Simple Ways To Be Healthier in 2010

It’s a new year and you are full of hope.

This is the year you will claim or reclaim your good health! If you have a little feeling of dread in the back of your mind because this same scenario happens every year, have no fear. Big changes are often daunting and hard to fold into your everyday life; they are simply not sustainable. Try a new healthy habit a week. These are small changes that can make a big impact on not only your health, but the environment’s health as well. Tape these easy tips to your refrigerator and read weekly. Feel free to skip ahead and to go back.

1. Drink 8 glasses of pure water a day.

2. Get rid of any junk food in your house. If it’s not there, don’t go get it.

3. Limit your caffeine intake: 1-2 cups of coffee a day.

4. Plan your weekly meals on your day off.

5. Spend 30 minutes twice a week cutting up fresh veggies to have them ready at all times.

6. Keep seasonal fruit at home and eat it when you’re hungry or when a sweet tooth strikes.

7. Substitute raw nuts and seeds for processed granola bars.

8. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach; it’s hard on your stomach and burns up B vitamins.

9. Eat raw vegetables every day. Raw veggies contain important enzymes that can be lost when they’re cooked.

10. Purchase as much of your food organic as you can. Your body will appreciate it as will our planet.

11. Next time you make cookies or cake, substitute half of the butter with applesauce, pumpkin or prune puree. Less fat; more nutrients.

12. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

13. Vary your food; if you eat it today, don’t eat it for 4 days.

14. Different colored food has different nutrients, so eat from the rainbow. Red peppers, orange carrots, green kale, etc.

15. Thicken soups with pureed beans. Delicious and added nutrition.

16. Don’t drink water from plastic bottles. Polycarbonate water bottles (labeled #7) contain bisphenol A (BPA), which leaches from the plastic and has been linked to chromosome damage and hormone disruption.

17. Start your day with a glass of fresh lemon water. 1/2 to 1 juiced lemon in water. Your liver loves it.

18. De-stress. Find out what works for you. Warm baths? Exercise? Reading? Yoga? Walks in the woods? Find out what calms and soothes you and practice daily.

19. Move daily. Find the movement that moves your body and eases your mind and make it a part of who you are. If you enjoy it, you will do it.

20. Eat at a table, cloth napkin on your lap and chew well. Be thankful.

Patty James is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center.

She is the author of More Vegetables, Please! Visit her at