Vitamin H: Your Key to a Fit and Healthy Summer

When your body is running in tip-top shape, you may feel like you are driving a finely tuned sports car. Unfortunately, many of us are coming out of a long winter and as the layers of clothing peel away, realize that our finely tuned “sports car” may bear a closer resemblance to a minivan than a Ferrari, and may be in need of a tune up for the summer months.

“What the heck is Vitamin H?”

Habits. Breaking, making, and keeping good habits is the key to a healthy and happy life.

In this 2-part tune up series, you will discover several strategies for helping enjoying optimum health, energy, and may even help you feel more confident in that awesome swimsuit you have been wanting to wear. That being said, I am not a doctor, so please check with your physician before making any drastic changes. (Now that the legal disclaimer is out of the way….)

6 Pack Abs

Getting into shape is not just about looking stunning in the mirror; it is about having enough energy to play with your kids, go on an adventure with friends, and helping you milk the most out of life.

I have studied wellness and peak performance for years, working with Super Bowl champions and Olympic Gold Medal winners, and even owned a health-chef business for several years. Success leaves clues, and you have everything you need to take that first step right in our community.

First, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

Truth #1: All diets work for a little while…but then often fail.
Any time people are forced to think about what they are putting into their bodies, they are pausing long enough to break a habit. Most diets fail because they are unrealistic and not conducive to lasting change.

Truth #2: Having a strong “Why” helps you achieve your goals
My friend Joe was obese. He discovered that he was often eating out of habit or boredom. He worked in outside sales and was frequently on the road. His “A-Ha!” moment arrived when he was struggling to walk up his stairs to play with his son. He decided at that moment that he wanted to be able to play with his grandchildren later in life, and he would not be able to do that in his current condition. He made a few lifestyle changes and dropped nearly 53 lbs.Whether you desire more energy, want to shed a few pounds, or have endured a recent health scare; your “Why” is the fuel to keep you going when the road gets tough.
Truth #3: Don’t focus on overhauling your diet, focus on tuning it up
“I can’t ever have Whitey’s ice cream again…ever!” is a sure fire way to keep me from following any fitness strategy! Most of the things you are currently doing are probably working well for you. If you decide to tweak a few things to see if they help you along the way, great!Most Hy-Vee stores will be happy to schedule an appointment with one of their Registered Dietitians to help you make healthy choices in the grocery isle.3 Ways to start getting in shape today1. Are you eating for fuel or fun?
If you want to enjoy a piece of birthday cake or indulge in pizza with some friends or family; do it. (No, just because it is someone’s birthday every day does not give you the excuse to indulge non-stop!) However, if you are eating for fuel, a bag of baby carrots or mixed nuts in your car work quite well for keeping the gravitational pull of fast food restaurants away.

Visit one of our many Farmer’s Markets to sample some of the greatest food in our area.
Healthy Food

2. Use a smaller plate!
You don’t need to use a plate the size of a trash can lid. Opt for a smaller plate and know that you can go back for more if you are still hungry. This gets back to the habits thing again.

3. Add some color!
I’m amazed by the number of ingredients in most foods at the grocery store that have nothing to do with what I think I’m buying. (How about a serving of Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate to go with your dish…). Personally, if I can’t pronounce 3 or more ingredients, I don’t want it in my body.

Splash up your diet with fruits, fresh veggies, and minimize the white in your diet. Most of the time this can be accomplished by shopping the perimeter of the store, not down the isles of processed and pre-packaged foods.

Wellness is a journey, not a destination. It also does not happen overnight, but the first step does.

Have you enjoyed benefits from changing your diet?  What are some of your favorite recipes and strategies for eating healthy?

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About the author

Dave "The Shef" Sheffield Dave "The Shef" Sheffield is a keynote motivational speaker and author. He is an avid kayaking, mountain biking, and trail running enthusiast. He lives in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, and also loves cooking, playing guitar, photography, and spending time with his kids.

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13 comments on “Vitamin H: Your Key to a Fit and Healthy Summer

  1. A smaller plate really does help psychologically. Another tip is to place sugary foods on the other side of the plate to constantly remind yourself to eat less of that (if you have to eat out, that is)

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