Healthy Habits by Theresa Albert: 3 Top Tips

Healthy Habits by Theresa Albert: 3 Top Tips

We’re lucky at SPC to have some pretty smart friends. Theresa Albert (so smart and so pretty!) is one of those who stops by every month or so and gives us a nutrition update. I’m a big fan of Theresa’s sane approach to health and the humour she brings to everything she does. Do you follow her on twitter? Cracks me up. @theresaalbert. Today’s column is for kids and parents both. Because we’ve got to keep ourselves healthy, too, right? – C.M.

Healthy Habits

By Theresa Albert

If there were three simple things that you could do every day that would virtually turn your health around, would you do it? What if all three were easy to do, did not take any time and cost you exactly nothing. Any one of them will help you live healthier, longer and take years off the appearance of aging skin but together they are your little secret to your inner universe.  Are you ready? Of course you are!

Life Altering Tip #1

Make yours NEAT!

We are all strapped for time and getting to the gym isn’t on everyone’s wish list anyway. When you think about it, the official exercise regime gets you moving for one hour per day. It is what you are doing the other 15 waking hours that really counts.  Now there is “NEAT” or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Making this change is as simple as increasing all the heat creating (aka calorie burning stuff that you do in a day) and you have a lot of sway in how that goes.

  • Find as many ways as you can to wiggle, tap, move throughout the day. Walk one bus stop, take the stairs for at least one flight, sit on an exercise ball for an hour a day while at work or watching tv. The possibilities are endless and they all add up.
  • Add weight whenever you can.  Fooling your body into carrying more weight around (that isn’t really your own!) builds muscle.  A backpack of books, maybe? Carry a basket around the grocery store instead of using a cart or strap on a waist belt for the subway ride standing up.
  • Convert your desk to a standing station to reduce all of the sitting hours in your day.

Life Altering Tip #2

Remove liquid calories.

    The brain does not process liquid calories the same way it processes calories that must be chewed.  When you chew, your human internal food mechanism indicates satiety, when you sip… nada. If you added up all the useless calories that come by way of cream and sugar in your coffee, sodas, alcohol and even juices you would likely find 300 calories each day that you could do without. (Do that for 11 days and you can lose one pound!) And don’t go switching to aspartame laden beverages, they are even worse! Try this juice substitute instead.

Life Altering Tip #3

Add ½ cup of beans each day.

    There is now sound evidence that it takes one small serving to make a world of difference in your cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. Beans and pulses (not green beans!) can come in any form and need no longer be the overnight-soaking-pain-in-the-pants they used to be. Here are some ways to work beans in:
  • Serve hummus (made from chick peas)
    • as a dip for an afternoon snack
    • hummus comes in a variety of flavors so you will never get bored
    • It’s easy to make at home in a blender
    • add a tablespoon to every wrap and sandwich instead of mayo
  • Add drained, rinsed canned beans to any pasta dish
    • White navy beans and lentils work best
  • Make a crockpot full of lentil or minestrone soup weekly
    • store in the freezer in single servings for lunches or appetizers
  • Top salads with canned kidney beans or chick peas
  • Look for bean based veggie burgers instead of beef burgers
  • Snack on roasted soybeans instead of nuts or popcorn
  • All it takes is a tiny shift in attitude to improve your health outcome. Make these healthy habit decisions once and never look back.

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