Reunion Prep and Resolution Pep Talk
I just found out my high school reunion is happening in Toronto this May. And since these events are typically a time when we're overly critical of ourselves -- when we judge our accomplishments, our waistline, our hairline and our bottom line based on what others appear to have -- perhaps I can use it as inspiration to stay on top of my New Year's resolutions for 2009.
At the top of my list is to exercise more and eat a healthier diet. I’m not looking to lose weight, but to feel better, sleep better and improve my energy level.
I’m already pretty good when it comes to exercise and I’ve always worked out. Near the end of last year I hired a personal trainer and I’ve been going twice a week, plus I do one or two workouts on my own. But I plan to increase exercise to six days of the week (which will include one or two yoga classes).
TIP: Finding a personal trainer. If you’re thinking of hiring a personal trainer, remember since there’s no official certification program, anyone can hang up a shingle and call themselves a personal trainer. So be sure to ask a lot of questions about experience and training. And make sure the trainer you choose is also knowledgeable about nutrition, because what you put in your mouth is half the battle (and probably more).
For my daily diet, I need to break a few nasty habits. Number one is the amount of white carbs I eat. I love pasta and if I could choose one meal as my last it would be a pepperoni-mushroom pizza. Sigh.
So I’m cutting back the bad carbs. White pasta I’m treating like ice cream: a pleasure to be indulged in only periodically. Same goes for pizza.
My bread habit, on the other hand, is easy to change since there are some good whole wheat options.
TIP: Buying healthier bread. The key to choosing healthier bread is to look for the words “whole wheat” at the very top of the ingredient list. Other ingredients like “Multi-grain” and “16 grains” are NOT as healthy as “whole wheat”.
When it comes to meat, I’ll be enjoying more vegetarian meals and lots more fish. I’m limiting red meat to once a week, max.
TIP: Shopping for sustainable fish. When shopping for fish, go to places that post lists of sustainable species (as well as endangered species) to ensure you choose a fish that is good for you as it is for the environment. If they have no list, remember these tips:
- avoid long-living and slow-growing species
- avoid deep sea species (caught below 500m) as they often take decades to reach breeding age
- avoid sharks, swordfish and rays (they are very overfished, and thus very endangered)
- avoid imported fish (e.g. smoked cod) as it’s almost impossible to tell where it’s sourced from
- be wary of farmed fish, which can have high levels of contaminants
- visit www.seachoice.org (Canada’s Seafood Guide) for an extensive list of choices to buy (and avoid). And you can download your own wallet-size guide, as well as Canada’s business guide to sustainable seafood.
And finally, I am going to learn to love green tea. The Chinese have been using it for its medicinal and anti-aging properties for centuries, and it’s been scientifically proven to be beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol and boosting your immune system.
I know the reunion is still four months away, but if I’m going to look and feel my best, the time to start preparing is NOW.
And what in the world am I going to wear…?