2020 Wellness in 2020

If any of these are your health goals: lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, clean up your diet, get stronger and more fit or lose weight…then try some of these tips. Share them with friends. Gradually make adjustments in your daily habits. Your reward? You’ll not only protect yourself from heart disease, stroke and cancer in the long term, but you’ll be strong, lean and fit. You will also be calmer and feel more energetic almost immediately.

  1. Pump up healthy protein: Stick to 3-4 ounce servings (women) or 5-6 ounce servings (men) of meat, chicken or fish or eggs. Please choose grass-fed meat, free-range poultry and eggs, and wild-caught sustainable fish. Vegetarians can obtain protein from beans, nuts and bean/nut products.
  2. Join the dirty plate club. When dining in a restaurant, order off the appetizer menu or ask the waiter to pack up half your entrée before bringing it to the table. In your kitchen, measure foods until you can automatically eyeball a healthy portion.
  3. Hide your salt shaker: The main ingredient in salt is sodium, which raises blood pressure. Try salt and herb mixes or sesame seed/salt mixes. And avoid all packaged foods…they are loaded with sodium.
  4. Snack on nuts: A Canadian study found that eating about an ounce of almonds a day reduces LDL cholesterol levels by more than 4 percent. Nuts are high in calories, but their “good” fat makes them a satisfying snack that keeps you full longer and provides energy. Limit to 1/2-1 cup/day.
  5. Take a tea break: Substitute green tea for coffee; it has less caffeine and contains immune-boosting antioxidants. Don’t like green? A recent small USDA study showed that drinking five cups of black tea daily can reduce LDL up to 11 percent in 21 days. Cutting back on caffeine can help lower blood pressure and make it easier to fall asleep, too.
  6. Work out at least three times a week: The fitter you are, the less fatigue you will feel. Do interval workouts…you will burn more calories, burn more fat, increase anabolic hormones, improve cardiovascular conditioning, strengthen type II muscle fiber, and experience a drop in blood pressure that lasts up to an hour. Intervals also increase HDL cholesterol levels.
  7. Eat more fruits and vegetables. There really is not limit to the amount of non-starchy fruits and vegetables you can eat. Man thrived on fruits and veggies for hundreds of thousands of years. Carry fruit or raw veggies with you to work, in your car or in your workout bag so you will never be forced to buy a muffin from the 7-11 when you’re famished. Calories are low and micronutrients of all kinds are high. Your complexion will benefit, too.
  8. Build more muscle: Be sure to include two sessions of weightlifting a week. If you are already training, add a third session, increase the weight by 10%, or change the type and order of exercises to keep your muscles stimulated.
  9. Get a massage: Women who received 15-minute back rubs showed an immediate drop in systolic blood pressure in a recent study.
  10. Wait to eat. Make the most of the calorie-burning benefits of exercise by refraining from eating one hour before and one hour after exercise…your body will look for stored calories to burn. Also, don’t eat too little and then force your body to conserve energy by holding on to calories!