Wellness and Nutrition
The first thing to know about nutrition and wellness is that they are as much about preparation as they are about the reaction. The best way to maintain wellness is to work at it. Wellness isn’t a task, it’s a way of life. As the rest of this article will attest, it is a matter of being vigilant regarding nutrition, activity, and setting your own goals.
The same holds true for nutrition: it is a matter of preparation. The best way to ensure a nutritious lifestyle is by working ahead of time. This means preparing meals ahead of time with food you thoughtfully, purposefully purchased. Portion your foods into healthy amounts, pair them together into great meals, and reduce the temptation to create something decadent simply because you’re winging it.
- Using the Nutrition Facts Label
- How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label
- Reading the Food Label
- Understanding Food Labels
- Food Labeling
- What Nutrients Are and More
- Nutrition.gov – Spotlight Nutrition Information
- FDA Consumer Nutrition Updates
- Changes to the Food Label
- What are Nutrients and Macronutrients?
There are so many aspects of eating healthy that this is sure to just barely scratch the surface. First, you need to make sure your food is bought and stored keeping safety in mind. When buying produce, make sure that it is either ripe or almost ripe. Overripe produce can be fine if you are using it right away, but anything else and you’ll be serving potentially dangerous foods to your family.
Second, shop purposefully. Shopping for groceries without a plan is a sure way to come home spending more money than you planned and buying the kinds of foods you should be avoiding. Before shopping, make a list. The best way to start your list is often to put together the recipes for the meals you plan to make, and list accordingly. This way, you increase the chances that you spend only within your budget and decrease the chances that your eyes will wander down that old cookie aisle.
Speaking of the cookie aisle, a busy family life can often lead to increased consumption of junk food. It’s natural. Junk food is quick, filling (at least initially), and often portable. The busier the family, the more appealing these attributes are. The trouble is, of course, these foods can lead to severe health issues, even in the immediate, and the unhealthy habits that lead to regularly eating junk food can have impacts for years and even decades to come. A child who is not shown how to eat quickly and on a budget will become an adult with the same issue.
With football practice, dance recitals, and everything in between, it can be difficult to notice (let alone address) inactivity. Often, parents will be so busy keeping their kids active, they mistake the exhaustion of getting everyone where they need to go with the exhaustion of exercise. It may be exhausting, but sitting behind the wheel is sedentary and is, therefore, no replacement for real exercise.
One way to address inactivity is to simply track it and make small changes. For instance, something as simple as a wearable fitness tracker can mean the difference between feeling like you’ve moved enough and knowing you still have 500 steps to take before you hit the goal you’ve created for yourself. Further, pairing fitness tracking with food tracking can make your goals more attainable. Tracking like this can remind you to move more and eat more mindfully.
Setting and Tracking Goals
Speaking of achieving goals, the first step to achieving your goals is setting them. It seems like such a simple thing, but setting goals can mean the difference between success and failure. First, you’ll want to consider what exactly you’re trying to do. The goals you need to set if you are looking to put on muscle as a 30-year-old male are much different from the goals a 40-year-old woman will have to set to lose weight, which are, again, much different from what a 17-year-old female needs to set if she is looking to win the next swim meet. There are goals regarding time, exercise, and diet, and there are many variables. Know the variables, know the work it takes, and know success.