Please welcome my friend, Mary Buchan from MaryBuchan.com to Broke & Healthy. She is a Nurse, Nutrition Specialist, Certified Strength & Conditioning Instructor, Certified Life Coach, and Wellness Program Coordinator. In short, she is legit and so is her advice.
Wash Your Hands Often
Not only just before you eat a meal, but because most people touch their eyes or nose once every three hours, and each rub can transport viruses in and out. Mentally discipline yourself to break that habit, plus wash your hands often to shut down the germ exchange.
Drink More Water. A Lot More.
The same dry winter air that chaps your lips sucks moisture from your nose and throat. Not good, for the ability to flush away viruses before they ‘claim your body’ depends on a steady flow of secretions, especially water. Yes, at least 8 to 10 glasses a day. Be careful of drinking caffeinated drinks as they actually dehydrate you.
Decrease the Portions
As ‘different’ as this will be to most people, it is actually healthier to eat from 5-7 meals a day – meaning – every 3 to 4 hours. That helps to not overwhelm your digestive system, but it also keeps your energy level up and helps fight sugar cravings. Your blood sugar level will crest and fall every 3-4 hours. When it falls, so does your energy level, including your ability to handle stress and to concentrate. It’s then you crave sugar to give you a boost. So, frequently eat small amounts of complex carbohydrates and protein together.
Ditch the Sugar
Adults eat an average of 135 pounds of sugar annually. Most people cannot metabolize the sugar they consume because sugar quickly turns to fat. And when one eats sugar it ‘freezes’ your immune system for up to two hours, during which viruses and other weird things attack your system. When we get a “sweet tooth attack” we reach for some frozen fruits like blueberries, grapes, or pineapple. Try rolling pieces of bananas in yogurt and chopped nuts and freeze them. Delicious!
Thou Shalt Not Skip Breakfast
Think of your body as a campfire that dies down during the night. By morning it needs stoking to keep the fire from going out. Breakfast (breaking the fast) is the way to get your body back in shape for the day and supply it with energy. It is the most important meal of the day.
As Your Mother Told You – Eat Your Vegetables!
Veggies are a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. They will help protect you against colds and flues. Eat a variety and pick ones that are vivid in color as they are the highest in nutrients. This time of year we eat a lot of foods high in Vitamins A and C as they boost our immune system – like sweet potatoes, winter squash, tangerines, and pineapple.
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
God gave us bodies that need physical activity and this is an important part of staying healthy. Exercise will increase our energy and lower our stress, plus help keep our weight in check. The following will help you begin your physical activity program: First of all, add the Fun Factor. That’s right – make your workouts FUN. Listen to music (or books or sermons on tape) while walking – read while riding a stationary bike – watch the news while you walk on a treadmill. Add the Friend Factor – meaning – exercising with a friend increases accountability and consistency. And finally, add the Fudge Factor. Don’t get too excited with this one. What we mean is…give yourself one or two days off each week. These ‘fudge’ days make the other days easier.
Remember Mr. Sandman
Sleep – sleep – sleep…7-8 hours nightly. Even if you have to rearrange your schedule – get adequate sleep. Even missing most of one night of sleep can seriously affect your immune system.
Mary Buchan spent more than 15 years as a medical surgical nurse in a hospital setting. She has over 10 years of experience in community health and wellness nursing, providing preventive healthcare, health education, weight loss, and wellness programs. She has been as a Health Coach, helping hundreds of people lose weight. She is an effective public speaker, facilitator, and instructor in forums such as businesses, churches, and civic groups, YMCA’s, hospitals, senior citizens’ and women’s groups. She is a program coordinator of healthy lifestyle programs and support groups, including stroke, cancer, diabetes, weight loss, and cardiac rehabilitation. Visit MaryBuchan.com for a free coaching session.