“Visit the past so you can see how
it may be coloring your current relationships with dark hues, but make sure to live in the present,” says Dr. Frances Cohen Praver, a clinical psychologist and author of “How Understanding Your Brain’s Wiring Can Help Rekindle Your Relationship” (Sourcebooks, 2011).
“If you stay in the past, you will
become depressed,” she says. On the reverse, Cohen Praver also
says to avoid thinking too far ahead, for fear of growing anxious or nega- tive.
“The key is to live in the present,” she says.
Clean up your relationships
“If love has faded from your rela-
tionship, now is the time to work hard to bring love and lust back,” Cohen Praver says.
“Remember that you and your part-
ner are connected with mirror neu- rons, so that if you change yourself, your partner can’t help but change himself or herself too,” Cohen Praver says.
Maintain a well- balanced diet
Eating healthy is an obvious way to
stay on track health-wise, but know- ing what foods are best to incorpo- rate into an overall eating scheme is key.
Lisa DeFazio, a registered dietitian
and diet expert for Perez Hilton’s celebrity health and fitness website, fitperez.com
, says to go for variety. She suggests incorporating whole grains for fiber, such as oatmeal, oat bran and flax seeds. Proteins like nuts, fish, chicken and lean beef also are important, as are healthy fats from olive oil, avocados and nuts.
Sneak in your nutrients Angela Pifer, a Seattle-based
nutritionist, suggests stocking up January/February 2012
on frozen vegetables like organic spinach and kale, both for their affordability and their ability to add a nutritious punch to traditional meals like scrambled eggs, soup, stew, stir-fry and casseroles. Busy people will be more likely to incor- porate veggies if they are already chopped and ready to cook.
Eat your vitamins Recent studies have begun to
question the efficacy of daily vita- mins. Instead, fill in your nutrition- al blanks by planning and buying snacks that are made with fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetable and plant extracts.
People should make it their goal to
eat more fruit, period, dietitians say. “It’s one of the most important
things we can do,” says Alice Bender, a registered dietitian and nutri- tion communications manager, for the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.
Fruits are high in dietary fiber and
water content, so you fill up without too many calories, Bender says.
In addition, fruits contain vita-
mins, such as A and C, the mineral potassium, as well as plant chemi- cals that may reduce a person’s risk of chronic disease.
Replace junk with nutrition
Giving up salty and sweet snacks
can be hard. Luckily, it’s easy to find healthy replacements for junk-food favorites.
For those with a taste for salt,
DeFazio suggests options like Popchips, low-fat microwave pop- corn, pretzels and Chex mix. For the sweet-toothed folks, go for dried fruit, frozen juice bars, low-fat gra- nola bars, graham crackers and low- fat pudding cups.
Try a new diet If you’re up for the task, sev-
eral websites promote start-of-the-
year diet challenges. Pifer runs a 28-Day Vegan Challenge, a vegan diet plan with a focus on detox, that begins Jan. 11, 2012. According to Pifer, more than 1,300 participated through her website, nutritionnorth- west.com
, in the past year.
If going vegan is too extreme, try
other diet challenges, like Meatless Mondays, a movement in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that aims to reduce an individual’s meat con- sumption by 15 percent by forgoing meat products every Monday.
Get moving Every movement counts.
It’s best to choose something that can be done consistently.
“The key is to pick one small thing
to do every week,” says Terri Walsh, a celebrity fitness trainer and star of the new DVD, “The A.R.T. Method By Terri Walsh” (A.R.T. Studio, 2011). “Once it becomes habit and you don’t think about doing it, add the next small thing.”
Walsh suggests activities like run- ning, dancing and boot camp classes.
Get moving, gym or no gym
Gym prices and crowded environ-
ments might keep some from accom- plishing their annual fitness goals, but Walsh says there’s no need. She suggests finding an at-home pro- gram that caters to your interests, such as yoga, Pilates or dance.
“Sometimes starting at home on
your own gives you time to digest what you learn and then get out into the world and try,” Walsh says.
Live big or go home Life is here, and life is good.
As you go into the New Year, don’t forget the most important things life has to offer.
“Live moment to moment with
meaning, satisfaction, purpose and love,” Cohen Praver says.
Health Connections 31
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