A Perfect Year, Area #3: Radiant Health

A. Sarnoff
Health has to do with food, water, sunshine, laughter, smiling, alcohol, drugs, smoking, love, sleep, stress, clutter, fat, exercise, soda, snacking, and work. 

We have a bigger say in our health than we care to admit.  Try one of these each week.

1.  Create a pantry.  Choose your largest cabinet.  Hire someone to put in shelves if you can't do it with wire risers from Big Lots or Bed Bath & Beyond.  You also need risers for cans, so that you can see them 3 or 4 deep.  Can be found at BBB or Home Goods.  Probably Container Store or online organization stores as well.  You need air-tight bins for flour and sugar and oatmeal or cereals.  Tape the directions, recipe, ingredients to the front and keep a measuring scoop inside if possible.  Label shelves if you can't see at a glance what is there. 

2.  Buy BAMBOO cutting boards.  You need 3 to 6 of them.  Toss your plastic boards. A University of Michigan study found that "those using wooden cutting boards in their home kitchens were less than half as likely as average to contract salmonellosis (odds ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.22-0.81), those using synthetic (plastic or glass) cutting boards were about twice as likely as average to contract salmonellosis (O.R. 1.99, C.I. 1.03-3.85); and the effect of cleaning the board regularly after preparing meat on it was not statistically significant (O.R. 1.20, C.I. 0.54-2.68). We know of no similar research that has been done anywhere, so we regard it as the best epidemiological evidence available to date that wooden cutting boards are not a hazard to human health, but plastic cutting boards may be."  Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm 

Bottom line is that germs die within 3 minutes on wood, and stay hours on plastic, even when washed in a dishwasher. 

3.  Make a money plan on grocery spending.  How much do you have to spend?  Save your receipts and total at month end.  I use a Ralph's visa card and only put groceries on it - from all grocery stores - to track my spending.  It's kinda shocking.

4.  Menu planning.  Use online menus from your favorite restaurants to meal plan.  Write it down on a 3x5 card or in a binder.  As you find a recipe, fill in the card with your notes - what pots to use, what side orders, what gets cooked first (like rice taking 45 minutes vs. 10 min beans).  Note how you changed a recipe, when you ate it, the reaction of family.

5.  If you want to add new foods, add it to your calendar.  Or make a rule, "At 10:30 each morning we will eat our fruit." Or celery. Or whatever you wish to add.

6.  Cut the crap.  This is the week to stop what ails you.  For me it was chocolates that caused heartburn, and juice that gave me a rash on my arm!

7.  Look through your books on diet or go to library.  I like Dr. MacDougall and Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Find the foods that boost YOUR energy!

8.  Practice sitting at the table this week - for all your meals.  No more standing up!  Stand up meals cause weight gain.  Don't eat in your car this week (or ever).  Clear your table (my office!).  Set the table.  Teach your kids how to set the table.  Practice manners.  Practice moderation of food.

9.  What exercise did you like as a child?  What can you do with your child?  Ask him/her.  Depending on weather, can you walk or ride bikes to a park?  Drive to a new neighborhood with huge homes to walk?  Exercise together with videos?  Start slowly!  Don't overdo!  Choose 3 days, not every day.  Stretch like a cat in your bed before you get up.  Stretch and kick your legs.  Flex your feet.  Baby steps!  Begin with just 5 minutes a day!


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