Health-Wise, What Am I Doing Differently in 2021?
"Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it." ―Horace Mann
For a health and wellness enthusiast, answering this might be a no brainer. The reality is I am human. Sometimes I have the best intentions but they don't translate into actions. I know the benefits of the popular 'five a day'. Have I implemented it to the letter T? Hell no! Why? Life happens. Sometimes, we get slurpy and careless.
The '5 a day' diet is research-based. It showed an association between diets with sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables and lower incidences of many age-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
According to Harvard Health, fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols, such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids, as well as high levels of fiber. All help with lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and managing weight. Their antioxidants may also help with cancer prevention by stopping free radicals from damaging the body's genetic material, according to research from the National Cancer Institute.
In 2020, I always shopped fruits, vegetables, high fiber foods, and lean meat. Sometimes, I bought frozen options to worry less about spoilage. After chatting with other wellness enthusiasts, I thought to switch to fresh options. The challenge was now how to preserve the produce. I started making smoothies every other day.
Was this a waste of my time? Nope. My periods would sail in and sail out. My migraine headaches became a thing of a distant memory. My skin was smooth. There were isolated periods in 2020 I deviated from the norm. The worst of all was the last quarter of 2020. I stopped my practice because I moved house. It sure reflected in my body. The migraine headaches returned. My period pains were a nightmare. My skin was breaking out.
Yet, this timing was perfect. Why? The new year was around the corner for fresh starts. It was clear to me I needed '5 a day'. This arrangement could not be off and on. It had to be a way of life or as we know it; a lifestyle. I made two mental notes: '5 a day' is not only for bad days but for all days. '5 a day' has the potential to end all bad days.
The key resolution here for 2021, is having a paradigm shift that adopts this as a way of life, and not a crisis fix.
These are my call to action:
- The fridge and pantry will always have a variety of fruits and vegetables
- A new add on is to focus on organic produce from the stores till I start gardening
- I will blend the fruits and vegetables every day and have them as breakfast or sugar fixes.
- To vary my 5 a day diet, I will steam some vegetables with protein. To be specific, I can steam some spinach with tuna fish or steam broccoli with mushrooms and eggs.
- I bought 2 wellness cookbooks beginning of the year. I intend to maximize both. I am going to explore new recipes for '5 a day'.
- I am a snacker. To ensure I am not gulping down junk, I'll have a variety of nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts, and almond nuts in open areas. I'll keep carrot sticks with cucumber in the fridge.
A lot of times, we resolve to do things because we have no choice. Some people give up drinking because it caused fatal accidents. I had a rough and pain-filled last quarter of 2020. It pushed me to make these resolutions. I have no intention of letting a day pass without my '5 a day'. The benefits are immense, to say the least.
About the maintenance of these great habits, I can't speak to disruptive factors like a famine[or a pandemic]. The fact that anyone can adopt these practices on a needs basis shows adaptability. That makes it likely we can adapt again when another disaster presents itself.