It is all about a healthier ME in 2017

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For as long as I can remember, my holiday breaks have always been about eating, gift-giving, parties, prayer, and making resolutions for the New Year. These are the things I look forward to, as no Christmas and New Year is complete without the festivities, spending time with loved ones and a little introspection/reflection time. When it comes to my resolutions, well, I’m a little O.C.D.–I usually follow a theme, which not only make them easier to write but also easier to stick to. Like in 2013, I was all about being adventurous and trying new things (learning how to drive, how to cook, and trying new hobbies were part of this list). 2014, on the other hand, was all about being present and living in the moment, while 2015 was about keeping peace and harmony at home. Last year’s resolutions were all about family and how to spend quality time with the people who matter most to me.

This year, I want to concentrate on health–eating right, living right and making good, healthy choices every day. Yes, I am claiming it! 2017 will be a year of health for me and my family! I want next year to be all about eating healthy and being fit, which is definitely a challenge for me because I am a full-time mom and I work. But I will make it happen, because I’ve realized that I cannot take my health for granted, especially now that we have Tristan. I have to be healthy for him!

It’s funny, my resolutions these past few years are waaaaay different from when I was in my early 20s. Back then, it was all about finding my place in the world, earning money and finding financial independence. Now that I have all that (well, kind of), my resolutions are now all about my family and being healthy. Having a baby changes everything—you want the best for your kiddo, and you also think about your mortality. The worst thing I can think of is not being able to take care of my son. He has to have the best care possible, and I know only I can give him that. So yes, I won’t be doing these resolutions alone, as I am forcing my family to do it as well. I do the groceries and most of the cooking at home, so yeah, they really have no choice but to eat what I cook haha.

Looking back, I’ve made quite a few lifestyle changes throughout the years. Just before getting pregnant, I quit alcohol and junk food so that I can have a smooth and healthy pregnancy (thankfully I craved for mostly fruits and veggies in these nine months). And since getting pregnant and having Tristan, and especially now that I am breastfeeding, I’ve realized that what I eat is soooo important. I now spend for good, nutritious food because I believe that it is cheaper than having to pay for all my unhealthy choices in the future. Live healthy now and prevent all those health problems in the future (hospital bills are sooooo expensive). I hope I can influence at least one person to join me in making this change–we really owe this to ourselves, to take care of our bodies and live clean and healthy!

1.) Sleep early, wake up early. My husband and I are night people—we work better at night and we stay up till late. This used to be okay when it was just the two of us, but now that we have Tristan, this isn’t good at all. We are constantly puyat, because although our little guy sleeps on time at night, he is up bright and early the next day and we need to be up with him. We seriously need to fix our sleep schedule and find a way to work better in the morning! I think breakfast is the key here–I need to make sure we eat well during this meal so that we are alive during the day and asleep at night.

2.) Make time for breakfast. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, which is why I do everything it takes for us not to skip it. I already know what to do—it’s just a matter of doing it everyday, which can be so hard! But this year is the year to start good habits, so I will prepare a balanced breakfast for my family that’s a good mix of fruits and vegetables, protein and a good amount of carbs. I will also make sure we have enough fiber in there! One way to do it is to stock up on my favorite Quaker Oats (we always run out in our household)—it has all the vitamins and energy you need to start the day. I know, because I have it whenever I wake up for breakfast haha. I pair it with fresh fruits and nuts and I am good to go! I really need to remind myself that eating breakfast has a lot of great health benefits, among which are weight loss (breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight), extra nourishment (our bodies absorb more important vitamins and minerals when we have this important meal), and its plain good practice (we are more likely to stick to other healthy habits when we have brekky).

3.) Make a grocery list and stick to it. When I turned 30, I realized that I am what I eat, and if I eat unhealthy junk food, then that is what I will become (and it will show in your body, too). Since then, I’ve made a bit of progress by investing in good, nutritious food to balance all the junk I eat. But this year, I want to really eat clean and cut out most of the unhealthy choices I make which really starts in the grocery. This year, I will lessen the treats significantly and spend more time in the fresh produce aisles. I’ve been doing it these past few trips (call it a test run) and not only has it lessened my bill, my family has been eating healthy food and snacking on fresh fruits and veggies. I have to say, I like looking at colorful food when I eat (and no, I don’t mean candies) so I really want to try to incorporate that to my cooking and serve my family colorful meals. So I’m making plenty of room for fruits and veggies in our pantry, as well as good grains and fiber for us to snack on.

4.) Cook at home more, eat out less. I have to admit, it is so nakakatamad to prepare and cook our meals at home. That’s why I’ve made more than a few food delivery calls and take out meals this year, and most of the time these are fast and unhealthy. Well, I wont let this happen again next year, as I promise to plan our meals weekly and cook more for my family. Not only do I get to practice my cooking skills, but I know exactly what goes in our food and I can be sure that these are only the best (and healthiest) ingredients.

5.) Find time to exercise and make it a family affair. To be honest, I don’t get to exercise every morning. But I try though! I walk our dog, Lily, because I kind of need to. It’s not really a full on workout, but it gets me moving. Then, when I have time, I do yoga maybe once a week. I feel like this isn’t enough though–I have to do more in order to be healthy, and I need to get the family involved. I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I plan to visit parks and playgrounds more often with Tristan. You wouldn’t think this is tiring, but oh my, I went a few times with him and I was drenched in sweat. Running after a toddler is no joke–it is a workout in itself. Apart from this, I want to take up something new with Carlos like swimming or badminton.

6.) Be more active as a family. In a way, my family is already pretty active, but it wont hurt to do more activities together. I think taking Gymboree or Kindermusik classes should be good for Tristan, and will allow us to bond as a family. I’d like to enroll my little guy next year so he can join his buddies Theo and Juano during one of these classes. It should be fun!

7.) Have everything in moderation. I am still breastfeeding so I cant really diet yet. I watch what I eat though, and indulge when I crave but in moderation (if that makes any sense). I mean, I don’t stop myself completely from enjoying my favorite snacks like chocolate and chips, but I also don’t eat the whole bag/package when I have it. I have a little bit per day, after a meal. I have to make sure I am not hungry when I have them, or else I will really finish the whole pack. I think its good to eat food that will make you full but are not high in calories. That’s why I have Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (flavored and plain) for breakfast, merienda or when I feel like snacking. I also like their Oatmeal Cookies—I have it in my bag for an easy snack when travelling or stuck in traffic.

8.) Make healthy snack choices. So, okay. I’m sure by now you know that I love Quaker Oats. It is yummy and is packed with nutrients, which really makes its an awesome choice for a snack. Oats are super healthy, and contains good things like CarbohydratesProtein (to help build and maintain muscles, as well as support growth and development), Fiber (to help with digestion, and make you feel full), Beta Glucan (to help reduce blood cholesterol levels), Vitamin B1 (to help maintain normal nerve function and energy metabolism), Vitamin B6Iron (to promote hemoglobin in red blood cells), Magnesium (to maintain healthy bones and regular heartbeat), Phosphorus (when combined with Calcium strengthens bones and teeth) and Zinc (to support the body’s growth and development and maintain normal immune function and wound healing). So yes, it is so good for you–it provides sustained energy for your daily needs, helps you control over-eating (you feel full after eating just a bowl of oats), it aids in digestive health by promoting regular bowel movement (something we don’t think about but is so important for our health), it contains antioxidants and offers protection against the effects of free radicals (such as cell damage and inflammation) and it is believed to lower the risk of cancer. Really, how amazing is that! That is a whole lot of good for such a small grain.

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