January 13, 2014 by healthwisehome
Welcome to Week 2 of the Health Wise Home “6 Weeks to a Healthier You” Challenge! As I shared in last week’s post, this challenge is FREE and open to anyone that follows this blog or the Health Wise Home Facebook page. This IS NOT a weight-loss, detox, or diet plan. The Health Wise Home “6 Weeks to a Healthier You” Challenge is a LIFESTYLE challenge; an opportunity to start making small, positive changes in your daily life that can lead to SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS in your overall health when consistently followed over time. We will not be counting calories, fat grams, or carbs. Instead, our focus is going to be on gradually ADDING healthy lifestyle habits into your daily life.
Last week’s challenge was to DRINK MORE WATER throughout the day and to only consume “real” beverages. For those of you that followed along and participated, how did you do? I hope that you found the daily information, tips, and check-ins that I posted on Facebook to be helpful!
The challenge for Week 2 is to EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AT EVERY MEAL, and in-between, too (snacks)! By incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, you will be taking advantage of one of the simplest preventive health steps known to improve your overall health and decrease your risk for many leading causes of death. The daily consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and some forms of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, and they are full of fiber and naturally low in calories.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three out of every four Americans do not consume three or more vegetables daily, and two out of every three fail to consume at least two fruits daily. As a nation, we simply are not taking advantage of one of the easiest way to secure our own health and well-being. How unfortunate!
For this week’s challenge, we are not focusing on a specific number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Everyone is at a different point in their journey towards better health, and since I would like this challenge to be realistic and approachable for EVERYONE, that type of approach would not make sense. Instead, we are going to just focus on EATING MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AT EVERY MEAL. So, if you currently do not eat a fruit and vegetable at every meal, work on finding ways to do so. If you already do, work on finding ways to add in MORE fruits and vegetables throughout the day. And, if you are already overflowing with fruits and vegetables in your daily life, introduce a new fruit or vegetable to your family this week and experiment with it.
Yesterday I shared my first tip for this week’s challenge on the Health Wise Home Facebook page. For those of you that do not follow the Health Wise Home Facebook page (please do!) here is what I posted: “A 2012 study at St. Bonaventure University showed that individuals were more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables if they were easily accessible and within eyesight. I know that life becomes extra busy for many of us during the week and we are more likely to eat what is readily available or easy to prepare with little effort or time. So, keep your bananas, apples, and oranges in a big bowl, within arm’s reach, in your kitchen. Pre-wash and cut up all of your fruits and vegetables (the ones that you are able to) ahead of time so that they are ready to grab and go during the week. A salad is a lot easier to prepare when your vegetables are already pre-washed and cut, right! I think that this is one of the best ways to help ensure that you and your family eat healthy throughout the week. If you have healthy food that is easy to grab and go, you are more likely to eat it!”
I would encourage you to include your entire family in on this week’s challenge. Everyone can benefit from including more fruits and vegetables into their daily diet, and the earlier that you are able incorporate this healthy habit into your child’s daily routine, the more likely it is to stick with them throughout their life.
Don’t forget to stop by the Health Wise Home Facebook page for daily tips, advice, and other helpful pieces of information to encourage and motivate you to meet your weekly challenge. I will also do a Facebook “check-in” each day to allow you to share any successes, struggles, questions, or advice with our Health Wise community. Good luck!
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