Sticking to your healthy resolutions

Denise Froehlich BBPL

Time to check-in! Did you set a New Year’s resolution this year to be a healthier, more mindful eater this year? Are you staying on track or have you already given up? Usually at this point, I have already reverted to the bad habits I was trying to change. It is just easier to keep going that way. But this year, I am trying to overcome all of my excuses (it is an odd year, I don’t have any big events this year, I don’t have the money for this, I don’t have the time for this, etc.) and stick to my healthy eating plan.

It came to my attention recently that just among the library staff and volunteers, we have several dietary sensitivities and allergies that have forced us to become label-readers, to learn more about what we are putting into our bodies and why we react the way we do, to find healthier ways of cooking at home and make (hopefully) positive changes to improve our life quality. And we have all relied on resources at the library to help us in those efforts. If you made a resolution to be a healthier version of yourself in 2019 or if you have discovered you have food allergies or sensitivities, here are some resources available at the library to help you find your way.

My personal dietary revolution started a few years ago when I picked up “It Starts with Food,” a 30-day detox plan to change eating habits in a sustainable, long-term way. The “Whole30” eliminates multiple groups of food from one’s diet for a minimum of 30 days, then reintroduces each one, one-by-one, to determine sensitivities. Once you know which foods are causing you trouble, you know what to avoid. When I completed a round, I realized that sugar gives me heartburn, grains make me bloated and generally irritable, and alcohol makes my cheeks hot and my ears burn.

The Whole30 system led me to the Paleo diet. I love following a plan that puts a lot of food, primarily vegetables and meat, in my path, without leaving me feeling generally yucky inside or feeling guilty for eating at all. My favorite paleo cookbooks from the library include “Eat Like a Dinosaur,” “Weelicious, Inspiralized” and “The Paleo Slow Cooker.” And you may have heard of Iowa’s Terry Wahls, author of “The Wahls Protocol.” Dr. Wahls modified the paleo diet to heal chronic autoimmune conditions and reduce her own severe symptoms from multiple sclerosis. Her book includes a hardcore paleo crash course.

Some of the library staff follow gluten-free diets. If you have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, we have resources to help. Learn more about the disease from “Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic,” by Peter Green, or wheat/gluten sensitivities from “Wheat Belly,” by William Davis, or “Grain Brain,” by David Perlmutter. Then learn how to cook for it from these cookbooks: “The Healthy Gluten-Free Life,” and “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy.”

The library has quite a few great resources for becoming a healthy, mindful eater, for taking up yoga or other healthy exercise habits, for learning the science of how food affects our bodies, our minds, our memories and our emotions. Learn why it is important to be label-reader and exactly what additives you don’t want in your foods.

We are still only at the beginning of the year. We can help you keep your resolutions on-track. And you can cheer us on as we stick to our own goals. Initially, following one of these diets and learning the ins and outs can be challenging and frustrating, but I promise it becomes second nature in no time at all. In the end, you’ll be smarter, wiser, healthier and happier. If nothing else, you can say you read all about Whole30/paleo/gluten-free/whichever-new-healthy-lifestyle-you-choose and really impress your friends with your knowledge the next time the subject comes up.

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