Here’s to Your Happy 2018: 30 Days of Health and Contentment

2018 may be the best year yet, because we’ve learned so much about what to do, and what not to do, to achieve good health. Let’s dedicate 30 days to good choices, and good living! Who knows, the habits may catch on for the next 30 days!

We start with January 2, because, well, today is one more day of holiday. Holidays are important, and so are traditions. Don’t feel guilty about that; but do make a commitment to check in here each day for ideas and motivation to begin 2018.

There are no fads or strict rules. This is a place for what we know works. The goal is holistic, too. Let’s take some time for things that make us happy in mind and spirit, because if you neglect happiness, you will never achieve a healthier lifestyle, right?

The Tool Belt

Heart-rate monitor or method for checking heart rate

In order to achieve your optimum exercise goals, you will need to exercise 40 minutes in your target heart-rate range, three times a week.  You can self monitor by taking your pulse for ten seconds and multiplying that number by 6. This method assumes that you are able to find your pulse. That isn’t always easy for some people.

To find out about target heart-rate, read more here.

My Plate App

This is a free app offered by Livestrong. ( Google Play, iTunes Store )It is great for a lot of reasons.

First, it doesn’t tell you what to eat, but helps you to make good choices by tracking your intake and reporting back to you your calories, percentage of fat, carbs, and proteins.

Second, you can record your intake prior to starting your day, to use the tracking as a diet planner rather than just a diet recorder.

Third, it accounts for activity in your daily intake. So, if you are an active person, and you get hungry, your activity counts toward increasing your caloric intake.

Exercise Plan

Each day, we’ll plan some exercise, including yoga. Think about what is available to you to get your aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It might be equipment, a walking trail or walking route, free weights, exercise classes, a video or television show, etc. Here are some options for free online yoga classes.

Foods to help break sugar addiction

Another goal for this 30 days is to move away from sugar. To do so successfully requires some substitution of sugar-filled foods with other satisfying ones. Here are some suggestions to have on hand. These are not low-calorie foods, and they aren’t meant to be. They are foods that will help you to get away from eating sweets.

  • Nuts and seeds (any variety, though peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pistachios are favorite choices)
  • Cheeses
  • Fruit (berries, bananas, apples, and oranges are filling and readily available)
  • Natural nut butter (nothing but ground nuts!)
  • Baked crackers or tortilla chips
  • Cooked chicken breast meat or albacore tuna
  • Milk or milk substitutes
  • Whole grains (steel-cut oats, wheat berries or spelt,  brown rice)
  • Eggplant
  • Low or no sugar added pasta sauce
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Eggs, egg whites, or substitute

The Routine

Every day will include some exercise, diet tracking, recipe suggestions, and time for enjoyable activity or reflection. You schedule these in your day as it work for you, and substitute suggestions that work in your life.

Check in for inspiration and suggestions. Don’t feel guilty about missing a day, or eating sugar, or cutting exercise short. Our goal is better health and a happier spirit, not self-loathing or feelings of failure.  Every effort is a success in itself!

Cheers to you! Happy 2018. See you tomorrow!

This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.

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