New Year's Resolutions…many of us resolve to improve our lives by turning over a new leaf as we turn the calendar to a new year. In fact, eating healthier and losing weight are frequently on top of the list! These are great goals, especially as we learn more about the health issues linked to obesity and poor nutrition and the health benefits gained by improving our food choices. While it’s true that making healthier food choices will help you improve your overall health, it might seem like an overwhelming task. Here are three tips to help make 2023 a healthier year for you (and our CSS Food Market clients).
- Start simple. Perhaps you’ve heard the old joke: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.“ Changing just one component in your diet is a great start! For example, make a simple snacking switch by reaching for a piece of fruit or carrot sticks instead of a bag of potato chips. Over time, these switches will become a habit- especially as you see positive results.
- Seek nutrition information using trustworthy resources. For example, learn more about making every bite count while eating a healthy and balanced diet “one plate at a time” by visiting myplate.gov. This feature-filled USDA website is based on data from The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. The site has a wealth of information, including budget-friendly food ideas, a “Start Simple” app to help you plan your dietary journey, low-cost recipes, and much more.
- As you reach your health goals, it’s important to celebrate in a healthy manner- consider doing so with a nutritious act of kindness towards others. Many weight loss programs encourage their users to donate food to a local food pantry equaling the amount of weight they lost. For instance, once the scale shows 20 pounds are gone, 20 pounds of food is donated. We think this is a very admirable gesture and a generous way to celebrate your healthy accomplishment! By selecting items from our “most needed” list linked, you’ll be celebrating your achievement and helping others reach their own health goals too. The population we serve at Catholic Social Services struggles from being not just food deprived but, more likely, nutritionally deprived. They often have limited access or transportation to full grocery stores and limited resources to purchase fresh and healthy options. As with the rest of the American population, many of our clients are at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues due to poor nutrition. The children we serve need nutritious foods to help them in their growth and development. Thanks to healthy donations from our donors, we can fill those needs by providing healthy options from our Food Market shelves. Foods to keep in mind for our Food Market include whole grain pasta and cereals, vegetables that are low in sodium, and low sugar foods. Please avoid donating high-fat or high-sugar snacks and foods, just as you may avoid them in your quest for healthier eating! To help in your selection of items to donate, we maintain a current list of items most needed at csshope.org/foodmarketneeds.
As you resolve to make it a healthier year for you and your family, please keep us in mind and help us encourage wellness in those we serve by providing them with healthy foods. We wish both you and our clients a healthy Hope in the Good Life new year!