5 simple steps to a healthier you

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After almost two years of writing Sue’s Morning Stretch, I’m going to take a hiatus from blogging. This will be my last post for a while.

I thank you for reading the blog, and hope you feel I’ve given you good information on leading a healthful life.

When this decision came about, I started thinking, what would I want my readers to remember to do for their health? Here goes:

Sleep! So many health problems stem from not getting enough rest. Turn off the electronics; stop watching late-night TV if you have to wake up early. (You can catch all of that online later anyway.) Start getting a good night’s sleep and you’ll be surprised how much more alert, productive and energetic you are. You might even drop a few pounds.

Drink water. A headache often is the result of not being hydrated. Times you think you are hungry actually may be because you need water. I have said this so often before, and I repeat it because I so believe in it. Take a refillable water bottle with you everywhere. When it’s there, you’ll drink it. It’s a great habit to adopt. Do it.

Eat some fat. I know, you have spent so many years listening to the “experts” say fat is the demon. But in the last 10-15 years, more voices have joined the choir to say fat is our friend. (From my experience s a diabetic, I firmly believe it is especially good for those with the chronic illness.) If you are so programmed that no way could you ever eat red meat or butter, at least do your body a favor and include a generous amount of olive oil and nuts in your diet.

Watch the carbs. We started eating more carbs — because the “experts” told us to do so — and we became a fatter and sicker nation. If you’re someone who struggles at staying at a healthy weight despite your best efforts, maybe you’re one of the many who’d do better with fewer carbs. Try a diet rich in veggies, protein, some fruit and yes, fat. Cut the sugar way back. (This is also the same diet I’d suggest for someone who is thin but having metabolic health problems.) Eating this way won’t necessarily make you amazingly thinner. You might just drop a small number of pounds. But this is what happened when I cut carbs way back: my blood sugar stopped jumping up and down, something it did especially in the morning. That to me was way more valuable than being as thin as a 12-year-old boy.

Move. Don’t think of exercise as a way to get thinner. Think of it as a way to cut stress, gain muscle, get stronger, have fun. That’s why you want to do it. It’ll keep you moving freely and without pain as you age. Trust me, you want that.

I’ll be back with more soon!

PHOTO: Eat real food, as often as you can! Tamara Bell~Sun-Times Media

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