white bean and sausage chili
Food For Better Health,  Healthy Eating,  Recipes,  Slow Cooker Simplicity,  Soups & Stews

5 Easy Healthy Habits For 2020

HAPPY NEW YEARHappy New Year Fellow Foodies!

Please note that I may earn a small commission from purchases made through product links in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you made any resolutions about your health for 2020?

Let’s face it, we are all getting older and have come to the realization, that our physical health should be a top priority.

Don’t spend all your time searching the world wide web for advice on the latest diet fad, or what food, this week, is “bad,” for us to eat…

Instead, stay right here…read on…and join me in making 2020 the most healthy year yet!

I admit, I get lazy and occasionally, take advantage of processed foods¬† – ūü•ď¬†– because they are convenient, which is NOT a good thing, but not a catastrophe, either!

MORE ABOUT DANGEROUS PROCESSED FOODS HERE

However, you do not need to give up everything that is convenient found at your local supermarket.

There are 5 easy things you can do TODAY, to make 2020 a more healthy year!

First, we need to strategically set some expectations to keep us motivated and make this plan a success!

Setting Healthy Habit Goals

First thing is, we need to get a “healthy” mindset for the new year.

Go through these steps to create a healthy habit goal catered to you!

  1. Decide on a simple, realistic goal that you would like to achieve for your health.

For example: My goal is to walk at least 8K steps everyday.

     2. Choose a simple action that will get you toward your goal, which you can do on a daily basis.

I am using my FitBit watch everyday to monitor my steps.I also have it set to remind me to walk every hour, in order to reach my daily goal of 8K steps everyday.

     3. Plan when and where you do your chosen action. Be consistent: choose a time and place that you encounter every day.

My plan is to use my indoor treadmill to accomplish my daily goal.

     4. Every time you encounter that time and place, do the action.

It will get easier with time, and within 10 weeks you should find you are doing it automatically without having to think about it.

Congratulations! You have made a new healthy habit!

Healthy Habits #2: Do Not Skip Breakfast

Our 2nd easy healthy habit to incorporate in 2020 is to never skip breakfast!

I consulted several weight loss experts and they all agree, you need to eat something within two hours of waking up everyday.

Eating breakfast elevates your metabolism for the day, which burns calories and energizes you.

Eating Breakfast May Reduce the Incidence of Obesity.

In a study published in 2014 by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, experts studied the relationship between skipping breakfast and the prevalence of obesity.

Frequent breakfast eaters were more likely than non-breakfast eaters to have a normal body weight.

Consuming a Protein-Rich Breakfast Is Associated with Increased Satiety

A 2010 study published by the International Journal of Obesity found when people ate breakfast with extra protein, they had significant reductions in appetite throughout the day, and subsequent meal intake.

Healthy Eating Tip: I eat 1/3 cup of instant oatmeal every morning. Loaded in fiber and low in calories, I heat it up in the microwave. It only takes 2 minutes. I usually incorporate some sort of fruit too (apple, fruit cup, berries).

Healthy Habits #3: Drink Sufficient Water

Measuring and accounting for sufficient water in your daily routine is a very easy healthy habit for 2020.

Proper amounts of water improves exercise efficiency and influences your mood.

According to Dr. Brenda Davy’s water research, she surveyed adults between 55 – 75 years old;¬† half drank 16 ozs of water just before each meal ‚Äď half did not; Results indicated the water drinkers had lost around 15 ¬Ĺ lbs, whereas the non-water drinkers only 11 lbs.

small glass of water

 MY HEALTHY GOAL IS 60+ OUNCES OF WATER A DAY 

To obtain my daily goal, I use a thermal cup, which holds 20 ounces of water. I know I only need to fill it three times a day.

This has been a game changer in my water consumption.

Healthy Habits #4: Read Food Labels

Salad in a foodie bowl
FREE FRESH SALAD DRESSING RECIPES

If you have not been reading all food labels, you need to start this easy habit TODAY!

Reading food labels makes you more health conscious.

However, food labels are not always read correctly or understood properly.

I have written about food labels before (GET TO THAT POST HERE).

However, in March, I will be going into depth about this crucial healthy habit you can incorporate during every food shopping trip.

Healthy Habits #5: Get Moving!

As part of your healthier 2020, you need to incorporate exercise, or some sort of physical activity into your lifestyle.

If you have not exercised in a while; begin a new healthy habit by walking just 20 minutes per day.

Commit to walking as many days as possible.

Every week, add two minutes to your walk.

Work your way up to walking between thirty and forty minutes at a time.

After several weeks, replace a day of walking with resistance exercise.

Even my doctor has told me, eventually your body will not recognize walking as exercise, hence incorporating the resistance training. 

  • Exercise relieves depression symptoms
  • Useful for those with high levels of stress
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Resistance activities reduce body weight

If you have ANY pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to consult your doctor BEFORE starting any exercise routine!

BONUS TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER 2020!

Maintain good bone density ‚Äď especially calcium and vitamin D

Practice routine, good home dental care, flossing included.

Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency

  • More info on vitamin d postVitamin D Deficiency appears to be independently associated with the extent of coronary artery disease
  • Low vitamin D are associated with hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, in obese children and teens
  • Vitamin D deficiency can be common even in healthy people

If you are over 40 years old, here are some additional, simple healthy habits – HERE!

KICK OFF YOUR HEALTHY HABITS WITH THIS EASY SAUSAGE AND BEAN CHILI

White Bean and Sausage Chili

Any chicken or turkey sausage could be substituted for the Andouille sausage. Because the navy beans do not need to be soaked, they can be added to the slow-cooker with the sausage and wet ingredients. Serve this over rice for hearty winter meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Andouille Sausage, navy beans, soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 4 servings
Author Adapted from Cooks Country Cookbook

Equipment

  • slow-cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 13 oz. Andouille sausage sliced into 1/2" thick pieces
  • 1 lb. dried navy beans rinsed and picked through with rocks and broken pieces removed
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper pinch each

Instructions

  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, chili powder, oil, garlic, cumin and oregano. Stir.
  • Place in microwave and cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Remove from microwave and place in a 6 quart slow cooker
  • Add chicken broth, water, beans, sausage, soy sauce, sugar, liquid smoke and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Stir till combined.
  • Cover and cook until beans are tender. 9 -11 hours on low; 6 hours on high. Stir halfway through cooking.
  • Let chili settle for 5 minutes and remove fat (if any) from surface using a spoon.
  • Disgard bay leaves.
  • Transfer 1 cup of beans to a bowl and mash using a potato masher or a fork.
  • Return mashed beans to the slow cooker and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Can be topped with scallions if you desire.

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