Home health 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health–Day 5

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health–Day 5

by Kelly Crawford

This will be a hodge podge of tips to keep our health series from dragging on for 10 more days!

Once again, baby steps are good. We all compromise our health by the things we eat. The more health we can add to our diets, the better off we’ll be.

These are just some random thoughts, with a few substitutes at the end. I’ve really enjoyed hearing all your suggestions too!

  • Eat more salad. Iceberg lettuce is pretty useless, so try to incorporate Romaine, Red leaf and other varieties. I try to mix ours with spinach leaves too. Spinach is high in…well everything good, and it’s the only way I can eat it. (Raw is better anyway.) Also, add almonds, sunflower seeds, cilantro, parsley or whatever “green stuff” you can think of. To avoid most dressings which contain MSG, try making your own. I love an olive oil/vinegar blend with chopped onions and mandarin orange juice.


  • Drink more water. We forget this one, don’t we? Water flushes out your body’s cells and helps to rid it of the toxins we consume. Filtered water is best.


  • Make your mixes. Pancakes, biscuits, pizza crust–there are lots of easy homemade recipes for these items. Homemade is always better than packaged–and usually cheaper too. Start with one thing if you feel overwhelmed by cooking from scratch.


  • Soak in the sun. Sun is is the body’s best source of vitamin D. I heard a report that children often have a deficiency of Vitamin D because of the heavy use of sunscreen.


  • Eat more often in “snacky” portions.


  • Get your children in the habit of drinking water with their meals. If you are not accustomed to it, it’s hard to get used to. But it’s easy to build good eating habits when you’re young.


  • Buy all-natural peanut butter instead of the kind with hydrolyzed oil.


1. Instead of potato chips, try brushing tortillas with olive oil, sprinkling with spices, and baking for a few minutes until crispy. Cut with pizza cutter and serve with pasta or sandwiches.

2. For a more exciting drink but avoiding the soft drinks, mix juice with ginger ale or sparkling water.

3. Stevia is a natural sugar substitute. Honey is a great natural sugar substitute. Raw sugar is better than refined.

4. Use dark chocolate for baking instead of milk chocolate. Dark contains healthy antioxidants.

5. Use olive or coconut oil instead of other oils.

Feel free to share more of your random tips!


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5intow January 10, 2009 - 9:05 pm

Love the random tips. It is all about baby stepping. I started seriously seeking better health in our diet about 3 years ago and I still have a lot to learn and change, but we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were.

Here’s some of the baby steps we have taken:
– Read, study, and educate yourself as you have time.
– Read labels and learn what the various ingredients are (like the MSG post earlier)
– Avoid aluminum (this is mostly in baking powder, but non-aluminum varieties are available, and the mixes that use it)
– Eat local and in season when possible
– Get to know your farmer (there is nothing like fresh meat and eggs in terms of nutrition and taste)
– avoid buy conventional of the dirty dozen (apples, imported grapes, peaches, celery, etc.)

That’s the biggies that come to mind right now.

Thanks again for this series!

shanie81 January 10, 2009 - 11:45 pm

OOH! my turn!!!

one caution.. the Sun thing. while yes, sunshine is good, never forget that it can do some damage. i personally have a sun allergy (mildly) and have had to have LITERALLY chunks of skin removed to avoid melanoma, despite the fact that i’m only 27. I’m a pale red-headed green eyed lil irish girl. i love my sun time, but a mild sunscreen is not always a bad idea IF the disposition for problems is there.

I think the biggest thing i’ve learned is that you have to balance value and health. there is this Walmart commercial on TV right now that i hate (i don’t watch a lot of tv, but i keep seeing it) where a woman is talking about how ‘walmart keeps me healthy for less!’ and she’s buying diet drinks, and lean cuisines, and a yoga mat and blah blah blah. you don’t have to buy anything extra to be healthy, and i want to shake the people who try to sell that lie to the world. in fact, buying less can help you more! if something says healthy on the package, all that means is that someone put the word ‘healthy’ on the package. buying a few real fruits and veggies, some lean meat, some beans and a package of rice will do more for you than all the diet shakes and diet frozen junk in the world. arg.

shanie81 January 11, 2009 - 3:36 am

ps- be careful about olive oils. there has abeen a big to-do lately about a lack of regulation in the olive oil industry. a lot of so-called olive oils contain peanut oils, etc. also, a lot of people seem to think that olive oil is healthy in and of itself. it is STILL an oil, high in certain fats. it is a healthier choice, but learning to cook without an oil is best… for example, learning to use something like apple sauce to make a cake, instead of shortening or veggie oil… though i recommend a lot of your own research, here is just one link about this supposed controversy….


