Friday, 24 January 2014

Simple Health Tricks To Get You Back On Track

May not only old negative acquaintances be forgotten, but also poor eating habits. May new healthy eating habits be remembered and cemented in 2014. Over the holidays, some persons consciously and subconsciously threw 'health' caution to the wind, not realising that as the celebrations got more and more intense, the wind would have got stronger and at times there would be heavy rain (temptations) to erode the good health habits that we formed over the years.
Depending on one's willpower and determination, some persons may have made unhealthy food choices. The main thought being, 'it is only for a little while, what harm can that do?'
Well, now the pants, skirts, tops and dresses have shrunk, and the blood sugar and blood pressure are high.
Below are some simple tips to get you back on track to a healthier you in 2014 and beyond.
Eat from smaller plates. Replace the nine- and 11-inch plates with seven-inch or breakfast plates.
Drink from smaller glasses and bowls. Use four- to six-ounce glasses for juice or drinks instead of nine- to 16-ounce glasses.
Drink more water. In fact, replace juice or drinks with water as often as possible.
Establish appropriate mealtimes. Do not skip meals.
Start the day with breakfast. Eating breakfast will give you the right start for the day. Breakfast should be a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat or foods from at least 3 food groups. For example, unsweetened/lightly sweetened whole grain cereal with milk (cow's/soy/almond) and a fruit, OR bread/crackers with egg/sardines/cheese served with tomato/ lettuce or a fresh fruit, OR yam, green banana, dumpling served with mackerel/beans and vegetable or a fresh fruit. A bowl of fruit or a glass of juice, whether it be fruit or vegetable is NOT an appropriate breakfast unless a protein and a fat source are added to it. Fruit may be consumed with cheese, milk or yoghurt along with some complex carbohydrates such as old-fashioned rolled oats or crackers or bread. A blend of fruit and/or vegetables with oats and milk is a good choice. The protein and fat help to prevent or reduce hunger and snacking.

Make breakfast and lunch the heaviest meals and dinner or supper the lightest. This depends on your lifestyle and your most hectic time of the day. If you work on the night shift, your heaviest meal should be when you are most active and your lightest meal when you get off work in the mornings.
Limit sugar and fat intake. Share leftover sorrel, cake and other pastries with friends and co-workers. Get rid of the temptations that are still in the refrigerator, freezer, cupboard and all the other secret hiding places, like in the trunk or under the bed.
Package leftover meats, bones and store in freezer or deep freezer. Use turkey, ham and beef bones to make soups and stews with lots of peas and beans.
Re-establish an exercise routine. Use up the excess fat that is on the waist and hips as energy. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five days per week.
Be sensitive to another person's weight gain. It is better to not comment, than to speak and offend. We all know when we have gained weight. Silence is golden!
Start making healthy lifestyle changes TODAY, one step at a time. You will get (back) your rhythm to better health in 2014.

Marsha N. Woolery, RD, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Fairview Medical and Dental Center, Montego Bay and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University. Email