every part of the body with little or no orthopedic stress on the joints. You can find “Tom’s Training Tips” on the Total Gym website to help maintain a consistent exercise regimen at home!
-By Tom Campanaro, CEO of Total Gym and Inventor of the Total Gym Incline Bodyweight Trainer.
Motivation in Motion
Want to lose weight or give up a bad habit? Need help saying no? Enlist the help of others. Ask like-minded family and friends to help you meet your goal by keeping you accountable. Surround yourself with encouraging, inspiring and successful people to serve as a catalyst to jumpstart your enthusiasm and put those resolutions into reality. This can be achieved several ways. Select a close circle of health conscience friends or join a club, hire a trainer, enlist the help of your chiropractor or other natural health professional, and read a book or blog by one of the professionals included in this article.
Don’t set unrealistic goals that may discourage you. Determine to adopt a healthy lifestyle, instead of taking the crash diet approach. Implement the things you learn as you progress. Daily read a natural health, fitness or chiropractic article to keep motivated and moving in the right direction. Wellness isn't a short crash course, and it won’t happen by accident. Wellness is an approach to life we must take for life, one choice at a time.
-By Deborah Tukua, author of Naturally Sweet Blender Treats, healthy lifestyle freelance writer and editor of Journey to Natural Living.
Health strategies compiled by Deborah Tukua.
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