20 Tips for Healthy Living

Life is a journey. The healthier you are the more you can enjoy your journey. My family's journey at the moment includes changing the way we eat and live so that we are all healthier. I have put together my top 20 tips for leading a healthier life. These tips will work for anyone, not just my family. Wherever you are on your journey, if living a healthy life is what you want, these tips should help you. Many of these revolve around food, because I believe that what we put into our bodies is the major key to how we feel each day.

  1. The fresher the food the better it is for you. Fresh fruits and vegetables loss nutritional value each day after they have been picked. The sooner you eat the food or it is frozen for later use, the more nutritious these foods are for you.
  2. Don't eat out of the bag or box. Put what you want on a plate or in a bowl and put the box away. This automatically limits portion sizes, preventing you from mindlessly eating the entire bag of chips.
  3. Ignore the clean plate rule. Stop eating when you feel full, or better yet, when you feel almost full.
  4. Don't eat the leftovers from your kid's plates. This can add hundreds of calories a day to your waistline.
  5. The simpler the better. The less processed the food the better it will be for you.
  6. Eat real food. If a company invented the food you are eating, or invented the ingredients in the food then it isn't good for you. Think high fructose corn syrup.
  7. Grow your own vegetables. Not only will it get you outside (always good for you), but it will lead to healthier eating habits for the whole family. Gardening is good exercise too.
  8. Eat whole grains. Have you ever heard the saying "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead"? White flour has virtually no nutritional value, yet whole grains are excellent for your health.
  9. Eat the food, not the food product. For example, eat an apple, not apple juice. You will feel fuller, get more nutritional value from an apple and consume fewer calories.
  10. Count your calories. Not obsessively every single day, but for a few days write down everything you consume and the calorie count. If you need some help figuring things out, check out Spark People. They have a great site where you can input what you ate that day and it will track your calories for you. Doing this for a few days will give you an idea of whether you are consuming too many calories, too few, or just the right amount.
  11. Figure out what a serving size is. Do you read labels? Did you realize that a can of soup actually has two servings in it? Almost everyone I know eats the whole can for a meal. Figure out what a serving is for the foods you eat then limit yourself to just one serving.
  12. Eat the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables incorporate all the colors of the rainbow and more. Eating a varied diet will ensure that you are getting enough vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need to be healthy.
  13. Ditch the soda. There is zero nutritional value in soda. Drink water instead. I flavor my water with fresh lemon juice for a delicious drink that adds vitamin C to my day with hardly any calories. You can't beat water.
  14. Refer to the pyramid. The food pyramid that is. I know you all remember learning about it in school, but when was the last time you actually looked at it to see where you stand with the recommended foods and portion sizes?
  15. Keep treats as treats. The occasional piece of candy is fine but when you grab a handful of jelly beans every time you walk by the receptionist's desk then it is no longer an occasional treat, but an everyday occurrence. At that point we are either eating too many calories, or we are missing out on healthy calories in favor of unhealthy ones.
  16. Everything in moderation. I am firm believer that we should be able to eat whatever we want - as long as it is in moderation. Just keep in mind #15 as well.
  17. Avoid the fake stuff. If the food was invented in recent decades (think margarine and high fructose corn syrup) then it is probably fake. All processed foods have fake ingredients in them - in the form of artificial colors, flavorings, additives or preservatives.
  18. Exercise! Everyone should do some exercise almost every day of the week. People in the United States are typically too sedentary. Make it a point to get up and move around whenever you can and to at least go for a daily walk to get your minimum exercise. You will feel so much better; physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  19. Get enough sleep. By the time you are an adult you should have a pretty good idea of the amount of sleep you need each night to be well rested and effective in your day. I know that I need 8-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. I am fine with less every now and then, but not on a regular basis. For children, talk to your doctor about an appropriate amount of sleep for their age and then make sure they get it.
  20. Take a supplement. Not for everything and of course you need to take into consideration your dietary needs and habits. But I firmly believe that most people do not get enough Vitamin D or Omega-3. So take a supplement for each to ensure your good health.

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Comments 28 comments

kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Very simple rules that will definitely help Jennifer. I follow some but not all. Can't seem to put the box or bag away.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Very smart hub. Thanks.


proudgrandpa 6 years ago

Great and concise information. Some 50 years ago my older sister said I should stay away from White bread, salt and sugar. I am 65 and healthy as a horse and much of it is attributed to just eliminating those 3 things. Good advice. Thanks NEIL


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very nice tips and interesting hub.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You have done an awful research and put it well together. Thank you.


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Hi Jennifer, great tip about not eating kids left-overs, which is my problem, as I hate wasting food-going to give them less at tea tonight.


JenDobson27 profile image

JenDobson27 6 years ago

Great tips and information. It's crazy, I think most of us know what we need to do to get in better shape and live a happier, healthier life it's just a matter of actually getting ourselves to do those things. Habits are just so hard to break!


entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Good tips very good hub.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

May I add one more tip? I use a dessert plate for my meals. It looks like a lot of food, but it isn't. As for all of your tips, I think they're tops!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I've heard it said that it is better to feed the garbage than to look like one. We eat way too much these days and need to know when to say when. Good advice Jennifer.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois

Great tips I love numbers 9 and 15. Thanks for all the great information.


Nemingha profile image

Nemingha 6 years ago

Okay, so I have been thinking a lot about making some changes to my diet and sedentary habits over the past few days. Now I need to take some action!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

"Eat the rainbow" will stick in my mind and help me a lot , I think, Thank you for a great hub.


Cedar Cove Farm profile image

Cedar Cove Farm 6 years ago from Southern Missouri

Excellent, as alaways.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Very good information Jennifer and time well spent reading. Thank you for this subject.

Linda


InfinityVal profile image

InfinityVal 6 years ago from NNY

I like your food circle instead of the food pyramid.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Very nice hub.


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

very informative.....thx 4 share


AARON99 6 years ago

A very informative as well as helpful hub. This hub is throughly researched, must say. Well done. Enjoy.


devsir profile image

devsir 6 years ago from Earth

A great information. thanks for this nice hub.


4FoodSafety profile image

4FoodSafety 6 years ago from Fontana, WI

Avoiding the fake stuff is a new and thankfully growing trend. Great job!


healthy_life 5 years ago

Great hub... Healthy lifestyle starts with education. Once you re-educate yourself, it is easier to change habits.


healthylivingguru 5 years ago

Thanks for the info. Americans should really start thinking about their health. With the many diseases everywhere, changing to a healthy lifestyle is the right course.


freehans profile image

freehans 5 years ago from Philippines

Nice hub, very informative. living healthy always means knowing the right foods to eat. Some people only live their live just to eat, but I believe that "EATING TO LIVE" is better than "LIVING TO EAT".


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

Great tips there. The best tip i've ever had is that the body mistakes thirst and hunger. Therefore if you're feeling hungry have a drink of water- chance is you'll feel better.


Chris Achilleos profile image

Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

Very useful tips Jennifer, I thought that a can of soup only served one :) hehe no wonder I felt so full. Thanks for sharing this great hub. Voted up and useful!


Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

Great hub here! I can't say enough how spot on you are with these! You hit the nail on the head.


inding profile image

inding 3 years ago from Romania

Hello! About the supplements: hemp seeds and flax seeds are rich in Omega-3 and the best way to get vitamin D is through the skin, by being exposed to sunlight. Also, I recommend the book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, for information about animal products.

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