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Superfoods HealthstyleSimple Changes to Get the Most Out of Life for the Rest of Your Life
By Steven G. Pratt
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2007 Steven G. Pratt
All right reserved.
Winter: Season of Resolution
Though the poets may claim that April is the cruelest month, HealthStylers would no doubt pick December. And January, February, and maybe some of March. Winter can be hard on our health. We tend to be less physically active because inclement or cold weather keeps us indoors. We are tempted with holiday foods that we wouldn't dream of eating other times of the year. The days are shorter: Less daylight makes outdoor exercise a challenge while it promotes more TV watching and thus more snacking. Reduced sunlight affects our moods, making some of us less optimistic and less committed to health goals. Some of us even suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which makes reduced sunlight an actual health risk.
Don't despair! Winter does have its special beneficial rhythms. We seek warmth in winter -- of every kind. Winter draws us inward. We can seize opportunities to be more reflective. Long evenings encourage more family and social time -- time to reconnect and cherish the important relationships in our lives. Exciting new evidence demonstrates that these important social contacts keep ushealthy as well as happy. The winter holidays are a time of spiritual renewal and give us an opportunity to connect with an often neglected aspect of health -- spirituality, or, as we discuss in HealthStyle, Personal Peace. Winter is a perfect time to take stock, make resolutions, and look to a healthier new year.
We're about to show you that you can come through winter in healthy style with new and reinforced good health habits. Winter is the time to focus on some new and delicious SuperFoods that will make achieving optimum nutritional health a pleasure. We've got some warming recipes that feature the winter SuperFoods along with some SuperSpices that have impressive health benefits. Just a sprinkle of cinnamon on your morning oatmeal could help control your blood sugar levels and have other positive effects on your health. Here's the really good news: Chocolate is a SuperFood. The beneficial polyphenols in chocolate make it a powerful health promoter. What could be a better winter treat -- for your health and your spirit -- than a mug of steaming cocoa twirled with a cinnamon stick? Who would have thought that this indulgence could have such positive effects?
Yes, winter can be a challenge for many of us, but it offers special opportunities, and if you adopt the recommendations of HealthStyle, you'll be able to savor the best of the season, improve your overall health profile, and be ready to greet spring in the best shape you've ever been in. You have three months: Make them count toward your better HealthStyle and your better future.
The goal of HealthStyle is literally to help you change your life. You've already taken the first step: You're reading this book. You might be mildly curious -- perhaps you'd like to lose a few pounds or eat more healthfully -- or you might be absolutely determined to improve your health because a condition or illness has made you realize that your HealthStyle is a life-and-death decision. It doesn't matter how you came to read this book; it should be comforting and encouraging to know that just by doing so, you're going in the right direction. Your goal is change. However, change isn't always so easy. Many of us have tried and failed before. This time will be different because, with the help of HealthStyle, you'll have different skills and constant motivation.
As the winter and the start of the new year are times of recommitment and resolution, it's useful to take a look at the process of personal change. If you are aware of all of the elements of effective change, you'll be more successful in your year of HealthStyle.
In a book published more than a dozen years ago, Changing for Good, three psychologists studied thousands of people who were able to alter their lives positively and permanently. The authors learned that change isn't dependent on luck or willpower as many of us believe. It is a process that can be successful if certain guidelines are met. As a doctor who actively works to promote health with his patients, I've always known that positive change isn't just a matter of willpower. I've seen too many patients who were determined and committed but who failed to achieve change in the long run for many reasons. Making positive, permanent change is a skill. You can learn how to do it. It's a gradual process of learning to know yourself, learning to set goals, maintaining motivation, and learning what tools you need to reach your goals. I find it useful in winter, when we're starting a new year, to take a close look at the process of change. It will help us as we go forward trying to improve our overall health and well-being.
Excerpted from Superfoods Healthstyle by Steven G. Pratt Copyright © 2007 by Steven G. Pratt. Excerpted by permission.
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