Act Now: Simple Steps to Healthy Living
by Healthy Living Consultants Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND and Shari Steinbach, MS, RD
We all aspire to live healthy lives.
Turning this aspiration into action is where the real work begins. While you’ve likely heard that it takes 21 days to build a new habit, there’s a bit more to it than that. Sticking with healthy lifestyle habits requires making these new behaviors easy for you to repeat. The actions need to be customized to your personal goals, the cadence of your days, and your personality. Sticking with new behaviors requires mindfulness and commitment. The good news is it’s all doable, and in honor of National Nutrition Month, we’re providing tips that help you create and stick to the healthy behaviors that are important to you.
Consider these tips for success in establishing health habits:
Focus on one goal at a time. While you may have a list of five or more actions you’d like to take, focusing on one at a time allows you to prioritize and increases the likelihood of repeating this behavior and turning it into part of your routine.
Remind yourself. If your goal is to choose a fruit or vegetable for every snack, put a reminder on the front of your refrigerator. If your goal is to walk more during the day, set a timer on your phone that reminds you to take a five-minute break to move.
Make it easy to repeat the behavior. Take advantage of the fresh cut fruits and vegetables at Buehler’s as a time-saving way to repeat your new produce snacking behavior. Put time to exercise on your daily calendar. Tack notes to your mirror as a reminder to take morning supplements.
Find a buddy. You’re sure to get out of bed early if your neighbor is picking you up for a morning workout. You’ll want to impress if you’re recipe sharing healthy ideas with a friend or family member. It’s also just a lot more fun to share the journey with a buddy.
Reward yourself. A job well done shouldn’t go unnoticed, and once you find yourself not even needing to intentionally think about your new healthy habit, find a way to reward yourself.
To provide inspiration as well as identify ways to repeat important health behaviors, Buehler’s Healthy Living team has curated the following ideas for our shoppers. Watch for in-store messaging and social media videos targeted at these suggestions.
More Fruits and Veggies – Yes, Please!
Half-plate habit – Make it a habit to fill half of your plate, or bowl, with fruits and veggies.
Cans on hand – Stock your pantry with a variety of canned fruits and veggies. Look for low sugar fruits that can be added to cereal, snacks and desserts and choose reduced sodium canned veggies to incorporate into soups, casseroles and side dishes.
Stocked freezer – Keep a supply of frozen fruits and veggies on hand. They have a long shelflife and you can use only what you need to help avoid waste. Frozen strawberries are great in a smoothie or frozen corn adds color and texture to your favorite chili.
Grab-n-go. Always have fresh fruits and vegetables in easy-to-grab places for quick snacks – a fruit bowl, sliced in the refrigerator, or in a trail mix.
Power of pre-prepped – Make fruit and veggies convenient by shopping the value-added section of Buehler’s produce department. You’ll find precut items for easy meal and recipe preparation.
Lean Proteins are the Way to Go
Go lean. When shopping at Buehler’s, choose pork and beef cuts labeled as “lean” or “extra lean.” For ground products, choose those 90% lean or higher.
Leave the skin behind. Choose skinless cuts of chicken and turkey and trim off any visible fat before cooking.
Center store solutions. While shopping the center store aisles at Buehler’s, select salmon and tuna canned in water as a perfect addition to lunchtime salads or as a high protein snack with whole grain crackers.
Choose plant-powered beans. While a good source of protein, beans also contain fiber, a combination that will make you feel full longer. With so many options to choose from (think pinto, garbanzo, navy, or black beans), beans are a pantry staple easily incorporated into quick meals.
Dig into dairy. Visit Beuhler’s dairy department for low-fat cheeses, yogurts and milks, all good sources of protein.
Supplements to Consider
NOTE: Your first step when considering supplement options is to talk with your healthcare provider. A supplement’s effectiveness and safety may depend on your individual situation and health.
Multi-vitamins – A multivitamin can act like an insurance policy, providing your body with the basic vitamins and minerals it needs. It can also help make up for the shortfalls that happen when you don’t consume what you need through foods.
Vitamin D – Since we protect our skin from the sun and get minimal sun exposure during the shorter days of winter, it is hard to get the vitamin D that many individuals need. Due to the increasing rates of vitamin D deficiency and the implications, supplementation is encouraged if optimal levels are not present in the body.
Fish Oil – A key nutrients many of us don’t get enough of is long chain omega-3 fats (found naturally in oily fish like salmon). Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both important for heart health. If you don’t like fish, you may benefit from a supplement.
Probiotics – These good bacteria can be consumed through fermented foods (like yogurt) or in supplements, and they help provide a healthy balance in your digestive system. Research supports the benefits of gut health to your overall well-being including immune system support.
Calcium – Calcium is important for bone health throughout your life. Although foods are the best way to get this nutrient, calcium supplements may be an option if your eating habits fall short.
Practice Daily Health Habits
Add more daily movement. Planned exercise is great but also look at small ways to add more movement into your day. Taking the stairs, parking farther away from the store, walking the dog, and even house chores all benefit your muscles, bones, joints, brain, heart, and lungs.
Get more rest and less stress. Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Try to follow a regular routine to calm and restore your body. You’ll see positive results like better concentration, an elevated mood, and improved decision-making.
Stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated helps to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Buehler’s has a wide range of better-for-you beverages to meet your needs.
Eat an energizing breakfast. A healthy morning meal supplies glucose to your body to boost your energy levels and alertness, while also providing important nutrients for good health. From whole grain cereals to eggs, Buehler’s has a variety of products to keep on hand to help you assemble a quick breakfast. On super hectic mornings, pick up one of our yogurt parfaits to go!
Enjoy more family meals. Eating meals as a family provides an opportunity for everyone to strengthen family bonds and build better relationships. Family meals can also lead to better self-esteem for children and offers parents a chance to serve as role models to set an example of healthy eating and polite table manners.
Buehler’s is Here to Support You!
Healthy Living shelf tags make it easy to find choices that fit your healthy lifestyle. Choose from gluten-free, vegan, organic, and non-GMO products in the Healthy Living sections of our stores.
We offer Healthy Living curated selections throughout our stores, such as our refrigerated cases of functional beverages.
Check out our library of Healthy Living videos including on gut health, tips for eating gluten-free, and one-pan meals.
Each month, Buehler’s focuses on a health theme. Look for in-store recipe displays and signage and listen for our Healthy Living intercom tips.
Our Healthy Living blogs offer advice from registered dietitians Shari Steinbach and Annette Maggi. Learn how to Show your Heart Some Affection, 5 Ways to Improve Gut Health, or Tips for Gluten Free Living.