Happy New Year, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are ready for a magnificent New Year! Most of us resolve to be healthier in the New Year. Have you visited a gym in January?! We start out great but by February the trips to the gym seem to decrease. Although exercising is an important component to health, so is your food intake. So to help you out with that, here are a few suggestions.
Why not try “Meatless Monday” for health and sustainability? Start off your week by replacing meat with beans, peas, and veggies! FYI, the latest USDA statistics show that men in the U.S. consume as much as 190% of their recommended daily allowance of protein, while women eat as much as 160%. Americans derive the majority of their protein from meat and other animal sources. It is also important to know that, red and processed meats are linked to chronic preventable conditions such as, cancer, coronary vascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Switching to beans, peas and veggies, one day a week, increases your fiber and healthy protein intake, along with folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Another bonus of replacing meat with plant based protein one day a week helps to reduce your intake of both saturated and total fat. “Meatless Monday” also helps the environment by decreasing your carbon footprint and saving resources. Did you know one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gases are produced by raising cattle? To help you get started I’ll be adding a “Meatless Monday” recipe each month to my website (RD4Health.com), in fact check out my Veggie Bean Chili recipe!
Here’s something else to consider. Are you a frequent flyer when it comes to eating out, getting take-out food or buying processed foods? Why not try to cook at home one more day per week? This way you control the ingredients, so you can control the health of the dish. You will be amazed at how many calories and fat grams you can reduce! Also, it doesn’t have to take hours to create a healthy meal; in fact, one of my new favorite go to fast foods is the thin sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They cook quickly and there are so many ideas of what to do with them. One of my boy’s favorites is to mix some Dijon mustard with a little bit of honey or maple syrup, then I cook them on a stove-top grill and baste with the sauce the last five minutes of cooking. Cook some pasta or rice, steam some veggies, mix up a side salad, and dinner is ready in no time!
You may not want to go to the gym in January if you want to avoid the crowds, but exercise is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Since we are so blessed and fortunate to live in sunny southern California, why not dust off that bike, or get a new pair of walking shoes – no gym membership required!?
Once again, I would like to wish you a very happy, healthy start to your New Year!