Health and Fitness
Can Bad Habits Become Good Habits?
By Cheryl Alker
As with anything in life repetition, repetition and more repetition will often deliver results. This principle certainly applies to our diet. So it is the things we do on a daily basis over and over again that can determine our long-term wellbeing.
When it comes to implementing change in our diet a step-by-step approach is something we can build over time. Little by little we can start to crowd out the bad choices by choosing healthy alternatives that we can actually start to enjoy. These conscious choices turn into healthy habits and then staying on course is made so much easier.
If you make one switch today and continue to focus on making that switch, it will then become a habit and then you can move onto the next on your list.
Below are a few ideas to get you started:
Best Healthy Snacks on the Go: Try to make it a habit to pack your snacks so when you are hungry, you don’t just grab what is available – as is often the case. Unhealthy snacks seem to be far more available than healthy snacks. Just like with all of our meals, choosing whole foods as close to their natural state as possible is preferable. Instead of pretzels or chips, choose nuts or trail mix. The fiber and healthy fats will make you feel satisfied and full for longer and won’t cause your blood sugar to skyrocket. If you fancy something sweet choose fruit every time. Berries are the best choice, however, whenever possible choose fruit that is in season and grown locally, they will taste better and pack more nutritional punch.
Best Oil for Cooking: Coconut Oil. Wherever you can, use coconut oil instead of processed vegetable and seed oils because they can cause inflammation in the body and are high in omega 6 fatty acids. In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively than leading medications.Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which is antimicrobial and great for thyroid function (the thyroid controls your metabolism). It is also known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are caused by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites in the body. It is also a tropical oil, so it can stand up to heat well and won’t go rancid like vegetable oils.
Best Milk : Almond Milk. It would seem that dairy for many of us is problematic. It can cause inflammation in the body, excess mucus and for many, it is the root of digestive and skin issues. The good news for all of you milk lovers is that you do not have to give it up, just substitute it with almond milk. Almond milk is free of cholesterol and saturated fats, cow’s milk contains these to different degrees – depending on the type of milk. The fat in almond milk is all healthy, which cannot be said of cow’s milk unless it is skimmed and has no fat. Also, almond milk generally has fewer calories than cow’s milk, though again that depends on whether you’re drinking heavily sweetened almond milk or skimmed cow’s milk. Not sure which one to buy? Make your own. Soak a cup of nuts in water overnight, in the morning pour off the soaking water, rinse the nuts and add it to your blender with 3 cups of water, blend, strain and enjoy!
Best Healthy Treat : Homemade Popsicles. Unfortunately, most of the processed desserts we choose contain white flour, sugar or corn syrup.Freezing your favorite smoothies or juice, adding a few chunks of fruit or berries will provide you with the sweetness you crave but a healthy and guilt-free treat.