Nutrition: New Habits Start Small
By Jennifer Van Cott, CEO/Founder Pantry Fuel
It’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to each of us to find the value in our health TODAY by creating small habits that build into the lifestyle we create. We must ask ourselves, why is it that we are OK spending thousands and thousands of dollars on diabetic medications, supplements, hospital visits, doctors, and more, but we’re not OK spending the extra few dollars, now, on a healthier food choice, for example? Or why we can’t spend the extra half hour cooking a meal instead of grabbing the greasy fast food that is slowly leading us towards the #1 reason for death in America – heart disease.
Finding the value in our personal healthcare habits is where it all starts. I remember talking to my uncle and he told me, “Jenny, if you don’t have your health, if you wake up feeling horrible, you have nothing. Your day is wasted away.”
I know this is true from experience. When I have been sick or have taken care of those who are ill or sick, the only thing on our minds is feeling better.
As a personal way to get motivated, I like to think about these days when I just feel too lazy to go out for a run. I remind myself I have an able body and I feel great – particularly compared to when I’ve been sick and there is no way my body is able to get out for a run. If we can find the value in how it truly feels to be healthy, we should then be extremely motivated to adopt healthy habits.
These healthy habits can start small – from replacing one cup of coffee with one water bottle (this is my current habit I’m picking up!) to choosing a salad as an appetizer instead of the fried bread sticks. Add more vegetables (less fat/fewer carbs) to your plate.
Making a list of five things you want to work on at the beginning of the month is a great way to start. The beginning of the week/month/year usually gives us the edge of feeling like we’ve got a fresh start. Today’s Monday. You’ve got a fresh week ahead. What’s one healthy choice you can make?
The current healthcare system isn’t set up to manage preventive care for us; so we must learn and manage prevention for ourselves. This starts with each little decision today. All of the small ones we make – from where we eat to when we eat to what we eat, from whether we take the elevator or the stairs, pick the closest parking space or the one on the other side of the lot. I speak all the time about the brilliant resources available to us that will radically reduce our risks of disease, illness, and sickness. We just need to take advantage of them.
Start write now. Grab a pen and paper and write down your personal vision of how you want to feel each day. What’s one step you can take toward that goal today? Small steps, friends, add up to big changes. Don’t put it off.
Let’s get moving together! Register for the Hunger Run. That’s a great first step.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Pantry Fuel website and has been edited for length and audience.