Belinda January 11, 2009 - 3:49 pm

Anybody growing a garden this year? We have expanded ours and are ready to put in onions. I think we are all excited and maybe we will have the hang of it after 2 hit-and-miss years:)

Also, Authenticallyme recommended the book “Whole Foods for the Whole Family” and I would like to second that. It has a really good baking mix recipe that I like to keep on hand for biscuits, pancakes, waffles and quick breads.

One more thing, in moderation the sun is a great source of Vit.D. My whole body responds well(including hormones) to just 15 minutes a day of exposure. Your face is usually exposed but so many moisturizers and foundations have sunscreen that we are blocking that too. So a good idea is to go outside for a few minutes BEFORE putting on moisturizer(love Kelly’s BTW) or any makeup…Hey, like pulling weeds in the garden in the morning:)…in a few months anyway.

authenticallyme January 11, 2009 - 5:46 pm

I think I am going to start buying a bag fulla lemons or limes each week, and try making one pitcher of limeade for the kids, for their ‘alkaline’ balancing. haha.

What I usually do is buy some orange juice, and when that runs dry, they only can get water………luckily, I have a fridge with a built in water dispenser, so its very easy and adaptable for my family. They have gotten so used to drinking water.

Regarding the sun, I am one of those winter-depressive types….so last year I began frequenting the tan salon down the street…i bought a package deal so it was like only $5 a session, and I only go like once every 10 days. Anyway, I wodner if I am getting the vitamin D I think that I am. Supposedly, 2O minutes in the tanning bed is like 2 hours of full sunshine. Hmmm. It is hard for me in winter cause of snow and chill I cant really walk or run or swim…and I am seeing that exercise and sun is very important to my body/wellness for some reason..I am very sensitive when I dont have those two things, and feel depressed.

I wanted to add that fasting has been a great tool for me too. Not only for the spiritual benefits, but I would do raw fruit and vegetable fasts…..worked up to 5 days (is most I ever did) and people would comment that my hair and face shone…….I also felt sooooo good, and lost weight naturally….I think it got my stomach and intestinal tract in better condition, and I naturally began eating better. And fasting with raw fruits and vegetables, still supports your liver and kidneys due to all the vitamins and minerals you receive……so you dont feel exhausted and weak to the point you cant accomplish anything all day. I would feel faint/dizzy/nauseous easiuly when total fasting, so this worked for me.

I went swimming for the first time in months yesterday, at the local high school pool, and I cannot tell you nwhat it did for my mental/emotiaonl state. I burned stress right off and left it behind in that pool. Sometimes I really underestimate the power of exercise.

Laura Ashley January 11, 2009 - 7:39 pm

Almond butter is even better than peanut butter.

Kim M. January 12, 2009 - 11:40 am

I am way behind on blog reading! Thanks for all of the great tips! I need to do better in this area, but I started by drastically reducing our convenience food intake a year ago. I have a long way to go but I am trying. Thanks again!

Improvedliving January 14, 2009 - 3:59 pm

Love the random tips. It is all about baby stepping. I started seriously seeking better health in our diet

Easy Diets

Kim M. January 15, 2009 - 10:48 am

From the Amish:

1.If your children are hungry while you are cooking, slip them raw vegetables to chomp on! Even if they fill up, it’s healthy.
(hey maybe I need to try this too for myself).
2. Anyone else made home-made yogurt? I tried it last night for the first time in my crockpot! Very Easy… and YUM and it DOES work! How exciting is that?
Go here:



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