A Dozen Directions For A Healthier Year Ahead

Change is hard, especially when it comes to diet. It is easier if you start by making one change at a time and when that becomes a habit go on to the next healthy change. Use the following “tips of the month” ideas to get started, and then start adding your own.

January: Set a specific resolution that is realistic and enjoyable. Try switching out a piece of fruit for a high calorie not so healthy snack mid-afternoon or take a ten minute walk after dinner three times a week, decide to get up and move around or do chair exercises during commercials. Small concrete changes like these can expand and add up over the year.

February: Heart Health Month and baby it’s cold outside. This is the time to go for a healthy soup, stew or chili or decide to switch out a food or snack that is unhealthy for something low in fat, trans fats, sugar, and salt. Choose whole grain or munchies that crunch such as apples or carrots or and this combination is especially good for your heart health: • cup almonds, with ™ cup dark chocolate and 2 • tablespoons cocoa. Try a meatless meal once a week.

March: What? National Nutrition Month! Even indulgent favorites can fit into a healthful eating plan with a bit of portion control. Eat a little less of the mashed potatoes and cut your dessert portion in half.

April: Let’s work on snacking. Healthy snacks can be helpful to keep you from getting overly hungry so you don’t overeat at mealtime. Be creative – snack on frozen grapes or banana slices, pretzel bits with low fat yogurt or sweet potato wedges. Something with whole grains and low added sugar please.

May: It’s time to shed any winter pounds you have gained. Start with a few minutes of exercise a day and build up the time to 30 minutes if able.

June: Gardens yes! Farm produce is growing — enough said head to the local farm stands.

July: Barbecue Basics — remember food safety which includes using different plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods.

August: Summer Coolers – Hot summer days are here drink plenty of fluids. Low sugar drinks of course!

September: Fall — Pack healthful lunches for not only any kids but for yourself. Toss a frozen juice box in to help keep things cool.

October: Trick or Treat. Don’t buy candy too far ahead and eat at it and end up having to get more. Freeze extra and eat at a slower pace or better yet offer the goblins something healthy.

November: Turkey Day — Again we need to be aware of food safety as we start into the holidays. Did you know that the average American gains an average of 6 pounds over the holidays? Focus on people and not the food table at events.

December: Holiday presents for you… Take time out for yourself, schedule some private time to window shop, sleep in late, get a massage or take a long walk.

Please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions. Be aware that Food Stamps can be used toward your contribution. I do not want to have to make any further cuts to nutrition services. Thank you for your support.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several Congregate Dining Sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining out Program. Our Dietitian, Cheryl Walhstrom, RD is available for nutrition counseling in your home at no cost to you. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information.

Call 753-4471, 661-7471, or 363-4471