Here at GoodTurn Cycles we are much more than just a standard sales focused bike shop. If you didn’t already know, we are a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated not only to helping people achieve better health, but also to providing job training to young people. GoodTurn Cycles operates in a way that puts the community first, always. Our nonprofit shines through our job training program with our apprentice’s but as a staff we wanted to make sure that our other values of better health and community first operation were given a spot light. So for the next few weeks we have decided to put out a winter health blog series that will hopefully be helpful to you, the reader, in achieving or learning more about ways to be healthier than ever this winter season.
To kick of the blog series were going to be talking a little bit about food during the winter. Many people find it hard during the coldest time of year to be active and during times of less activity, what we eat becomes vital to our continual health. We have all heard the cliche of having to “get ready for swimsuit season” after the winter months. I personally think that with some minimal changes there could be less stress about gaining weight around the holiday and winter season. Here are some tips that I have found extremely helpful to keep me motivated to stay healthy even when it would be easier to grab some takeout, lay on the couch and binge a good show on Netflix.
My Current Favorite Show
Number 1: Moderation
In my experience the best first step to staying healthy during the winter is having realistic expectations. With two major holidays on the American calendar, both often centered on large meals, we shouldn’t try to completely exclude any “comfort” food from our diets. Instead, focus on eating only a portion of all those sweets and other things that we love so much. Let yourself enjoy the food that is served just don’t over indulge in a way that causes feelings of regret or remorse. When maintaining health it’s important to not operate as a pendulum, swinging from one extreme to another. Often when people try to live under extreme restriction excluding anything unhealthy they can fall into a complete unhealthy junk/sweet/fast food binge during which they eat more than they probably would have eaten if they had just had a couple items in moderation. So if I had only one piece of advice, don’t be too hard on yourself. Let yourself experience enjoyable food and be apart of community celebrations, while being mindful of your own body. And if you found that as the holidays were ending that you didn’t have even a bit of moderation, it’s not too late to start as we enter into the new year.
Number 2: Preparation
This has been one of the bigger learning curves for myself when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. I find that most the time when I am running out to just grab something to eat from somewhere i know isn’t healthy it is because I have done a poor job at stocking my fridge with meals to eat. Healthy eating is all about preparation both in meal planning and preparing. The first step is to outline 4-5 different meals you want to make throughout the week for dinner. It seems in my experience that everyone comes to a point during the week where they either don’t have the energy or will to cook yet another dinner. So make sure that you have some leftovers available to eat something quick when your not feeling up to the task of cooking another meal. That way you have something healthy to eat at all times.
I will say that this advice only works if you are the type of person, like myself, who doesn’t mind eating the same thing a few meals/days in a row. My wonderful wife has opened my eyes to the reality that not everyone is capable of eating this way. So for those of you who struggle with eating the same meal for dinner, then lunch, and then dinner again, I wish I knew exactly how to help but unfortunately I do not. My best suggestion would be to prepare a few different meals at one time so that you always have some options available.
Number 3: Be Healthy
This is less of a tip and more of an encouragement. I think it is foolish to assume that there is a single type of diet that every single person should eat in order to maintain “perfect” health. As human beings we are all different and each one of us reacts differently to different foods. So I would challenge you to get to know your body. Learn what foods make you feel good and which foods make you feel sluggish. I personally started that process by partaking in the Whole 30, which has become a fad of its own and which enlightened a curiosity in me for what is “healthy.” If you want my own advice I believe that the healthiest diet is majority plant based, excluding anything processed, with some meat. I am currently trying to move away from the American ideal of meat as the main dish and even necessary to make a meal. And if for some reason you want to know more about why I think we need to eat less meat come by the shop or shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’d love to share my thoughts about the American meat industry!
If health is something that you are interested in I hope you will continue to follow along with this blog series!
If you could care less about health, then maybe you would still be interested to see what some of the staff likes to eat in our next blog!
Thanks for reading,