Small changes can make a big impact

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By Patty James

It’s a new year. You are full of hope and want to be full of zest! This is the year you will commit to your good health! If you have a feeling of dread in the back of your mind because this same scenario happens every year, have no fear. Big changes are often daunting and hard to fold into your everyday life. Try a new healthy habit a week and encourage your family to do the same. These are small changes that can make a big impact on not only your health, but also the environment’s health. Print and post these easy tips to your refrigerator and resolve to add them to your weekly routines.

1. Drink eight glasses of pure water a day. Encourage your family to do the same.

2. Get rid of any junk food in your house.

3. Limit your caffeine intake to 1-2 cups of coffee a day.

4. Replace white rice with brown rice.

5. Spend 30 minutes twice a week cutting up fresh veggies to have them ready at all times.

6. Keep seasonal fruit at home and eat it when you’re hungry or when a sweet tooth strikes.

7. Bake or grill meats and vegetables instead of frying or boiling.

8. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach; it’s hard on your system and burns up B vitamins.

9. Eat raw vegetables every day. Raw veggies contain important enzymes that can be lost when they’re cooked.

10. Use cinnamon on sweet potatoes, oatmeal and in hot beverages instead of sugar. Add a little vanilla for   additional flavor.

11. Next time you make cookies or cake, substitute half of the butter with applesauce, pumpkin or prune puree. Less fat, more nutrients.

12. Get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

13. Vary your food. If you eat it today, don’t eat the same meal for four days.

14. Different-colored food has different nutrients, so eat from the rainbow: red peppers, orange carrots, green kale, etc.

15. Thicken soups with pureed beans, delicious and added nutrition.

16. Don’t drink water from plastic bottles. Polycarbonate water bottles (labeled #7) contain bisphenol A (BPA), which leaches from the plastic and has been linked to chromosome damage and hormone disruption.

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