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Over the years I’ve studied nutrition and healthy lifestyle/eating and these are some things I’ve read and things that work/worked for me for living a healthier lifestyle.  

Are you ready to make some small changes this year to be healthier and fitter? It's amazing how sometimes just making small changes can make a significant difference in so many areas of our life.  By making these small changes we can have more energy, possibly less weight and/or body fat and better health.  You know how I feel about resolutions so these aren't resolutions; most resolutions get broken; this is just some new health and fitness thoughts we can all incorporate into our lives if we haven't already.  A new year/a new you!!!! Why wait to start getting healthy?

Water is number one on the list.  Not only is it necessary to drink water to keep your body properly hydrated but it helps to get rid of toxins in the body enabling you to feel healthier.  It has been said over and over again water helps to aid in weight loss.  When we are dehydrated that prevents our fat burning.  Our muscles also need to be lubricated.  If you are taking in more fiber when embarking on a healthier eating plan you also need more water because the fiber needs to be lubricated.

In order for me to take in enough water during my day I start off with a bottle or glass upon wakening.  Right now while typing this at 7:00am I am drinking my 16.9 oz bottle of water; then I allow myself the tea/coffee or any other beverage.

Next is Green Tea.  Though I haven't added this in yet there are so many wonderful things being said about Green Tea for quite a while now. In 1994, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.   I will soon be adding a cup or two a week into my new healthy lifestyle.

Freshly squeezed juices.  From Jack LaLanne to other well known experts and stars it's been said freshly squeezed 100% juice is the best.  I know individuals with different illnesses who started juicing to prevent or to aid in wellness. Most switch to organic fruits as it is said to be better for a healthy immune system.  I haven't squeezed my own juice in years but I just bought some beautiful Ruby Red Grapefruit and I am going to start this week. YUM!

Fruit instead of dessert.  If you normally eat junk foods at dessert time replace them with fruit.  

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies.  Add veggies to each meal; not only do they fill you up but they are good for you, too.  I find I am full longer and eat less when I add veggies to each meal.  My favorite is cauliflower.  Spinach fills me up the most.

Eat less sugar.  Sugar contributes to eating more sugar, mood swings, and many other changes in your body.  Do your best to eat less.  Of course be very very careful with artificial sweeteners.  Stevia is said to be the best substitute but that's a whole other article to be written.

Eat more whole grains.   The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains.

Whole grains include breads and Cereals, Oatmeal, Bulgar, Whole Rye, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Millet and the list goes on and on.

Working out – If you are someone who needs to do things with others:

Get a workout buddy;  go to the gym with them, do a DVD at home or take a walk together.   A buddy can add variety to the work out and also be someone to encourage you and for you to encourage.  I sometimes enjoy talking to a good friend on the phone while we are both walking individually in our separate home towns.

Hire a personal trainer.  Be sure if you hire a trainer to let them know if you want to start out slowly so you don't overdo it from the start and you want to keep going back.  Also let them know if you like variety so you don't get bored. Most trainers are open to hear what you need from them in order to make it a better lifestyle change for you.  A personal trainer worked for me in the past and I am a certified personal trainer so I totally believe in it if you need to be accountable to someone.

These are just a few of the things I am doing to be healthier this year. I hope you'll join me on continuing my journey to a healthier lifestyle.

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