Urgh, it’s the resolution time of year once again. After engaging in the fun but over-the-top gluttonous holidays, I feel ready to be free of rich food, alcohol and sitting around talking. One of my New Year resolutions has been the same every January: “I will lose 5 pounds and embark on a healthier lifestyle”.
I always end up losing the holiday weight, but how I do it has evolved over the years. Here’s my green formula for 2011:
Carbon Free Exercise
I ran for 20 years and then my knees started showing it so now I walk. My sister gave me a simple pedometer as a gift. I put it on in the morning and wear it all day. My goal is to get in those carbon free 10,000 steps each day. Sounds easier than it is considering that I work from home and sit in front of my computer for 8+ hours each day. Each time the pedometer on my waist band pinches my flabby stomach, it reminds me to get up and walk up and down the stairs or take the dog around the neighborhood. If I fall short of my goal, by late afternoon, I get on the treadmill (self propelled version) and get in those self-imposed target steps to make up for an inactive day – every 10 minutes of walking gives me another 1200 steps.
At 91 years old, Olga is a Canadian who holds several world records in masters track and field events. Ms. Kotelko says that she has the same energy that she had at age 50. The New York Time Magazine did a story about her because she is being studied by scientists to find out why she is so incredibly fit at her age. Olga does 3 sets of 20 sit-ups and 3 sets of 10 push-ups every day, in addition to weight lifting, short bursts of running, deep breathing and reflexology. I have committed to the sit-ups, push-ups and deep breathing – if 91 year old Olga can do it, so can I.
I am making a ritual of a breakfast cocktail that a pregnant friend told me about. From time to time, I make energy smoothies for breakfast but I’ve upped the ante with this recipe: 1 cup organic frozen fruit, 1 frozen organic banana, a hand full of organic spinach, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds, ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup protein powder, a splash of milk, a piece of cucumber or any other veggie in your fridge that may be on the way out. Blend in a blender and enjoy. Making this drink helps you use up what is in your fridge and gives you loads of vitamins naturally.
Eat More Vegetables
In an effort to slim down, I eat mainly vegetables and try to avoid meat altogether or eat it only as a garnish rather than the focus of a meal. My lunch may consist of an avocado, olives, and tomatoes with a little squirt of olive oil (good fat) and balsamic vinegar. Dinner is often a salad or some kind of veggie stir fry without a starch. I am trying to curtail my weekend bacon habit but I still splurge some Sundays. The bottom line is that eating more veggies means I am getting the roughage and vitamins that I need without the calories or environmental implications of meat. Yes, all farming has an environmental impact but eating vegetables has a considerably lower carbon and water footprint than eating meat. I feel like I get a two for one benefit – I am healthier for it and so is the planet.
Keep the Blood Moving
In the earlier days of green products, LOHAS, meaning Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, represented the greenest of the green consumers. They practiced yoga, tai chi and bought the majority of supplements and yoga tapes that were on the market. Definitions of green consumers have exanded but it is still considered sustainable to practice natural alternatives that help keep your body and mind healthy. I make sure that I keep my chi balanced by getting acupuncture every 4-6 weeks. I also take probiotics which have helped keep my immune system humming along. A massage every so often can also help keep the blood moving and sickness away too (and reduce stress). On a daily basis, I have started a stretching and deep breathing routine that also keeps my blood circulated for both mind and body health.
I am about 10 days into this weekday routine and it seems to be working. I’ve lost 2 pounds, I feel good, and I have more energy. I hope to stay with it beyond January and beyond the 5 pounds. Let me know if you have any other green and healthy resolutions for 2011. Happy 2011!!