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13 tips for good health in 2013 from health educator Maureen Franklin

vegetable saladMaureen Franklin, a health educator at Upstate University Hospital's Community Campus, shares with us these 13 ideas for making 2013 a lucky year in terms of health:

1. Eat breakfast.  Include whole grains, low fat dairy, fruit, and lean protein. Start your day the healthy way.

2. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Try a new vegetable this year.

3. Be aware of your portions. Don‘t try to guess; get out your measuring cups/spoons. Keep a food diary to get an honest picture of what and how much you eat.

4. Include regular physical activity in your daily life. Walk the stairs, stand up and walk around when you are on the phone. Walk whenever you can.

5. Prepare healthy snacks as needed. Remember to think about why you are snacking. Is it because you are hungry or is it habit? Are you bored, stressed?

6. Be aware of hidden calories when you eat out. Watch out for increased portions and hidden fat. Plan your choices before you go out. Check out options on line or on your phone. You can still eat out and enjoy yourself; all it takes is a little planning.

7. Watch your beverage intake. How much cream and sugar are you adding to your cup of coffee? Do you drink soda? How much?

8. Buy local. Use seasonal local foods whenever you can. Introduce your family to roasted root vegetables this year.

9. Turn off the electronics and have a meal with your family. Involve your kids in cooking; have them pick out a new food to cook together. Try a new healthy recipe.

10. Keep track of your numbers. Your weight isn‘t the only number you should know. What is your cholesterol? Blood pressure? Glucose? Work with your health care provider to make positive changes to improve your health.

11. Follow proper food safety guidelines when handling food. Properly cook your food and refrigerate properly.

12. Set realistic goals, and be specific. Start small for the long haul.

13. Enjoy life. Be happy! Smile! We all need time to relax, laugh and just be.