The new year not only represents an ending, but more importantly a beginning, a fresh start, and a new and improved you. With that comes the resolutions made to ourselves for change, leaving behind bad habits, unfulfilled promises and challenges not met. Committing to New Year's resolutions that involve getting healthy can be duanting, which is why I put together a list of six maintainable New Year's Resolutions to improve your health in 2014. I suggest to sticking with one to two managble resolutions to commit to in 2014.
Ditch the Sugary Drinks: Americans today consume 200 to 300 more calories daily than 30 years ago. Nearly half of these extra calories come from sugary drinks and can lead to obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. With every additional sugary beverage a child drinks daily, his/her chance of becoming obese increases by 60%. Instead switch to water with lemon. Lemon water helps to alkalinize the body and increases your immune system. If I'm craving a beverage besides water I choose unsweetened ice tea or sparkling water.
Eat your cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables, also known as Brassica vegetables, are some of the most nutrient-dense veggies. They have top health promoting benefits including assisting our body to detoxify, balancing hormones, reducing levels of inflammation and preventing cancer. Eating cruciferous vegetables every day such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and cauliflower is a must for a healthy body, both inside and out.
Buy Local and Organic When Possible: The importance of purchasing organic produce is becoming especially important in order to avoid GMOs (genetically modified food), pesticides, and herbicides. Local produce also contains more nutrients because there is a shorter time between harvest and your table. The good news is that not all produce must be organic, so learning which ones to purchase conventional is important. Check out my dirty dozen guide here.
Drink Your Veggies: Juicing involved the extraction of juice from fresh fruits and vegetables to create a drinkable cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutirents. Juicing or blending your vegetables is an easy way to get a variety of nutrients into our bodies in a fast and convenient way. I often will have a smoothie or a juice for breakfast. Because its provides me with plenty of energy to get through my day.
Get Better Rest: Sleeping is a necessity, not a luxury. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Not getting enough sleep is associated with the onset of these diseases and also may complicate their management and outcome. Tip: Sleep in a quiet, dark, relaxing environment and try not to fall asleep with the TV on!
Be Active: Everyone can benefit from being active - from improving sleep to preventing chronic disease, like heart disease or cancer. Excercise increases endorphins, energy, improves the immune system, and decreases depression. You can reap these benefits with only 30 minutes of your day doing some type of physical activity.