Small Steps to Living Healthy with Chronic Disease
Here we are at the beginning of January; it's New Year's resolution time. Again.
A realistic resolution - one I can keep - is to be healthier.
For many of us, it's too late to prevent getting a chronic disease - we already are diabetic, have chronic pain, etc. However, that does not mean we can't improve our health and our quality of life! Small steps toward taking better care of our bodies and managing our conditions can have a big impact on how we feel.
And don't we all want to feel good?
There are many ways that you can take small steps toward better health, and you can do it - today! The website www.smallsteps.gov provides over 100 tips on taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. These are steps that are simple and free! Get your friends and family involved in coming up with fun ways to take small steps each and every day.
The first changes I am making involve the tips on diet. We all eat, so we can all make some small steps toward a healthier diet!
Eating tips from www.smallsteps.gov:
- (# 7) Eat half your dessert.
- (# 21) Eat off smaller plates.
- (# 33) More carrots, less cake.
- (# 38) Eat more celery sticks.
- (# 43) Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato, and onion.
- (# 69) Share an entree with a friend.
- (# 83) Snack on fruits and vegetables.
- (# 85) When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
- (# 86) If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
- (# 87) Ask for salad dressing "on the side".
- (# 90) Try a green salad instead of fries.
- (# 91) Before going back for seconds, wait 10 or 15 minutes. You might not want seconds after all.
- (# 93) Eat sweet foods in small amounts.
- (# 108) Every time you eat a meal, sit down, chew slowly, and pay attention to flavors and textures.
- (# 109) Try a new fruit or vegetable (ever had jicama, plantain, bok, choy, starfruit, or papaya?) (# 120) The smaller your plate, the smaller your portion. Eat your meals at home on a smaller plate.
- (# 121) Eat before grocery shopping.
- (# 124) Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
- (# 128) Try fast food options such as smaller burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches or salads with low-calorie dressings, cups or bags of fresh fruit, low-fat milk, 100% fruit juice and bottled water.
- (# 129) At sandwich shops, ask for leaner cuts and smaller amounts of roast beef, turkey, or ham; extra lettuce and tomato; and whole-wheat, oatmeal, or rye bread.
- (# 130) Make half your grains whole. Make your sandwich on 100% whole wheat or oatmeal bread or snack on whole grain crackers.
- (# 131) Get a whole grain head start with oatmeal or whole grain cereal in the morning.
- (# 134) Swap your usual sandwich side for crunchy broccoli florettes or red pepper strips.
- (# 136) Focus on fruits. Bag some fruit for your morning commute. Toss in an apple to munch with lunch and some raisins to satisfy you at snack time.
- (# 137) Never be fruitless! Stock up on peaches, pears, and apricots canned in fruit juice or frozen so they're always on hand.
- (# 139) Snack on low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Try it as a dip for fruits and veggies and a topper for baked potatoes.
- (# 141) Go lean with protein. Eat lean or low fat meat, chicken, turkey, and fish. Try dry beans and peas as your lean protein.
- (# 144) Enjoy pinto or kidney beans on a salad or a hearty split pea or lentil soup for extra protein and fiber.
- (# 145) Toss salad with salad olive oil and flavored vinegar.
- (# 146) Try thin slices of avocado on a sandwich or sprinkle some nuts on a salad.
- (# 148) Don't sugarcoat it. Choose foods and beverages that do not have sugar and caloric sweeteners as one of the first ingredients.
- (# 154) Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator for snacks. Carrot and celery sticks are traditional, but consider broccoli, cucumbers, or pepper strips.
- (# 161) Choose low - or reduced sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods and condiments when available.
- (# 167) Ask for more vegetable toppings (like mushrooms, peppers, and onions) and less cheese on your pizza.
- (# 168) Add lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber to sandwiches.
- (# 169) Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner.
We can do this! Here's to a healthier 2012!
Take a step toward your better well-being: Join me for "You Can! Live Well, Virginia!"
This is a chronic disease self-management program, a workshop developed at Stanford University being presented locally by RMH Senior Advantage. Workshop sessions will be held once a week for six weeks with each session lasting two and a half hours. People with different chronic health problems attend these workshops together, and spouses and caregivers are also invited to attend.
The workshop will begin January 11, 2012. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 12:30-3pm for 6 weeks at the RMH Atrium, 2000 Beery Road, Harrisonburg, VA. The program is FREE, but please call RMH Healthsource to register, 540-564-7200.
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