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5 Simple Changes for a Healthier 2014

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier, lose weight, get fit and reduce stress. Sometimes, all those tasks can feel overwhelming. Here are 5 simple lifestyle changes you can make to help you have many healthy years ahead.

1. Upgrade Your Culinary Oils

Take a look in your pantry and consider the oils you cook with every day. Do they contain trans fats or genetically modified ingredients? Make a simple switch. Get rid of hydrogenated shortening and margarine, vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil and soy oil. Replace with organic coconut oil, organic red palm oil, organic olive oil, and organic hemp oil. If you use butter, make sure it is organic or non-GMO verified. This simple switch can help you feel better and eat healthier every day.

 2. Read One Extra Book Each Month

One book each month may not sound like a lot to some, but for many, it dramatically increases their reading rate! If you are already an avid reader, make a point of choosing a book that’s out of your normal comfort zone. If you’re a non-fiction fan, try fiction for a change. If you love a good mystery, try a funny autobiography. If you feel pressed for time, consider listening to audiobooks during your commute or carpool. An active, engaged mind is key to optimal brain health.

3. Take a Walk Every Day

This can be a great opportunity for quiet solitude or to get your family, friends or neighbors together to connect and catch up. Enjoy and appreciate the fresh air, sunshine and changing seasons while you get your blood pumping. Just 30 minutes of walking per day can improve cardiovascular health, boost immune response, increase endorphins (the hormone released when we feel happy), and improve metabolic function.

4. Drink More Water

Do you drink a second cup of coffee in the morning? What about that soda at lunchtime? Or maybe it’s a glass of wine at dinner. Whatever it is, pick one drink a day, and replace it with water. You can add lemon for a little boost of energy or cucumber for a touch of flavor. Staying hydrated is good for digestion, healthy skin, and benefits all the systems in your body. A general guideline is to drink half your body weight in ounces, everyday. You are made of 70% water, after all.

5. Eat Meat Free, One Day per Week

Participating in Meatless Mondays helps reduce your carbon footprint and may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Even if you have no desire to be a vegetarian, this simple weekly switch can add up to make a big difference.

Here’s the climate-saving impact you can make:
(Get the full report from Environmental Working Group)

Over the course of 1 year -

• If you eat one less burger a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles or line-drying your clothes half the time.

• If your four-person family skips meat and cheese one day a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.

• If your four-person family skips steak once a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for nearly three months.

• If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

yamsOn Meatless Monday, you’ll likely be looking for a source of planet-based protein. Hemp is rich in protein, omega-fatty acids and fiber; it has a nutty-tasting seed with a wide variety of uses. You can drizzle hemp oil on salads or soups. Hemp protein powder is a great addition to smoothies. Hempseeds are great for snacking, making pesto, adding to baked goods, and sprinkling on top of entrees. Hemp is easy to incorporate into your diet, has all essential amino acids (so it’s a perfect protein), and is delicious and satisfying.

Wishing you a healthy and happy new year from Nutiva!

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