I remember sitting in my grandparents’ condo in Florida on New Year’s Eve throughout my college years, writing out a list of New Years Resolutions. My sisters and I would fold up our lists, tuck them away in a safe place, to be read the following New Year’s Eve
I might have outgrown the days of list-making, but examining the past year is certainly never a bad thing. And while I may not be able to advise you on emotional or relational changes to make, I can give you five resolutions to help make your 2012 a little healthier:
1.) Meatless Mondays: Reducing your consumption of animal protein, by even once a week, reduces the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat you take in. It has been shown to help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and increase longevity. Check out meatlessmonday.com for more information.
2.) Eat the rainbow. The 5-A-Day The Color Way guide (5aday.org) organizes produce into five color categories (red, orange/yellow, green, blue/purple, white) and recommends that we eat at least one serving from each color group, every day. Including a colorful array of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet will ensure that we get a full range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber.
3.) Reduce sugar intake. The average American consumes 135 pounds of sugar each year, in baked goods, processed foods, cereals, even ketchup and spaghetti sauce. Processed white sugar wreaks havoc within our bodies. It depresses our immune system, increases tooth decay, hyperactivity, and anxiety, feeds cancer cells, and adds to weight gain. Opt for natural sweeteners — like honey, or agave — when possible.
4.) Eat your Omega’s: Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that are essential for our bodies. They help support normal cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, fight depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dry skin, brittle nails, joint pain and boost your immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies. You can also take them in supplement form.
5.) Eat sustainable seafood. Conventional fisheries are overcrowded and unclean, leaving us with fish that are severely malnourished and unhealthy. Conventionally wild caught fish are healthier but run the risk of being over-fished, depleting natural populations. Choose fish that are either sustainably farmed or caught. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Guide for a complete list.