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Monday Momentum: 3 things for better health

September 19, 2016

ID-100228584SSArticle courtesy of Brainerd Dispatch.

Need to be motivated on a Monday for better health, just pick from three things to start the week off on the right path.

3 Steps to Better Health

1. Summer brings plenty of temptation and a lot of social events that can put a dent in even the best-laid plans for healthy eating. Weddings, barbecues, graduations all can arrive with a decked-out buffet table. Even friends and family may provide temptation to try their best desserts or food heavy in fat grams or calories. One of the best ways to stay on track is to let people know the desserts or potatoes and gravy or calorie-laden meals look great, but know the focus is on a healthy eating lifestyle. Options include eating a healthy snack before going to the event so hunger isn’t overriding willpower for better choices. Bring a tasty, low-fat dish to share. Budget calories and fat grams ahead of time to allow sharing in the food at the social gathering. Plan to eat the items highest in fat and calories in small portions. Split a dessert. Don’t stand right by the snack table where nibbling during conversations may quickly add up. Keep hands busy with a glass of water, tea, coffee, lemonade or diet soda.

2. Looking for a low-calories snack. WebMD compiled a list of snacks that are 100 calories or less, which include 6 cups of microwave popcorn, a half cup of slow-churned ice cream, mini quesadilla, a half-cup of cottage cheese and small wedge of cantaloupe, three whole-grain crackers with one slice of low fat cheese, 14 almonds, six whole-grain pretzel sticks, a baked apple, blueberry smoothie with one-third cup of nonfat yogurt along with frozen blueberries and ice, three-fourths cup of frozen mango cubes, eight baby carrots and 2 tablespoons of hummus, three-fourths of a cup of apple slices with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, nonfat Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey, a third of a cup of dry Oat Squares cereal. Go to wb.md/1NXqPBp for more ideas to try.

3. Practice being happy. The Mayo Clinic reports the bulk of what determines happiness is due to personality. “More importantly—thoughts and behaviors that can be changed. So, yes, you can learn how to be happy—or at least happier.”

To do that takes practice. “If you’ve been looking for happiness, the good news is that your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness,” the Mayo Clinic stated. “It’s not as easy as flipping a switch, but you can turn up your happiness level.”

Options to do that include: being around people who buoy your own mood and invest in relationships, express gratitude—a sense of wonder. Appreciation and “thankfulness for life,” live in the moment, be optimistic, have a sense of purpose.

“It’s easy to go through life without recognizing your good fortune. Often, it takes a serious illness or another tragic event to jolt people into appreciating the good things in their lives. Don’t wait for something like that to happen to you.”

Photo courtesy of Stock Images.