As the Nutrition Examiner for Fort Worth, Texas, I have explored different aspects of nutrition throughout the city this year. When fueling oneself, eating healthy can make a big difference in overall health. The key is making it simple and doable in every day life. Use food to fuel your body. Emphasize balance, variety and moderation above everything else. As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states, all foods can fit! People should enjoy their food and not think restrictively but fuel your body for life’s challenges whether those are day-to-day or intentional physical challenges. Thus, a good rule of thumb is the 80:20 rule. Eat nutritiously 80% of the time and take a little more leeway the other 20% of the time. This rule helps to develop a rounded perspective on food and emphasizes choosing nutrient-rich foods first but enjoying a variety of foods in general.
On the other side of the coin is physical activity. Energy in has to equal energy out to maintain a healthy weight. There are many things people can do to be more active including walking your kids to school, riding bikes, playing catch or organized sports, going for walks at the local duck pond or park, jumping rope, training for a run or event or going to the gym. Just spending a good amount of non-sedentary time each day generally 30-60 minutes depending on your goals can help decrease the amount of time spent in front of a screen or other less active activities. A couple of recent activities I have enjoyed in Fort Worth include dancing at Studio Eighty and Roller Skating at Rollerland West. There are many venues within the city where people can get out and be active.
Lastly, keeping things fun goes a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Occasionally, going above the every day with fun outings to the skating rink, a theme park or water park or planning an active vacation or weekend whether zip-lining, hiking, riding horses, water or snow skiing can support a healthy, active lifestyle. There are active outings that can fit any budget or preference just Google and go!
Food can be an adventure as well. Next time you are at the grocery store choose a new food. Go home and look up a recipe for a new food and make that recipe. My most recent rootshed.com article “Be Fit, Be Fueled, Be Fabulous,” talks about the importance of cooking with kids…or taking a class together…there are likely classes in any area. Dine out and practice ways to make healthy choices at restaurants exploring a variety of cuisines. If you need help, consult a registered dietitian, like me!
This New Year instead of making and breaking resolutions incorporate these ideas to for realistic, sustainable changes for a healthier life or what I call, New Year Solutions.