Get Healthy with a Month of Resolutions You Can Keep



Okay. I’ll take the bait. The resolve to make resolutions is too great to ignore. So, in January, I want to celebrate resolutions by, each week, giving you something practical, easy-to-do, and healthy to incorporate into your lifestyle and/or diet. And, it won’t take much resolve to stick to these diet, nutrition, and exercise resolutions!

The resolve to get fit and lose weight tops most people’s list. Unfortunately, the phrasing is all wrong. Many people want to lose X pounds, fit into X-sized pants, or get ready for their weddings by lowering their BMI to X. Health isn’t a roulette number.

Resolve to be healthy. Losing weight and dress sizes is a result of choosing health, but the end goal isn’t the number you lose, instead the number you add to years in life.

What if I were to tell you that by replacing an animal protein once a week with this high-fiber, high in antioxidants, and low-fat option, you’d be taking a step toward losing weight (or maintaining your weight), without losing flavor, texture, and variety?

On January 6, we celebrate the magic of beans. No. Not Jack in the Beanstalk-type beans. Just … dry beans: black, lima, kidney, pinto, garbanzo … you name it!  January 6 is National bean day.

Just ½ a cup of cooked beans packs a powerful punch of 12 essential nutrients: folate, fiber, manganese, protein, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, carbohydrates, zinc and calcium. So how does this help achieve our goals of getting in shape and healthier?

  • Diets high in fiber improve colorectal health, lower glucose levels and cholesterol, and help people maintain a healthy weight.
  • Antioxidants protect our bodies from cancer. Beans have been proven to reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast, renal, gastric, colon, and prostate cancer.
  • Low-fat and cholesterol-free keeps your risk of heart disease at bay while lower blood sugar levels – all of which add to the obesity problem in the United States.

In fact, the beans were celebrated in 2016, as it was THE YEAR OF PULSES.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate beans into your diet. Add a cup and a half of beans to your diet each week to begin with!

  • Go canned! You don’t need to buy the dry beans. Buy canned beans, rinse them off a couple of times to get rid of excess salt, and add them to your salads, pita-bread sandwiches, or morning eggs.
  • Slow cook for a scrumptious winter lunch or summer dinner: Soak your beans overnight. In the morning, plug in your slow cooker and add onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, chili flakes, carrots. Pour boiling water over the beans and plug in the slow cooker. You’ll come home to a phenomenal lunch. Or try this tangy, summer lemon-braised chicken and beans recipe that cooks for 8 hours and will welcome you home a summer evening for a delicious meal.
  • Spark your imagination by re-thinking typical dishes: Make Southwest pizzas with a black bean paste and top with corn, onions, and shredded cheese. Use beans as a side dish instead of potatoes or rice (black beans with olive oil and garlic are delicious). Add beans to your favorite veggie lasagnas. Don’t relegate beans to the “only chili” category!
  • Replace your favorite dips (sour cream and onion) with bean dips: Hummus, white-bean hummus, black beans with melted cheddar all make for a satisfying snack, lowering calories without sacrificing flavor.

The US Dry Bean Council has some incredibly creative recipes using beans in cookies, muffins and bars. From appetizers to desserts, you can incorporate beans into your diet!

So, to begin our month of resolutions, you can work toward that ideal weight by replacing an animal protein once/week with beans in your diet. So, let’s keep 2017 healthy and our resolutions simple. Resolve to be healthy. Start with beans!