Happy New Year

Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of www.angelicindulgence.com web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.

It’s time to celebrate. Time to indulge! But treat your body better than ever at the same time with Angelic Indulgence. Here’s how:

Keep it simple
Set just a few, realistic and personally meaningful resolutions. Make them your own, reflecting your heart’s desires and not what you think they should be. Prioritize to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Make those resolutions action-oriented rather than concept only. For example, resolve to “run a total of 10 miles per week” rather than, “get in better cardiovascular condition”. Commit to “clear my desk after each day’s work” instead of, “be more organized”. Getting specific sets you up for success, which feels good. And remember, feeling good is good for you!

Analyze and summarize the top health recommendations from the best experts and what comes out on top? A whole foods diet, more physical activity, and less stress. Why overcomplicate it?

Whole Foods: Eat mostly local produce and naturally-raised, pure meat and diary (no hormones, no antibiotics). Avoid processed foods, especially anything with hydrogenated oil, white flour or sugar. That’s it – eat a balanced menu of what you enjoy within that nutrient-rich realm of possibilities. Need suggestions? Here are two of the healthiest foods on the planet and how to enjoy them:

  • Wild salmon – pouch or steam and serve with capers, sea salt and organic sour cream or cheese. Use leftovers in omelets with your favorite chopped veggies. Why? Salmon is brain food and has anti-inflammatory properties. Essential fats sooth joints; lean protein equals lean muscle on your body.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Choose your favorites among cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. Chop and throw into a steamer. Serve slightly firm, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Why? These veggies are the superstars among proven cancer fighters. Their extracts are even being bottled and sold for cancer prevention (with stellar supporting research), but you might prefer to take this preventative medicine fresh from the pot, steaming hot and perfectly seasoned. Or as raw crudités with a hearty hummus or bean dip.

Best general rule of thumb – eat more produce! The fun is in the idea of eating as much as you can! Instead of obsessing about what not to eat, which feels like deprivation, this year, focus on eating as much produce as possible. Base that inner dialog on the feeling of indulgence, “I can eat as many of those crisp, sweet and tart apples as I want . . . I should have a second helping of delicious green beans . . . A celery snack is an indulgence I can take anytime!” And remember, fruit—tangy cherries, luscious plums, delicate pears, and succulent grapes—is nature’s dessert. Think about what you want to eat, not about what you shouldn’t and before you know it, your cravings will become Angelic- buttery squash, savory corn, sweet peas and carrots! If the produce you’re buying doesn’t leave you begging for more, try these tips for ensuring decadent experiences with your fresh fruits and vegetables:
  • Buy organic. It costs a bit more, but you won’t let it sit in the fridge and rot because you’ll actually enjoy eating it. Organic also contains higher levels of vitamins and minerals. What a deal!
  • Get full flavor with produce that’s locally grown and in season. Seventy-five percent of non-organic produce on the market is genetically modified to withstand traveling long distances, which compromises taste and texture, in addition to raising health concerns.
  • Enhance flavor with herbs, spices, lemon juice and or olive oil, as appropriate.
  • Warm it up – you don’t have to always go raw – lightly steam or sauté to create comfort food without losing those vital nutrients. Vegetable soups are especially indulgent this time of year.
  • Try before you buy. Take your time invested in the produce aisle seriously and ask the manager for samples of the food your considering. This is almost always a welcome request. If that peach tastes like cornmeal, you can move on to other produce offerings and thus avoid suffering disappointments at the breakfast table. When it comes to produce, there is an astonishing degree of variation in quality and flavor, which makes all the difference in the world in terms of enjoyment and therefore, sustaining healthy eating habits.

Need more help setting your diet-related resolutions? Check out the authority on the subject, Dr. Luise Light, author of What to Eat.

Stay tuned for vital 411 on the other two keys to a healthier lifestyle: more physical activity and less stress, in next month’s Healthy Makeover Tips column. You’ll also get tips on making these resolutions feel indulgent, of course.

Until then, stay well!


Click here and check out Angela's other healthy tips.

*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer

sign up for the weekly newsletter

Get the latest on TBS shows from videos, games and other fun content.