Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Healthy Living Plan

For decades, I made a lengthy list of resolutions every January. Most of the "to-dos" and "not-to-dos" revolved around losing weight, getting healthier, and toning up. Most of those "to-dos" and "not-to-dos" were abandoned by March and I was left feeling like a failure.

Last year, I made not a single resolution - just skipped it entirely. This year, wanting to make changes but not make "resolutions" (I don't like that word much), I am creating a plan: A 2012 healthy living plan.

Over the years, I've discovered the only way for me to become slim, trim and fit is to have a strategy, a plan, with boundaries and structure. When I attempt to make healthy changes willy-nilly, I have no focus and eventually gain weight and become lazy and inactive.

In honor of our new year and so that I don't make a too-long and watered down list, I thought of 12 ways to improve upon my health this year.


2012 Healthy Living Plan 

1) Be prepared. For dinners, meal plan weekly and shop for the items needed on the weekend. For lunches and snacks, spend an extra hour or so washing and cutting vegetables, making chicken, tuna and/or egg salads, dividing snacks like nuts and olives into small containers to make them convenient to take along for lunches.

2) Drink more water, fewer faux sugar drinks and less or no alcohol.

3) Add a variety of proteins and vegetables to my diet. I often find myself getting stuck on having beef or chicken multiple times per week and relying heavily on broccoli and cauliflower as my vegetables. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

4) Move more. Walk, tone and stretch at least three days per week for a minimum of 120 minutes total. I don't believe in hard-core workouts. Exercise doesn't have to be painful and torturous. A simple 30+ minute brisk walk with some hills followed by 30 - 40 girl push-ups and 100 abdominal crunches is a good enough workout for me.

5) Buy organic whenever doing so is possible and the cost reasonable. Several years ago, I paid $5.00 for an organic cucumber and it wasn't even one of those English types. I'm still mad.

6) Sleep. Get more of it and better quality. Exercise helps me sleep better as does having a cup of relaxing tea before bed.

7) Limit nitrates. Find nitrate-free options for favorite foods like bacon and deli meats.

8) Find new recipes to add to my repertoire by combing low-carb websites and cookbooks.

9) Limit faux sugars of all kinds. Try using a stevia-based sweetener whenever possible.

10) Keep carbohydrates to no more than 40 net per day.

11) Start a food journal. I kept one for years but eventually got away from it. Rebekah convinced me in this post to start a new one.

12) Appreciate my body. Respect, honor and care for it because it's the only one I am ever going to have and I need it to last another fifty years.

What is on your plan for 2012? 



Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

This is helping me so much...thanks!!

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

My only goals food/health wise are :-
i) to buy organic food and make-up whenever possible and to shop more consciously for these specifics
ii) like you, exercise more, which for me means walking more each day. I have plenty of opportunities to walk everywhere, so instead of bumping a lift on the back of Hubs vespa, I WILL walk :-)
iii) No carbs for breakfast. Instead my Hubs fab fruit smoothies.

Anonymous said...

Great list! Each one of these is a powerful change, but combined it is a force with which to reckon. I particularly find a weekly meal plan to be mandatory in my eating, especially when I know I'll be having something delicious for dinner that supports my daily net carb intake. Monthly trips to Costco and Whole Food to stock up on things I can put in my freezer also help!

Adrienne said...

Pam - I am so glad to hear we are helping you. Please feel free to send questions our way!


I wish I lived somewhere where walking could be my first mode of transport. But I live in the suburbs on a dead end street near a busy road...I have to make an extra effort to get out and walk.
You have some great goals for 2012!


Meal planning has become essential now that I adhere to a low-carb plan. No more, "let's order a pizza" or "let's just make sandwiches". Quality low-carb eating means planning and strategizing.