Features January 2019

Improving Eating Habits in the New Year

Every year, at least 45% of Americans enter the New Year with resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, stress less and save money. However, the key to keeping any New Year’s resolutions is to be realistic and have a sustainable action plan.  We not only need to feel inspired, but we have to also be prepared.

Why is it that we have such a hard time sticking to our healthy eating goals? The answer is that the majority of New Year’s diet resolutions fail because they are unrealistic and vague.

Below are a few tips we can take in 2019 to make sure we’re setting the right goals and achieving them:

Take Small Steps

Avoid feeling overwhelmed from the get-go by taking “baby steps” to move closer to optimal health.  For example, choose drinking water over a soda.  This small action will move you in the right direction to better health in the long run.  By making these types of smarter health choices every day, you’ll be well on your way to better overall health.

Choose Healthier Alternatives

There are so many misconceptions and marketing gimmicks about which foods are good for you and which ones to avoid. Below is an easy breakdown about foods you think are healthy (but aren’t!).

Cereals:  Grains, in general, are high on the glycemic index – meaning they turn into sugar quickly in the body.  Even high fiber cereals can be over-processed, refined grains.   And remember, organic sugar is still sugar!

Better alternative:  Look for cereals that have less than 6 grams of sugar per serving and a short ingredients list.  Go for whole grains, freeze-dried fruits, unprocessed nuts, and no artificial sweeteners.

Dried Fruit:  Many times dried fruits contain lots of sugar and sulfites as a preservative to extend the shelf life, which we know are carcinogenic.  Avoid!!

Better alternative:  Fresh fruits with a few nuts and seeds or nut butters (like an apple with 6 almonds or 1 tablespoon of almond butter).

Gluten-Free Snacks: It’s time, once and for all, to clear up the misconception that gluten-free foods are inherently healthier than wheat-based ones (unless you have celiac disease, of course).   Most alternative flours used to make gluten-free crackers, pretzels, baked goods, and other snacks have just as many carbs—or more—than wheat does, while offering little in the way of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  Read your labels!

Better alternative:  Unless you have celiac disease, stick to products made with 100% whole-wheat flour or other nutritious flours like almond, quinoa, coconut, or chickpea flour. An extra added bonus is that nut flours are lower in carbs, too!

Choose Better Health Over Weight Loss

Even though weight loss may be a goal, place your focus more on healthy eating.  Avoid empty calories and gravitate more towards whole foods and healthy fats.  In doing so, weight loss becomes a side benefit of the bigger goal of achieving optimal health.

Make Your Own Food

Get back into the kitchen and prepare your own meals and snacks.  Prepare your food from fresh ingredients.  This will help your pocket book as well as your waistline and give you control over nutritional quality.

Healthy Home Delivered Foods

There are companies that menu plan, provide easy to prepare meals, portion control, and deliver to your doorstep.  Here are just a few examples:

Sun Basket (vegetarian, paleo, organic, gluten and dairy-free options available)

Green Chef (vegetarian, paleo, organic, gluten and dairy-free options available)

Plated (vegetarian, low-carb, gluten-free options available)

Written by: Judy Nicassio, Lead Nutritionist at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics

Judy Nicassio

Rejuvena Health and Aesthetics helps patients look and feel their best using a revolutionary, integrative approach that includes all aspects of both naturopathic and aesthetic medicine. Rejuvena believes that total body wellness encompasses both the inside and the outside, and that your appearance is a direct reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface. Rejuvena offers the latest regenerative medicine techniques to resolve pain, enhance tissue and wrinkle repair, customized diet plans, organic whole food based supplements and detoxification therapies. To learn more, visit werejuvenate.com or 480-551-9000.

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