Nutrition Matters – February 2020

— Written By

Take Stock of Where You Are:  After entering a new year and a fresh decade, we should take stock of all aspects of wellness and turn 2020 into the year of success and mental well-being. Before you can get to where you want to be, it helps to understand where you are. That is why doctors urge people to first take stock of themselves. A good approach, is similar to the way you check your bank balance to know where your finances stand, you should do the same when assessing aspects of your health. To help you take stock of the various parts of your health and life that add up to overall wellness, you should create a set of questions to ask yourself about your body, mind, and spirit. Always answer truthfully about where you actually are, not where you wish you could be. The following are things to think about during your journey to a healthier mindset:

Nutrition: Are you eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, and avoiding prepackaged fare as much as possible? Are your portion sizes moderate? Are you drinking sufficient water throughout the day?

Movement: Do you incorporate movement into your daily actions, such as by taking the stairs and getting up from your desk chair if you’re sitting too long? Are you exercising for at least two and a half hours each week? When you wake up in the morning, do you feel rested?

Emotions and stress: Are you managing stressful situations in a healthy way, rather than by drinking, smoking, overeating, or using other compensating behaviors? Can you process difficult feelings or do you run from them? Are you sensitive enough to notice how other people in your life are feeling?

Learning: Are you curious to discover new things, people and places? Are you engaged in activities that challenge your mind? When new information comes to you, are you able to change your mind or do you remain obstinate?

Work: Does the work you do line up with your values? Do you still care about the quality of your output, or is your job simply about the paycheck?

Relationships: Do you spend enough time with other people, especially those who bring out your best qualities? Are your relationships satisfying to you? Also, are you being ruled by your need to please others?

Purpose: Are your life choices giving you meaning? Do you feel connected to something larger than you? Are you excited about each new day?

It might seem odd that topics such as work and learning are part of a wellness assessment, but these issues are right on target. Continually learning new things keeps our brains healthy along with energizes us. We spend most of our time at work which often contributes to our sense of purpose, something we all need to feel to have a true sense of well being.

For additional foods, health and nutrition information contact Shelina Bonner, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Greene County Center at (252) 747-5831.