So, it’s January, and everyone is getting back to work and school and looking carefully at those “resolutions” they’ve made. Easy to say; harder to do. Right? I’ve talked about this “resolution stuff” before, so I’m not really going to say too much about it now, except that if you’ve made a resolution to lose weight, eat more healthy food, etc. there are some great articles I’d like to share with you.
Let’s start with what Jane Langille calls “Silly Diet Season.” Jane writes about health, wellness and active living, and all of her work is very well researched. As she says, it never fails that in January people start talking about going on a diet—especially if they feel they “overdid it” during the holidays. Jane offers some very good research in this article, and some great links, that you should read first before checking out the latest diet craze or book.
I’m with Jane in believing that diets don’t work, and there isn’t one diet that is “right” for everyone. In fact, as holistic nutritionist Julie Daniluk says in this article about The Great Meat Debate, “After years of working with thousands of clients I have come to understand that there are 7 billion diets for 7 billion people.” Julie refers to her programs outlined in her books, Meals That Heal Inflammation and Smart Meals That Heal as “Live-its” rather than diets. Let’s live and live well, shall we?
To me it’s all about “active living”, which involves that dreaded E-Word, EXERCISE. Let’s face it, there is no escaping the fact that if you want to lead a healthy life, you have to get some kind of regular exercise. Forget the magazine articles and books that tell you that you can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight without exercise. It can’t be done. Nor can it be done without following some kind of “live-it”: whether you choose to be an omnivore or restrict your eating to a certain path. Mine includes eating foods that are gluten and [cow] dairy free—but that’s me. I’ve done a lot of research and trial-and-error cooking and eating to finally figure out that this works.
I’ve also tried a lot of different exercise programs and have settled on doing some strength training and some dynamic stretching exercises a few times a week. I am able to do both by following a program called Essentrics, developed by Miranda Esmonde-White, host of the PBS program Classical Stretch: The Esmonde Technique, which is shown in many markets. (I’ll be reviewing Miranda’s new book Aging Backwards in a future post.) To complement that exercise, I also enjoy getting out to walk, ice skating, or—when there is sufficient snow—cross-country skiing on the Cataraqui Trail.
Of course doesn’t that all make me sound like I’ve got it all figured out? Not by a long shot. I want the “quick fixes” just like everyone else, so that’s why I’m glad there are folks out there who do their research and then write about it so I can grab a snack of chocolate—er—maybe that should be some fruit or veggies—and sit back to read and learn more about staying healthy.
And isn’t that what it’s really all about? Not necessarily being the “perfect” size, reaching the “goal” weight, or living up to those “resolutions.”
So here’s to a happy, healthy 2015—The Year to Live Well.