Feb2011 Volume 3‎ > ‎

Fuel Good

Comin' Down the Homestretch

We're almost through February, which is on average the coldest and snowiest month of the year
 (at least in NJ).  Even though it's one of the hardest months to "push through", it also means that
 Spring is thatmuch closer.  Just think:  warm sunshine, green grass, spring flowers...Never mind
 that blanket of snow that just won't go away!

To help you endure the most wintery of months, here are a few ways to keep your immune system
 in tip-top shape:

Increase your fluid intake.  Water rules!  It's good for you and it's FREE!  However, if you 
prefer a little variety in your life,  try keeping those fingers warm with a hot cup o' green or black 
tea.  Whatever you choose, be sure to keep your sugar intake to a minimum and limit your 
alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 servings per day!  Steer clear of diet sodas, too as they
 may contain additives that can cause harm at the cellular level.

Have some Joe, but skip the donut.  According to Harvard Women's Health Watch 
Magazine, "...coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development 
of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high 
risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease. Coffee has also been shown to 
improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities."  http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/coffee_health_risk  Do be careful though, as too 
much caffeine consumption can be detrimental to your health.

Good carbs =  whole grains.  Limit your intake of processed carbohydrates 
(white flour & sugar) - all that fun junky stuff is just a multitude of empty calories that will
 migrate to your middle  (or other areas we wish not to mention).  Instead of that bacon, egg and 
cheese bagel sandwich, try egg and cheese on a multigrain english muffin or wrap 
(saves approximately 220 calories, which can mean the difference of 5 lbs in one year!).  Pile 
your sandwiches with more veggie "fillers" like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. so that you 
will eat less of the simple carb stuff and still feel more full.

Eat the rainbow.  Foods that have bright colors (fruits and vegetables) have the most benefit
 for your buck.  Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals...you can't go wrong.  If this one is tough, start 
by substituting one snack with a serving of a fruit and/or vegetable - less calories, more fiber and 
more immune-system enhancing good stuff!  The more you do this, the better you'll feel and 
you'll be getting more than enough servings in no time.  Again, watch out as some manufacturers 
may "enhance" the flavor of dried fruits with sugar - if it's not fresh, read the label!

Bottom line:  do yourself a favor and give your body all the help it can get to fight off illness and
 depression during what seems to be the "longest month".  Remember that the right food is the 
best fuel!