A Month of Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
Any month is a great time to make small, positive changes in your eating and exercise habits. Pick and choose from the 31 ideas below—or try them all!
Crank up Calcium…
Add More Veggies and Fruits…
- Make oatmeal and creamy soups with low—fat milk instead of water.
- Order a 16—ounce fat-free latte and get 45% of the Daily Value for calcium.
- Munch your calcium—eat dark leafy greens like kale and collard greens.
- Top salads, chili and soup with low—fat cheese.
- If you don’t drink milk, try low—fat yogurt, calcium—fortified fruit juice or tofu processed with calcium.
- Mix fat-free dry milk into mashed potatoes and casseroles.
Focus on Fat…
- To boost nutrients, make a salad with baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce.
- Keep sliced, raw veggies in the fridge for an always-ready healthy snack.
- Toss orange segments, sliced grapes or chopped apples into salads.
- Slip vegetables into favorites—top pizza with pepper rings, add chopped broccoli to pasta, slide cucumber slices into sandwiches.
- Roast root veggies like cubed carrots, parsnips and winter squash for an earthy side dish.
- Blend a frozen banana, low-fat yogurt and OJ for a frigidly good treat.
- Stir dried cranberries, cherries or apples into hot cereal.
- Add beans to soup, chili, tacos and stews to boost fiber and add protein.
Go for the Grains…
- Spread mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches.
- Buy at least 95% lean ground beef or ground turkey breast for burgers, tacos and meatloaf.
- Use low-fat cooking methods: bake, grill, roast or broil meat and poultry.
- Grease pans with non-stick oil or butter spray.
- Serve sauces and gravies on the side and use just a little.
- Hook some omega-3s. Enjoy fatty fish like salmon or tuna at least twice a week.
- Drizzle just 1 or 2 tablespoons of an oil-based dressing on your salad.
Shake Out the Sodium…
- Select 100% whole-wheat bread over white bread.
- Use brown rice instead of white rice or mix "half and half."
- Try whole-grain pastas in favorite Italian and noodle dishes.
- Step outside the box. Try "unusual" grains such as wheat berries, bulgur and quinoa.
Get a Move On…
- Skip the salt during cooking—use spices and herbs instead.
- Buy reduced-sodium or "no salt added" canned beans, soups and vegetables.
- If you’re used to salty flavors, gradually cut back on higher-sodium foods such as canned soups, pickles and olives. A taste for salt is learned, so you can "adjust" your taste buds to prefer less salty foods.
- Clip on a pedometer (step counter) and track how many steps you take during your daily routine. Gradually build up to 10,000 steps a day—that’s about 5 miles!
- At work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or hop off the bus early and hoof it the rest of the way to your office.
- Take a family walk.