It's the first post of our journey towards better health in 2011! I'm so excited, and I really hope that you are going to be doing this with me - it's so much easier (not to mention way more fun!) to do it together!
In this post we will be discussing how to get started. But first of all, this week's challenge! Drumrolls, please...
Challenge: Eat at least 1.5 cup fruit every day!
One average fruit (1 apple, 1 orange, 1 pear, etc.) is one cup - but if dealing with for example berries or melons, simply fill up one cup. 0.5 cup of dried fruit equals one cup of fresh fruit, and if you like 100% fruit juice, then 8 ounces count as one cup.
Why is this good for me? Well, first of all, we all know that we should eat more fruits and veggies - for most of us, it is somehow easier to fit in the fruits, so that is why we are starting with that one. But when you look at the nutrients, then fruits are packed with good-for-you fibres (fibres help keep you full for longer) and vitamins. Last but not least, when you have to fit this into your diet, you won't have as much room left for the unhealthy stuff!
So of course, this week's recipe compliments the diet challenge. It's nothing too complicated, but I hope you like it. It's perfect for breakfast (I ate the one above for breakfast), since you get in a good load of fruit, calcium and whole grains!
Fruit Salad (for one person)
*About 1 to 1.5 cup of chopped-fruit. I like apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, plums and pears. Just use what you have, or use the opportunity to try out something new!
*3 T yogurt (preferably low in fat and sugar - and organic if you like)
*1 T granola - make sure you buy good stuff. Many brands of granola are not so healthy once you look closely!
Simply mix the fruits together in a bowl, put the yogurt on top, and sprinkle your granola over the whole thing. Don't forget to eat up ;)
A quick smoothie: Fruits can be a great snack on the go, and smoothies are a fab way to dress them up a bit. My favourite smoothie is simple: 1 cup blueberry yogurt and 1 chopped up, frozen banana. Mix together in a blender - it's so yummy!
Quick tip: If fruits are getting slightly too mushy for eating them plain (but are still ok), chop them up and put them in the freezer. They'll be great for smoothies!
So, then. We've covered the recipe and the challenge, now it's the rest:
The most important tip I can give you (although of course I am no expert!), is to take care not to go too fast. When we are beginning to make our lifestyles healthier, we sometimes get so excited that we go all out for one week - and then end up quitting because we're already burned out. Start slowly, not only in exercise but also with diet. For example, don't cut out all your sugar at once - you'll just get cranky and end up eating way more than you otherwise would have.
Also, a key factor for beginners is to have some good knowledge about where you're heading. You wouldn't sail across the Atlantic without a map, would you? So here are some of my favourite websites for information and support on healthy lifestyle:
Shape: A great website which gives you information on both diet and exercise.
Prevention: This one also covers diet and exercise :)
SparkPeople: A great website where you can keep track of all kinds of goals, as well your diet and exercise plan. They have a galore of exercises and a huge database of food for you to log. Find out how much you burn when you jog for an hour, read interesting articles and chat with people who have similar goals to yours.
SparkTeens: A version of SparkPeople, but designed to fit teenagers' needs. If you are younger, you might like this one better than the original.
I hope you check out those websites, they are all really great. Also, join the challenge! I will be updating you in the comments on how I will be doing, hope you will do the same!
Love, Miss Diorista