My 5 Goals for Living Healthy in 2013

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Living Healthy Checklist

Source: University Health Center:credits-caption:

This year, I have thrown down the proverbial gauntlet and am taking no prisoners when it comes to my health.  Now that I am 36, I look back and realize I have done my body no favors by the choices I've made so far.  Although I've always remained somewhat active, there have been times that I've let that slide for too long.  My main focus this year though, centers around my diet.  Gone are the days of poor nutritional choices, for in 2013, this girl is turning over a new leaf.

Forming these new life-long habits however is not easy.  Most psychologists believe that a new habit takes up to 66 days of practice before it becomes truly automatic.  So what baby steps will I be taking this year, 66 days at a time?  Here are the living healthy goals I've set for myself, in no particular order:

Goals for Living Healthy in 2013

1.  Drink more water

It's recommended that for optimal health, women should consume around 9 cups of water per day, while men should drink about 13 cups.  I'm horrible about drinking water, because frankly, I just don't like the plain, boring taste of it.  That's all changing this year and I've vowed that if I'm not drinking my morning cup of coffee or my daily glass of V-8, it's strictly water baby!  :thumbs up:

2.  Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every day

To stay healthy, it's recommended that 30 minutes of moderate exercise be performed each and every day.  My goal this year is to make exercise a top priority, as soon as I've completely reformulated my junk-filled diet.  Somehow someway, I will create a regular space to exercise in and that will be my time alone.  Just like I always find the time to bathe and brush my teeth, no matter how hectic life becomes, I must now carve out this daily time allotment for fitness.

3.  Eat more whole grains and high fiber sources

Quaker Popped Savory SnacksNow I LOVE bread and pasta, but what I need to do here is tweak what type of bread and pasta I'm consuming.  Enriched white flour, white pasta, white potatoes, etc. are actually very bad for your body, because they are processed by your body in much the same way as swallowing a spoonful of sugar.  These processed carbs overload your body with a quick spike of sugar, wreaking havoc on your insulin levels and spiking your blood sugar temporarily, only to leave you crashing hard later.  For optimum health, it's best to keep your blood sugar level steady throughout the day and eating whole grains is a great way to do just that.

Quaker Popped Sweet SnacksFiber-filled snacks are terrific at curbing your appetite until mealtime and they keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours.  Unfortunately, finding snacks made from whole grains is easier said than done.  Thankfully, the Quaker Oats Company has designed an entire line of healthy snacks just right for your entire family called Quaker® PoppedTM, which are available at your local Walmart.  They're tasty, low in calories and extremely portable.  The best thing is, these bite-sized snacks are actually made from whole grain brown rice and corn, and they're popped, not fried.

Want a flavorful and delicious snack for all of those playoff football games?  Don't open a bag of greasy potato chips, which are fried and processed.  Just choose any of the fourteen flavors of Quaker Popped snacks and munch away guilt free.  They're also the perfect compliment to any school lunch or for snacking in-between meals.  Now your body can get the nutrients and whole grain it desires, while your taste buds get plenty of yum!  :drool:

4.  Eat more minimally processed foods

This year, I am getting back to my roots and doing my best to ditch all of those highly processed foods from my diet.  In my opinion, eating whole foods is the most healthy route to go, so I'm spending longer in the store reading labels in order to make the best choices.  Basically, I'm looking for items containing a minimum number of ingredients, especially those devoid of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or unrecognizable additives.

5.  Eliminate refined sugar from my diet

As everyone probably realizes by now, we are a society far too dependent on sugar, and this dependence has actually become a business in itself.  When I was a kid, there wasn't a Starbucks on every corner serving up sugar-filled, caffeine-jolting drinks, or any such animal as Red Bull or 5-Hour Energy.  This sugar fixation is seriously destroying our health and this year, I am on a mission to finally kick refined sugar to the curb.  :wave:

The thing I try to remember is that all five of these goals are to be conquered one at a time.  Major changes like these take up to 66 days to incorporate into my daily schedule and eventually they will become automatic.  When that time comes, I'll move on to the next and work on making that goal a "no-brainer".  By the end of 2013, I will hopefully have all five living healthy goals under my belt.  "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step..."  What will you be journeying toward this year?

Quaker® Quakes® are now Quaker® PoppedTM – a new name for the snack made with the delicious goodness of whole grain brown rice and corn and a great snacking solution.

Reply below for your chance to win a sample of all 14 flavors of Quaker Popped Rice Snacks and $1,000 gift card to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step..."  What will you be journeying toward this year?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quaker. I received product in conjunction with this post. The opinions and text are all mine. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  See Official Sweepstakes Rules

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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