health tips 101

June 11, 2011

Today’s guest post comes from Jessica @ Dishin’ about Nutrition. Jessica has some health tips for all my readers today. Please remember that Jessica is blogging about her own health journey and is not a medical professional. For any questions/concerns you are having, please see your physician or dietician.

Hey CEC readers!

My name is Jessica and I blog over at Dishin’ About Nutrition. Like you, I come here for inspiration, fabulous recipes, hilarious stories and Chelsey’s all round positive attitude towards life. And although she swears up-and-down that she does not give good advice, she has certainly done so for me on many occasions. Chelsey was kind enough to lend me her blog today so in keeping with the theme of her blog I decided to share with you some of my best tips, tricks, advice and random knowledge I have acquired on my journey to a healthier me.

1. Diets don’t work – If it’s not something you can realistically see yourself doing forever, than forget it. You must be able to make healthy eating and living a lifestyle. I for one, could never live without chocolate, so I adapt my diet so that I can have a small piece of chocolate everyday. I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, I exercise regularly and I limit myself to a small portion, usually one square of dark chocolate (which is actually very good for you!).

2. Big girls don’t cry; when cutting onions – Don’t shed another tear while chopping onions! Simply stick your tongue out before your first cut to your last! I swear this trick works like a charm every time!

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3. Have your cake, and eat it too, but just a bite, one for me and one for you – Everything is OK to eat in moderation. Deprivation just sets you up for disaster. It’s like telling a little kid not to pull the fire alarm, it makes them want to pull it A MILLIONS times worse! I will have a "naughty" dessert every once in a while and allow myself to completely forget about it. Not dwell on it, not think I have to workout for longer the next day. I just enjoy it and move on!

4. These boots are made for walkin’ – Take advantage of moving your body every chance you get throughout the day. Take the stairs rather than the escalator. Walk rather than ride the bus or train. Every little thing counts, the more you move the better! I wear a pedometer everyday and track how many steps I get in each day. I am always trying to beat my number from the day before, it’s actually a lot of fun!

5. Soup for the soul; a.k.a leftovers- Ever find yourself throwing away left over produce and feeling horrible about it? I always keep some broth around the house and I whip up some easy soup so I don’t end up wasting food and money. It’s healthy, its tasty and most importantly, it’s financially responsible. Now if only I could find a way to cure my shoe addiction….

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6. Drink up buttercup! Water that is… – I confess, this is not my strongest attribute. I am a self described Beverage Diva – I HATE water! It is a chore to drink it but I know that I need to, our bodies requires it. So I carry a water bottle with me at all times (both to encourage me to drink more and to improve my carbon footprint!). If I catch myself not taking advantage I will use the help of tea, crystal light, lemons, ANYTHING to get my H2O in. I notice that the more I drink, the less cravings I have, the better I feel and the more energy I have.

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7. Fill up on greens – Filling up on nutrient-dense foods like a spinach salad or steamed kale ensures your giving your body good fuel it can use to perform its best and will make you less likely to over-indulge in the "bad stuff" later in the meal. Greens are some of the best things you can give your body. And most are chock-full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that your body craves. (Check out my all green dinner – cucumber salad, asparagus, kale and green beans)

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8. Cook without oil – I didn’t know this until recently but olive oil contains close to 120 calories per tablespoon! Food manufactures remove the healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals that are naturally in oil leaving the nutrient level low but the saturated fat level still really high. I have found that oil really isn’t necessary most of the time and there are easy substitutions so why not save myself a few extra unnecessary calories and save my arteries from clogging. Use veggie stock, water or cooking spray to sauté and substitute it with applesauce when baking – easy as pie!

(edit: I think that cooking with oils that have healthy fats — ie: coconut, olive, grape seed — is great for your health! You want to steer clear of oils like soybean oil, peanut oil, canola/vegetable oil, and corn oil.)

9. Cheers to good health! I like to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner but I try to take my alcohol intake in moderation. I only have red wine (which has the added nutrition benefit of antioxidants and resveratrol, which is believed to be heart healthy. I didn’t always follow this code, particularly in college. I definitely don’t miss the hangovers and the horrible damage I was doing to my body. Sticking to my one glass a night has made a huge difference. Although I have become quite a "cab-snob" :)

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10. Sleep tight! Sleep is a very important, under-rated part of being healthy. Most people need between 6 and 8 hours but I just listen to my body, sometimes I need more. I am in bed before 10 most nights and up around 6 or 7am. Sleep helps restore and repair the body which is crucial for muscle growth, energy and so much more.

Question: What are some of your best health tips?

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