I've been writing a lot lately about my concept of "tweaking it up." This is the notion of taking what you do in your everyday life, things we all have to do as matter of survival, and making small choices to move things into a healthier direction.
Examples of such things that we all have to do are: Eating, drinking fluids, moving our bodies, and sleeping. For all of these "everyday activities," there are numerous opportunities to tweak things one way or another - opportunities for choices that can lead us to better health and health outcomes, or steer us in the opposite direction. The point is: these opportunities are throughout the day, every day, and can be as big or small as we'd like them to be. It's ultimately about making a commitment to yourself and choosing ways, when the opportunities inevitably arise, to have these "have to do's" work for us instead of against us.
One example of this is what I did with some kids I teach healthier lifestyle choices to. We had a "healthy snack building exercise" for which I brought several different types of yogurt: Greek, plain nonfat, and low fat vanilla. Toppings to try included frozen berries, a variety of nuts, and high-protein, natural cereals, and cinnamon. With each ingredient, I talked to the kids about the benefits for them. With the yogurts, some of their palates were ready for the nonfat plain, which could be flavored naturally with fruit, or the Greek variety (a different consistency and higher in protein). Others needed the added sugar that is in the low fat vanilla variety. And that's OK. They were eating yogurt - they were getting themselves on the spectrum.
Over time, and with continued better choices, they will then be ready to "tweak it up" some more. I also talked about how much cheaper this way of eating is than grabbing highly processed, packaged foods that won't give them any health benefits at all. How having staples such as frozen fruits and nuts on hand can stave off bad choices such as binging on junk - and do it on the cheap.
So while they may have been secretly hoping for a Twinkie moment, I am hoping they remember this later...how good they felt with their better (and cheaper!) options. They may even be ready for another tweak up!
For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H.
Published On: May 09, 2013