Here are 5 Healthy Lifestyle Resolutions that won’t be hard to keep!

Every year we set out with the best intentions to become new and improved! Despite our best efforts, after about six weeks, we have long forgotten those resolutions. Well, the good news is that you are not alone. Statistics reveal that most of you are willing to #trysomethingnew, so here are 5 resolutions that you can easily implement and reap the noticeable health benefits.

1. Try Something New: All too often, we get stuck in a rut and eat the same foods over and over. You all know the weekly menu at home – Taco Tuesday anyone? Here is my challenge, each time you visit the grocery store I want you to add one item to your cart that you have never tried before, or even something you did not like as a child. As we age, our taste buds change and you never know, you may just love it now! Don’t be afraid that you don’t know how to prepare it, one simple google search will bring all kinds of recipe ideas, give one a try and see what happens. By experimenting with different foods, you expand your culinary expertise and nutritional scope at the same time.

Check out some of my recipes at https://www.mealgarden.com/expert/simplyhealthyliving/

2. Shop Local & Seasonal: The closer to home your food is, the fewer nutrients it will lose in transit. I know what you are thinking, how can we do this in winter? (If you are not in the Caribbean). Well, you would be surprised what can still be grown in the winter months. Lentils, sweet potatoes, turnips, and other root vegetables, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, mushrooms, wild rice and whole grains, just to name a few. Even leafy greens, especially kale, which is super hearty, just brush away the snow and there it is! Frozen foods can be a great option too, when picked ripe and flash frozen, it helps these foods to maintain most of their nutrients and to be enjoyed throughout the winter months. My favourite… blueberries.

Remember, by choosing local we are also reducing our carbon footprint, which means we are doing our part for the environment.

3. Eat The Rainbow: To ensure proper nutrition and intake of vitamins and minerals, it is essential to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. So, think of the rainbow, did you eat one today?

  • Green: calcium, iron, dietary fibre, folate, vitamin K, B vitamins, potassium, antioxidants. Examples: broccoli, asparagus, avocados, dark leafy greens, cucumbers
  • Yellow/Orange: vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, beta-carotene, lutein, folate. Examples: carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, peaches, squash
  • Red: lycopene, querceitin, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese. Examples: tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, bell peppers
  • Purple/Blue: B-vitamins, resveratrol, flavonoids, anthocyanin. Examples: cabbage, beets, blueberries, plums, eggplant, grapes
  • White: vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, antioxidants. Examples: cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, onions

4. Skip The Exotic: No need to go out and spend your hard-earned money on expensive supplements and superfoods from around the world. Look in you own backyard and you will find many homegrown superfoods.

In Canada, there are hemp seeds that are packed with protein, calcium and omega-3s. Try them on salads, in smoothies or in your yogurt bowls.

There’s also flaxseeds that boast a significant amount of fibre, magnesium, iron and essential fatty acids. Make sure to use ground or milled flaxseed to get the nutritional advantages. Whole flaxseeds can be easily ground up at home using a coffee grinder. With a subtle flavour, they mix well into casseroles, oatmeal or baked goods.

Or how about you pick up some dulse (seaweed from the east coast), for minerals like iron, potassium, and vitamin B12. Dulse can be added to the water when cooking vegetables, or boost a stir-fry or soup with this healthy substitute for salt.

Native to South America, but now grown in Canada, Quinoa is a complete protein, a wheat alternative, and an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. No need for fancy protein powders or bars that are filled with extra sugar, flavourings and preservatives. Instead, prepare a batch of quinoa salad and have it for lunches, a quick snack or a side to your dinner.

5. Get Outside: We already talked about how difficult it is to get to the gym, but we still need to move – our immune system absolutely depends on it! Did you know that the only way to move lymphatic fluids in your body is via muscle contraction?

So you don’t want to go to the gym, but you can certainly add a little more walking easily enough. I know you’ve heard this advice before but I’ll say it again: take the stairs or park your car farther from the entrance. You’ll notice results by adding just 30 minutes per day of brisk walking. The next step to this resolution is to get outside, especially during the winter months.

Fresh air and deep breathing are important to the oxygenation of every cell in our body and that equals good health. I have my dog to thank for dragging me outside, and while it’s a struggle getting out there, I always feel rejuvenated afterwards, even in the cold! Not only is the outdoors necessary for our bodies but it also helps to combat those winter blues.

Studies show that mood dramatically improves when you spend 30 minutes or more per day outdoors and more so when spent in nature. So, if you happen to have some beautiful trails nearby, make it a family thing, a friend thing, a pet thing, whatever you prefer, take a walk outside!

Spicy Roasted Chick Peas

A protein packed snack that will satisfy the salty and crunchy craving.

Ingredients:
these are just suggestions, be creative and use some of your favourite spices.

1 cup Chickpeas, cooked
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Sea salt
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil  

Instructions

  1. Allow cooked chickpeas to cool a little before seasoning so they are easier to handle
  2. preheat oven to 375
  3. in a bowl toss the cooked chickpeas with the olive oil and spices, feel free to modify as you prefer
  4. spread seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet
  5. bake in over for approximately 15 minutes or until they become crispy
  6. allow to cool before serving

For more recipes, check me out at Meal Garden, a wonderful meal planning and recipe resource!  https://www.mealgarden.com/expert/simplyhealthyliving/

Healthy Caribbean Holiday

Dates: April 11-15, 2019

Casa Sirena Hotel, Isla Mujeres, Mexico 

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For more information: https://simplyhealthyliving.ca/529-2/

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