Cooking Light's 12 Healthy Habits
Forget the grandiose, impossible New Year’s resolutions: The path to a healthier lifestyle begins one little habit at a time. Welcome to our 12 Healthy Habits program: Each month this year we’ll focus on one healthy practice that you’re probably already doing but want to do a bit more (usually food-related, but we’ve thrown in a couple that focus on exercise). We’ll profile people and explore their challenges and goals, then recommend food or fitness strategies, and provide recipes and nutrition tips. Want to join us? Sign up for our Start Your Week Off Light newsletter and join the conversation on our message boards and on Facebook. You can be part of the conversation, online and in the magazine.
The plan challenges you to add a new habit each month, and by year-end, the accumulated effect will be a much healthier you. Here's what to expect, month by month:
January: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables—Add 3 more servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet each day. Download January's Healthy Habits Tracker PDF.
Feb: Get Moving—Increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do. Download February's Healthy Habits Tracker PDF.
March: Get Cooking—Cook at least 3 meals more per week than you are now, even if that means cooking breakfast or lunch (for freezing, maybe). Download March's Healthy Habits Tracker PDF.
April: Go For More Grains—Add 3 servings of whole grains per day. Download April's Healthy Habits Tracker PDF.
May: Eat Breakfast Daily—Eat a healthy breakfast every day. Download May's Healthy Habits Tracker PDF.
June: Get Stronger—Add strength training to your fitness regimen: at least 2 sessions per week.
July: Focus on Healthy Fats—Swap unhealthy fats for healthy fats in your diet.
August: Go Vegetarian at Least 1 Day a Week—Expand the number of all-vegetable dishes that you eat by making 1 dinner or main-meal-of-the-day vegetarian.
September: Eat More Fish—Cook fish or seafood for dinner 2 times a week.
October: Ease Up on Salt—Cut back on salt/sodium and increase your sodium awareness.
November: Be Portion Aware—Cut your portion size of less-healthy or higher-calorie foods at least once per meal.
December: Eat Mindfully, Be Thankful—Learn two ways—in this busy season and throughout the year—to find joy in food and to share that joy with others.