How will you find the energy to resume exhausting morning car-pooling, after-school practices and weekend games? By pledging to commit to a healthier lifestyle. One of the greatest benefits of adopting better nutrition is increased energy. So say goodbye once and for all to fast food and unhealthy snacks that zap energy, and hello to healthier living with these easy tips.
Eat Smarter, Be More Active
Why wait? The Just One More for Healthy Living Pledge is a simple way for everyone in the household to increase nutrition and boost energy for a healthier lifestyle. Pledge now to add to your diet just one more daily serving of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes; just one more weekly serving of lean protein such as tuna; and just one more physical activity a day. To sign up for the pledge and a free pledge starter kit (while supplies last), visit www.eatjustonemore.com.
Stock Your Pantry
It's tempting to pick up a cheesy pizza or zip through your favorite fast-food haunt for dinner after a busy day at the office. But one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve your family's nutrition is by stocking up on canned fruits and vegetables such as Del Monte corn and tomatoes, and lean proteins such as StarKist tuna.
Assorted pastas (preferably whole wheat) as well as other essential ingredients such as spices and broths are perfect to have on hand, whether for basic cooking or gourmet meal preparation. By planning ahead and stockpiling a few healthy staples, you'll be prepared for quick and nutritious meal options during the most hectic weeks.
Bring Back Breakfast
According to recent studies, today's busy working families are hurrying off to work and school without eating breakfast. Skipping any meal, particularly breakfast, causes blood sugar to dip and deprives the brain of the fuel it needs to perform, which can lead to decreased attention in the classroom and workplace. Ward off hunger and prevent power outages by establishing a basic eating schedule that includes three nutritious meals and one or two wholesome snacks per day.
Research suggests that only 20 to 30 percent of Americans actually eat the recommended servings of fruits and veggies a day, which the Food and Drug Administration now advises is nine to 13 servings for optimal health. Eating more fruits and vegetables daily will not only make you feel fuller and more energized, but the vitamins, minerals and fiber found in them can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.
Adding a diverse range of colorful fruits and vegetables might seem like a daunting challenge at first. "A couple of easy additions to some of your favorites can really do the trick," says Ellie Krieger, a registered dietician and host of the Food Network's "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger."
"For example," she says, "try adding some chopped fruit and nuts to your favorite cereal or oatmeal, or vegetables and tomatoes to an omelet. Toss some corn or peas into your favorite pasta or soup for lunch, or store convenient, individual servings of canned or packaged fruit, such as Del Monte Fruit Naturals, in your desk drawer or office refrigerator for a nutritious afternoon snack. The key is making sure you always have fruit and vegetables easily at hand - fresh, canned or frozen."
And remember, you are what you drink. One of the most vital yet often overlooked nutrients is water. Even the slightest amount of dehydration can cause fatigue.
It's no surprise that most Americans spend a significant amount of time each day driving to and from work, sitting in front of a computer, and then plopping on the sofa to watch hours of television each evening. Experts say everybody should get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days, which can even be accomplished in 10-minute intervals if you can't always find a free half hour.
The most important thing is to set attainable goals and build activity into your daily routine. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work or park farther away at the grocery store. Walking is one of the most efficient and effective forms of exercising, and can also help to relieve stress, lift your mood and help you sleep better at night.
"By learning how to eat well and stay fit," says Krieger, "you can feel great and have more energy for you and your family."
For more tips or delicious recipe suggestions, visit www.eatjustonemore.com.