Six Tips for Eating Healthier
- by SueAnn H.
- July 25, 2016
SueAnn H. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
Simple tips to help you balance a healthy lifestyle while savoring the special moments.
It was a special occasion. I donated 14 bags of clothes that were too big for me that day, but I really said goodbye to so much more. Shedding over 50 pounds through sensible eating and exercise was a big accomplishment for me and I’m not going to look back. When I was diagnosed with a relapsing form of MS in 2005, it was a wake-up call about many things in my life. I knew I needed to make lifestyle changes in order to better take care of myself.
For me, healthy eating is the most challenging part of this change. It’s really more of a mindful, healthy lifestyle as it all works together. I love celebrations, adventures, memories…the moments in life I want to hang onto forever. These often have food invited to the party as the main attraction, and I’m a foodie! My mission continues to be finding ways to savor these special moments of fun while still managing my health.
Here are a few strategies that work for me, but remember to always discuss any dietary recommendations with a health care provider.
- Pick my battles. In my busy life filled with kids’ activities and travel, there are times when all that’s available is bad food choices. Carrying my own snacks including nuts, fruit and peanut butter crackers helps me have a plan for rain delays and extra-long games or activities. If I’m going to an event, I eat healthy at home before I go.
- Make one good decision at a time. Knowing that this is a life-long challenge for me, I try to break it down into one small victory at a time. I monitor what’s in my food and am aware of how many calories and fat grams it may contain. I find being mindful of what I eat and my daily physical activity helps me stay on track. Of course, it’s important for everyone with MS to work with their doctor to find out what level of physical activity is right for them. Recording what I eat also helps me refocus if I start to stray.
- Practice moderation. For me, I know it’s not realistic to totally eliminate any food. I cut down the portion size and enjoy what I have. Yes, I still buy frozen chocolate coffee drinks. I get the smallest size and enjoy about half and throw the rest away.
- We make a lot of our food at home so we can control the ingredients and substitute when possible. My husband is a terrific chef making tempting meals like lasagna with homemade noodles and cinnamon rolls. I like to bake cookies, brownies and other sweet treats for my son’s baseball team. I don’t deny myself the experiences, I simply enjoy them in moderation.
- Give myself grace. I’m human. Scotcheroos are really good. (Scotcheroos are a bar made of peanut butter, sugar and corn flakes topped with melted chocolate and butterscotch chips). Birthdays need cake and maybe a little ice cream. As long as I’m not indulging daily, I can incorporate real life into my plan in moderation. If I have an off day, I clean the slate and start over again the next day.
- Know it will always be a journey. It is about a permanent lifestyle change and I have ups and downs and have to make adjustments. For me, I have to be realistic in order to stay on track.
What keeps me going on this journey? It is not magic, but rather discipline and not giving up on making conscious health choices.
COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.