South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
The 12 Days of a Healthier Holiday Season
Try these daily tips for yourself and be sure to share them with your family and friends. Give YOURSELF a gift this holiday season and choose to be more healthy. Remember - yesterday is over, tomorrow is yet to come - that is why they call today the PRESENT.
DAY 1: Buy a home workout DVD today. Working out at home requires minimal equipment and can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure and gives you an over all sense of well-being.
DAY 2: Skip the high fat, high sugar dessert today. Eat a serving of fresh fruit, especially one you may not have tried before.
DAY 3: Say "Good Morning" - and mean it - to someone you don't know. You never know, your cheery greeting may change their day, and yours, for the better.
DAY 4: Plant some fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, which are pretty hardy and grow well with minimal care. You can start from seed or go to a good, quality nursery and buy plants to re-pot. Fresh herbs add great taste to your favorite foods and help you reduce salt intake.
DAY 5: Sing in the shower. Turn on the radio or tape player, really loud, and sing along to help put you in a better mood and clear your head and lungs.
DAY 6: Eat slowly - count to yourself and chew each bite 10 times, savoring the flavor. Think about why you enjoy that particular food. If you are not enjoying it, you might want to reconsider eating it.
DAY 7: Write a note to an old friend - either hand written or an email greeting. Share a favorite memory you have of them. It can brighten your day as well as theirs.
DAY 8: Buy an 8-inch plate. Studies have shown that eating off a smaller plate promotes eating smaller amounts. Either scout out a colorful plate at a local thrift shop or browse at an upscale store for a discount on a single plate. Or buy 2 and share with your significant other.
DAY 9: Take a walk after dinner. Rather than plopping down on the couch or bed to watch a movie, explore a new area.
DAY 10: Offer to bring a healthy dish to a holiday party. Look for a new recipe that is lower in fat or overall calories. Use the low fat version of sour cream or cream cheese. Try using fresh veggies as a dipper.
DAY 11: Find fun in trivial things. While sitting in traffic, rather than becoming annoyed by delays, try to make a sentence or rhyme using the first letters of the license plates around you. For example - the other day I found a car with my sister's initials and birthday month. Crazy, but it helps you keep your calm and can invoke good memories.
DAY 12: Make a realistic list of things you want to accomplish today. Planning ahead can help prevent last minute emergencies which will only add to your stress.
Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Brought to you by the Weight and Metabolic Disorders Treatment Center,
what do you have to lose?