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National Nutrition Month!

With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s important for us to find easy, effective ways to incorporate healthy habits into our daily routine. Diets come and go, fads come and go, and healthy living demands consistency in order to be successful. For me, personally, this is something I’ve struggled as life progresses and my responsibilities continue to grow. In my youth, I was a competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer in Fairfax, Virginia. The gym was like my second home, and it was easier to prepare meals, organize them, and have a prompt eating schedule, as was necessary for my sport. However, like many, my working life expanded, I got married, and with every new amazing step with life, come an equal challenge of time management and making priority choices. I know how difficult it is to create healthy habits. The most effective way I’ve found is to take baby steps. Take one good tip and focus on it, practice it, and don’t stop until it becomes a healthy habit. Once complete, then you’re ready to move onto the next. After enough time has passed you may realize that so-called, “diet”, really becomes a lifestyle. That’s the difference between dieting and living a healthy lifestyle, CONSISTENCY! That’s it! So without further ado, here are my personal tips for creating healthy habits for 2017:

Dr. Ben Glasman’s Healthy Habitual Practices

  1. Pick one day of the week to go grocery shopping.

Make this day your consistent grocery day. For me, Thursday is the best day because I have enough time to come home, wash all my fruits and veggies all at once, organize the fridge, and plan out my future meals for the week.

  1. Pick one or two days a week to do the majority of your cooking preparation

With kids, work, and everything in between it can be very difficult to make healthy delicious meals every night consistently. Pick two nights to be your big cooking night. Thursdays and Sundays we cook a large pot of rice, stir fry vegetables, and sweet potatoes. We also bake and grill gluten-free marinated chicken, salmon, and other seafood choices. By making large batches we are able to then split protein/veggie meals in glass Tupperware containers for the week. Many days I work up to 12-14 hours, and it’s imperative to be prepared this way, otherwise I may be left with very little options for quick, healthy eating.

  1. Graze with quick healthy snacks between meals and when you’re on the go

Nuts, seeds, berries, grapes, and other small fruits make up a lot of my snacks in small Ziploc bags I keep in my desk. This allows me to grab some health antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals between treating patients. Eating smaller, frequent meals a day helps our body’s burn more fat and keeps our energy going (when they’re healthy choices).

  1. Use a 1 and a ½ to 2 liter bottle and keep it with you. Finish it by the end of the day.

We all know how important water is, yet how often we tell ourselves we’re just not drinking enough? Make it simpler. Fill a large, easily portable, water bottle at the start of your day and sip it throughout. By the end of the day that bottle should be empty. This helps hold you accountable. You must make sure the bottle is enough water that you need however. How much is enough? Use this simply formula:

  1. Divide your bodyweight by 25. Then multiply that number by 2. This gives you the minimum goal of how many cups you should be drinking a day.

  2. Example: 200lb person / 25 = 8 x 2 = 16 cups daily

  150lb person/25 = 6 x 2 = 12 cups daily

  1. Staying Motivated!

It’s far too easy to get de-motivated. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves for following the right rules and regulations of a diet or lifestyle change. Sometimes we feel so terrible that it actually makes us feel like quitting and just saying, “Well, I ruined my diet, so I might as well really just let it all go!” However, change takes time and practice. So next time you mess up a meal, or give in to temptation, I want you to tell yourself these words: “I may have lost this meal, but I can’t get it back, there’s no making it up, but there is the next meal, and the meal after that. And the next meal will be better.”

Never mentally shame yourself for messing up a meal, or even a full day of unhealthy choices. The next meal will come, and the sun will rise again. So focus on that next healthy meal. Practice that next healthy tip, and turn it into a habit. In the end, healthy living is a journey, not a means to an end. Take your time to instill these values with your loved ones, and we can make 2017 in Fairfax, VA the best year ever.

Dr. Ben Glasman

Chiropractic & Physical Therapy Center

3970 Walnut Street

Fairfax, VA 22030

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