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  • Amy Salman, Founder, The Wellness Map

Create Healthy Habits, Not Resolutions

Welcome to 2018! In the spirit of the New Year, I'd like to invite you to take the focus off resolutions, and onto a mindset of creating healthy habits. After all, it's those habits that lead to long term lifestyle changes. Let’s take a look at what you can say NO to, and in doing so create more energy, balance, and overall good health. Here's three things to consider saying NO to in 2018, and a healthy behavior to replace it.

SAY NO TO FAD DIETS FOR GOOD! This is the time of year where many of you make resolutions to lose 10 pounds, exercise more, cook more meals at home, meditate daily, volunteer, and the list goes on. So you sign up for fancy gym memberships and start yet another new diet only to have your best intentions fall by the wayside within a few months. It's the all or nothing mentality. Not only is it exhausting and overwhelming to try to overhaul everything at once, it rarely sticks.

HEALTHY HABIT: start small, or one simple step at a time. In other words make small changes, one a day or a week that you can implement into your life until they become rituals. Rituals then become habits. (Ex: drink more water, consider replacing a soda with a glass of water, add fruits & veggies to your meals or replace your meal at lunch with a large salad with grilled chicken, exercise 2-3 days/week instead of aiming for 6/days week)

SAY NO TO TOXIC PEOPLE! What zaps more energy than toxic relationships? Research states we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Who’s in your tribe? Are they people you admire and respect? Do they inspire you, help you grow, lift you up?

HEALTHY HABIT: No matter the relationship, whether it be a lover, friend, or co-worker, steer clear if it's toxic. Not sure how? You can start by politely distancing yourself. Return fewer calls or text messages, be unavailable for plans. Create positivity where there is negativity, and don't engage with negative people. Don’t hold onto relationships of any type that don’t serve you.

SAY NO TO TOXIC PRODUCTS & FOOD! Toxicity is everywhere! It’s lurking in your food, beauty products, cookware, cleaning products, the air, and water you drink. And it’s making you sick! You have to stand on guard for your health more than ever! That means protecting your cells in ways you never had to before.

HEALTHY HABIT: Tame the Toxins.

Here’s four things which will lift a huge burden from your immune system:

1)Clean your air-get a HEPA filter.

2)Clean your water-put filters on your home taps.

3)Buy clean products (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, moisturizer, etc) Check out the list of DIRTY 30, for resources.

4)Eat clean food whenever possible. Buy grass-fed, pasture-raised and organic food. Eliminate processed, chemicalized foods and sugars. Add foods that help prevent and reverse illness and protect your body from all these toxins. These foods are phytonutrients, the powerful plant chemicals which are essential for good health. Colorful fruits and vegetables with the now recommended 7-13 servings/day. We get less than half that on a daily basis. There is a plethora of produce available in the United States, and yet most adults don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, dietary intake of several nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, including potassium and dietary fiber, is low enough to be a public health concern for both adults and children.

Your goal is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Aim for a whole rainbow of colors, including dark green, red, orange, purple and white. Variety is vital to get all the different nutrients and their health benefits.Try to buy fresh whole fruits and vegetables in season. They will be at their peak in flavor and at their lowest in price. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can be healthy choices too. Reach for low-sodium canned vegetables or canned fruits packed in their own juice or water, and avoid frozen vegetables with sauces, frozen fruits with added sugar, and canned fruits packed in heavy syrup. Make fruits and veggies the star of your daily diet with these ideas:

1)Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks.

2)Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter.

3)Choose meal options that have vegetables or fruits as a main ingredient. Try veggie stir-fry, top a pizza slice with veggies or vegetarian chili.

4)Start your day with a fruit or vegetable.

5)Add a handful of blueberries to your morning cereal, yogurt, or smoothie.

6)Sauté veggies into your scrambled eggs.

7)Drink your fruits and vegetables. But don't reach for prepared fruit juice!

Now, I'd love to know what healthy habits you're excited to create in 2018?

I look forward to hearing from you!

To your health & happiness,


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