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America’s Healthy
Cooking Teacher

One Healthy Thing - Week 2

One Healthy Thing
 
See? That wasn’t so bad. One healthy thing, each day, and you already have 4 days of making healthier choices under your belt. Just look at you! You’re glowing…with the pride that comes with doing what’s right for your wellness.
 
As we move forward into these next days, let’s up the ante just a little bit and challenge ourselves with lifestyle choices that will result in real radiant health.
 
Everyone tells us that being healthy is easy (including me…) but is it? We live in a world where we are bombarded by advertisements for food that…on a good day…robs you of your vitality. And then we’re told that we’re worth it. Another voice tells us that we’re entitled to indulgence; we work hard; life is tough; treat yourself to a bag of chips.
 
You know I’m right.
 
In the end, we suffer the consequences of being manipulated by marketers. It’s time to stand up for yourself and your health and stop giving in to the white noise that is advertising. They do not care for your health; they care only for their profits. 
 
At first, it ain’t easy. I can tell you that from experience. I remember giving up sugar for my health. It was a long time ago, but I remember it like yesterday. Sugar was everywhere: at work, parties, restaurants, in every product I wanted to buy…sugar was and is insidious. It took thirty miserable days before I felt normal…and freed from the ingredient that was enslaving me. It was a day to celebrate!
 
Now, all these years later, I can enjoy a bit of sugar here and there with no consequence to my health and wellness and no need to indulge on a daily basis. It’s the ultimate freedom. Imagine your life not governed by cravings. Imagine making healthy choices and finding them delicious, satisfying and your new normal.
 
That’s what being healthy is all about; making choices that serve the purpose of your life…deliciously.
 
Here’s to week two of #OneHealthyThing and to you! Don't forget to follow me on social media and share your progress, your frustrations and your wins! I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@christinacooks), Instagram (@christinacooks) and Pinterest!
 
January 5: Sleep
While obvious, sleep is one of the most essential keys to health. And one of the best ways to ensure great sleep is to stop eating food about 2-3 hours before going to bed so that your body can rest and not work at digestion all night long, leaving you feeling as tired when you get up as when you went to bed. Trust me on this one. That midnight snack is not the best way to have your best day tomorrow. But if you must snack, try something easy to digest so your body is not working so hard all night. Need some help? Try this yummy and easy-to-digest soup when you have to have 'a little something' before bed. You'll be satisfied and your body will still get its needed rest.
 
January 6: Choose Joy
Joy is serious business and it begins with a smile. It costs nothing; we won’t break a sweat and it changes everyone's day…and the day of everyone we smile at or with. And a good belly laugh can benefit our health in a number of ways: helping to increase circulation; boost immune function; stabilize blood sugar and help us manage stress. A few yucks every day would make the world a better place.
 
January 7: Eat Greens
We all talk about kale power, but there’s more to leafy green life than just this leafy…although i love it. From collards to mustard greens; watercress to arugula; escarole to rabe; bok choy to broccoli, these powerhouses of nutrition contribute to bone health, heart health and brain clarity. And easy? Just steam, boil, blanche, sauté…or turn them into smoothies or juices…or finely shred and use raw in salads.  This time of year, however, nothing warms me up faster than these steamed greens!
 
January 8: Take A Walk
We are all busy and can’t always get to a gym, but walking? It’s a no-brainer and all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes. The benefits are almost endless and include: engages all large muscle groups; helps reduce body fat; keeps blood sugar stable (especially if we walk after a meal); reduces triglycerides and blood pressure; stimulates the brain; reduces stress; boosts immune function; can be meditative…and is the most natural form of exercise known to man.
 
January 9: Swap Soda
I know you love it. I get it, but there’s no good news about soda. Every single study agrees that soda does nothing to benefit health. But I love you, so here’s a couple of lovely and yummy ways to swap that liquid poison out of your diet. Buy a natural version of your favorite in any natural food store…or simply mix sparkling water with your favorite fruit juice for a satisfying substitute.
 
January 10: Drink Coffee
Wha? Coffee can be good for our health? I loved it when i read this one, loving coffee as I do. New research from Japan reveals that regular coffee consumption can help small blood vessels work better, easing strain on the heart. Previous studies have shown an association between coffee drinking and lower risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke; high doses of caffeine may improve the function of larger arteries. And, as if drinking coffee wasn’t enough, how about cooking with it? 
 
January 11: Try A New Vegetable
Walking into a produce aisle is like walking into Disneyland for food. So try something new. Never had a parsnip? Buy a couple and then search a recipe. Worst case, you don’t like it and you try another new veggie. But it’s more likely you will discover a new food you love. And speaking of root vegetables, try my no-fail roasted root vegetables to keep you warm, centered and strong on these chilly winter days.
 
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