Black father and son having fun while baking cookies at home together.

Connecting, Cleaning & Consideration

Living a healthier lifestyle is more than just eating well and exercising. It’s also important to take care of your mind and spirit. With so much information available, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. In Healthy Living Tips to Promote Health for You and Your Family: Part 1, Dr. Angie Neison, Co-Medical Director of VEBA, shared tips on how to make small adjustments to help you, your family and even the planet!

In part two of this healthy living series, you’ll learn ways you can use food to create memories, keep your gut happy and unleash your superpower! Read on for five more tips to easily maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Healthy Living Tip #6: Connect Through Food

Did you know that food can connect you with loved ones? Whether it’s getting together for a meal with extended family or baking a cake with your kids, some of the most fond memories people share with loved ones centers around food. Choose ways you can use your kitchen to increase family bonds and become more healthy! 

While your kids are home, invite them into the kitchen to help prepare a meal. Little ones can toss together a salad while older children can measure out ingredients for your recipes. If that’s not possible, just try to eat one meal a day without devices — it can be breakfast, lunch or dinner! If THAT’S not possible, aim for at least one device-free dinner together one or two times a week. 

Healthy Living Tip #7: Feed Your Microbiomes

Learn to love and feed your microbiome. Our microbiome is our gut bacteria, and it is tied to prevention of chronic disease, allergies and immunity. It has been shown, according to Dr. Neison, that the microbiome thrives on fiber — it LOVES fiber. It has been shown that the healthiest microbiomes have traces of 30 different plants consumed in a week. Keep your gut happy by eating more plants!

Healthy Living Tip #8: Limiting Sugar

Be kind to your body by limiting excess sugars — especially in sugar-sweetened beverages. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar in adults to 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day. But did you know that the average American consumes 20 teaspoons a day? Rethink your drink. Stick to water — flavor your water with fruit or citrus. 

Healthy Living Tip #9: Mindfulness

Make mindfulness and awareness your superpower. When you walk into a supermarket, be aware that you are the target of marketing. Vegetables don’t have fancy labels even though they should! They should say: high in fiber, low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-heart disease.

Be mindful of when your body, mind and spirit need nourishment. Having an indulgence every once in a while is ok — but you should know when you are stress eating, or compensating with food. Take note of when you reach for a snack and ask yourself if you are tired, need water or maybe just need to move a little. Breathe deeply for a few minutes every day to help keep a clear mind.

Healthy Living Tip #10: Rest

None of the Top 10 Healthy Living Tips would be possible without sleep. One of the most important gifts you can give your healing body is sleep and rest. Aim for eight hours of sleep per night, and consider other activities that allow you to reset and rest your brain. Activities like meditation, reading, cleaning, listening to music or crafting will help your brain reset. Even having a light-hearted, positive conversation with a friend gives your brain a break. Consider combining activities to give your mind a rest, like gardening while listening to podcast or taking a walk in nature and then end with some meditation.

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