Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychologist in his 1929 book, The Case of Miss R., introduced the term Lifestyle. What does lifestyle mean? In simple terms, it is a way of life. Essentially, patterns of behavior or how an individual typically lives. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount. It can help prevent illness and promote self-esteem and self-image. In this article, we look at a few simple changes you can introduce to your lifestyle to live a healthy and longer life.
Improving your diet for a healthy lifestyle
Improving your diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Both fruits and vegetables must be present in your meals. Also, try to include legumes and rice for their high fiber content. Likewise, corn, whole wheat bread, oats, and wheat are other healthy alternatives. They are a great source of vitamins and fiber. More so, fish is an excellent protein food with very little fat. Other things to consider are milk, dairy products, eggs, and pork, without fat. These are very good for the diet of both young and the elderly. The ones in the not recommended to eat category are those with too much sugar, salt, saturated fat, or lard. Others include fried food with plenty of oil. As an example, French fries.
But I can’t live without Fries
Try dried fruits instead. Whether natural or baked, it is better than fried or saturated fats. They are a great addition to your healthy diet. Dried fruits are a great source of unsaturated fat, satiety, and vitamins.
Is eating dried fruits healthy?
By all means, says Anthony Komaroff, M.D. and Editor in Chief of Harvard Health Letter. They are full of healthy nutrients. However, he warns to watch the calorie intake. Dehydrated fruits like raisins, plums, dried apricots (as long as no sugar is present) is also a good alternative. They are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not to mention it is also a delicious treat for you and your children.
As for rice, potatoes, and tubers (carbohydrates), as mentioned above, they must be an integral part of your diet. Those with digestion problems should avoid eating whole wheat, pasta, etc. You can have it occasionally but always supplement it with vegetables and salads.
As for salads, always try to eat them fresh. Salads are a rich source of vitamins and fiber. You can mix and match the ingredients to find the one that suits your palate. You can use avocado, seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin, nuts, all kinds of vegetables and even fruits (apple, orange, and grapes), cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, hard-boiled egg, cheese, etc. Maybe not lettuce if you are not up for it.
Eggs are another winner, rich in vitamins, high in protein, and has a satiating effect.
You will find people worried about cholesterol asking how many eggs they can eat a day. Not often you find the same people worrying about the sugary cookies they eat. The reality is that it is worse to eat sugary cookies every day than to eat an egg a day. Eggs are better if they are organic and if laid by free-range chickens.
How about Dairy?
Ahh, the million-dollar question: dairy yes or dairy no? Dairy is one of the most indigestible products. Milk comes in different varieties. You have fresh milk, vegetable milk, and milk products like butter, yogurt, cheese, etc. Those with lactose intolerance or are allergic to milk can try better alternatives like soymilk, almond milk, etc.
Breakfast is considered, in many cultures, the most important meal of the day. Consider having a breakfast full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins that will keep you energetic through the morning. Prepare a combined plate with fruits, an omelet, scrambled eggs, or hard-boiled egg, some dried fruit such as walnuts, some tuna, oatmeal pancakes, or some toast.
Leave out the cookies. Instead, bake a cake on your own. That way, you can control the sugar, oil, or other saturated fats that go in.
Finally, the frozen ones are something to avoid. Stay away from frozen comfort and convenience food. We are talking about frozen meat, fish, or vegetables that are easy to always have at home.
For people challenged with time, there are two easy ways to save time, money and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make a monthly or weekly menu and a shopping list that matches the menu. By doing so, you organize yourself, you take time to think about your meals, and in the end, everything is advantageous. Most importantly, educate your children’s palate and teach them to eat healthily. They will thank you too for it.
What foods and in what proportion should you eat
We have already seen that we must buy fresh food and, if possible, unprocessed ones for healthy eating. The next question is its distribution in our daily diet. Experts advise 50% of the diet to include fruits and vegetables. The remaining 50% is for proteins (meat, fish, and legumes), healthy fats (nuts, avocados, and olive oil), eggs, and healthy carbohydrates (brown rice, potatoes, yuccas, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, etc.).
Physical activity for a healthy lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle means changes to our daily habits. And habits does not only apply to the food we eat. It also means changes to the daily physical activities. It can be as simple as using the stairs instead of the elevator to go from one floor to the next.
Try to go to work on foot or use a bicycle. It helps reduce stress caused by heavy traffic. Instead, you can dedicate the time to think and plan out your day.
Hit a gym or try to incorporate routine daily workouts at home when you start your day. Your body will thank you later.
At work, take some time to stand up, walk around and look away from the computer. At home, try not to sit in front of the TV all the time. You could take up crafting, reading, painting, or any other hobby that requires physical activity. Choose something that will relax your mind and body.
Socializing is also very important for inner peace. It can mean different things to different people. You could go out partying, or spend time to take care of yourself, inside and out. You could also be feeding your spirit with the things that make you happy. Like, spending time with children and with people who bring us happiness. Socializing helps us to connect with people and aids in a healthy lifestyle.
The reality, however, is that we do not have all the time in the world. Most of us struggle to find time between work, home, children, family, and what not, to be able to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle. A change in habit does not happen in a single day. Start by taking time off for yourself and utilizing the time to relax. Try different healthy diets and find out what works for you. There are always plenty of options available. Start working out half an hour a day and build on that daily.
You will slowly start noticing the change if you do this consciously. Don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating. Take that leap and go out of your comfort zone. Continue it for as long as it takes. Make this about you, for you have earned it.