Health is a daily commitment

     Wow, thanks everyone for the enthusiastic response! I received a number of reflections and resources that people would like to share about how they live healthy. From now on, I'll try to post at least one resource, inspiration, or idea per week. 
     Below is a reflection on living healthy from Emily, a friend of mine who is a nurse in Madison, WI. Note her statement that healthy living is a commitment you have to renew every day. This is something I definitely find I must do. Read her upbeat and inspirational reflection, then see below for some resources on making health a daily commitment.

I think you have to make a commitment to yourself every day if you want to achieve a healthy life. That means in all aspects, not just nutrition and exercise. You must allow yourself to have room for mistakes, learn to forgive yourself when you err, and to be open to the love and wisdom of others. To address the idea that in our society it is so easy to be UNhealthy, I think if you make a commitment to yourself that you renew everyday, then the healthy choices become more natural. Surely, it is easier in the short term to make unhealthy choices, but what is easy is not always best. And, more often than not, the things that are most worthwhile in this life are the things that do not come easily. My inspiration comes from the people I care for. You know, I've made my career around managing people's long term illnesses, and so often those are things that could have been prevented by lifestyle choices and changes. I just tell myself I don't want to suffer in my old age (if I make it that far!), so when I buy fresh fruit in January I think of it as an investment in myself and my family for the years to come!

One Way to Commit Each Day: Keep a Food Journal

  • Food journals help you pay closer attention to what you're eating. The simple act of recording your food intake will help you see patterns in what you're eating, including when you're more likely to eat too much or indulge in foods you'd rather not include in your diet. 
  • I'm not a Twitter user, but I know many people are. If you do tweet, here is an ingenious new way to easily keep track of what you eat each day: Tweet What You Eat
  • If you don't tweet, you can call into an 800 number to verbally record what you've eaten each day (or any other aspect of your health that you're working on): Use Jott to Keep a Food Diary
  • You can also use an online journal. Most of the ones offered online are full of ads and/or cost money, so I would also recommend an Excel spreadsheet (here are some templates) or a regular old notebook.