WEDNESDAY, MAR. 28: Debbie Jones is currently a vice president of the International Diabetes Federation and a diabetes nurse educator at the Bermuda Hospitals Board’s Diabetes Education Centre. She writes a monthly diabetes column for the Bermuda Sun to help educate people about one of the island’s biggest killers.
It’s time to think seriously about fruits and vegetables. A new study suggests that eating at least five fruits and vegetables a day gives glow and vitality.
Hint: French fries are not considered a vegetable. Spring is here and everything is growing. Fresh vegetables are in the supermarkets and of course at the Farmers’ Market.
Spring clean your kitchen. Throw out all of the unhealthy foods and replace with healthy nutritious foods that are low in fat and low in added sugar. If you can’t bear to throw them away, give the items to your local church. Many churches in Bermuda are providing the homeless with food. Remember if it’s not there you can’t eat it!
Meet new friends
Start a walking or exercise club. Encourage your neighbour to join the club and get out and enjoy the neighbourhood, meet new friends and become physically active. Purchase a pedometer at the pharmacy and aim to do at least 10,000 steps a day. If exercise is something new, start with a brisk ten minute walk three times a day, five times a week. If you are thinking this is too much exercise, then close your eyes and imagine how much exercise your grandparents did and they never called it exercise; they called it living. Walk the stairs whenever you can. Park your car as far as away as possible from your workplace or better still take the ferry or the bus. Decide today that you will start being active.
Try and make sure you are not hungry when you visit the grocery store. When people are hungry they tend to buy more and often not the most nutritious foods. Be organized. Make some do-ahead healthy meals when you have the time and freeze to use at another time.
Make time to sit down and eat meals. Families used to sit down for meals and this provided the opportunity for talking to each other and sharing stories and plans. Today, it seems more and more families eat on the run and if they do sit down, then it’s in front of the television. Believe it or not, people eat faster in front of the television and because they have not given themselves enough time to feel full, they eat more. Then they continue to eat and “snack” on unhealthy foods.
Just a few simple changes can make a huge difference to your health:
- Start being active. A ten minute walk several times a day will help make you healthier and make you feel good.
- Drink water. Put a bottle or jug of water on your desk first thing in the morning and drink it during the day. Stop drinking those sugary drinks.
- Try to eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day. It’s easy if you try. A fruit with breakfast, a vegetable and fruit with lunch and several vegetables with supper and you are there. See how easy that is?
The big question to ask is, “Do you want to be healthy?” If you say of course I do, then start today. You will feel better and have more energy to do fun things. So what are you waiting for? Put on those walking shoes and pick up a bottle of water.