This season, rather than making it complicated, lets seek to engage in five healthy habits. Over time, they will lead to better overall health and wellness. Individually, these ideas may seem simple, but together they create a lifestyle that removes barriers and encourages balanced nutrition, exercise, and overall improved wellness.
Dehydration is common, even in colder climates, as indoor heat, along with cold and flu medications impact your hydration status. It may not be necessary for you to consume exactly eight glasses of water a day. However, it is important to keep up with your fluid needs to avoid the markers we associate with dehydration such as dry mouth or dark urine. While there are many beverages available at the supermarket, choose water, herbal tea, or Guiding Stars rated drinks to ensure you’re avoiding added sugars and artificial colors.
Speaking of color, we do want to aim for natural color through fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. At a time when many are focused on supporting strong immunity through diet, color is where it’s at. Our colorful foods are rich essential vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, those mighty compounds that fight inflammation and support our immune system by fighting infection. Explore your produce section and seek Guiding Stars rated canned or frozen produce, beans, and grains to create colorful dishes and smoothies.
If you spend winter in a region with shorter days and colder temps, then you know the winter can be tough and the desire to stay inside significant. That is unless you find a way to enjoy the cold temperatures and bright sun that shines on a winter day, even if it’s for less time than we wish. I highly recommend going outdoors and enjoying winter, rather than trying to endure it. There are benefits to your mental health, vitamin D status, and overall energy level when you embrace the cold, fresh air. Make something to return to, like a warm bowl of slow cooked Lentil Chili to make the experience that much more comforting.
While I love the idea of combining these two healthy habits on a winter hike, snowshoe or day of skiing, the bottom line is that either way we just need to be active- all year long. The good news is that today, you don’t even need to leave home to get in a good workout, whether you have equipment or not. Try one of the many fitness apps or on-demand classes available online, and commit to making time every day. Of course, if exercise is new to you, then check with your doctor first and take it slow.
I wrote recently about how to shake up your shopping list and include some new foods in your grocery cart. Taking that advice a step further this season, I recommend expanding that list to include more frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains and Guiding Stars rated proteins so that you have the building blocks to nutritious meals on hand. If inclement weather, illness, or other unexpected factors prevent you from getting to the store, you will be prepared. Those building blocks along with our Guiding Stars recipes and ideas that make the most of your pantry and will mean that a balanced meal is possible.