The Great American Eat Right Challenge - Eat your way to better health.

10 years ago

There are many (too many) things in life that are totally out of our control. And, until recently, many believed that we had little control over whether we would develop diseases such as cancer and heart disease. We now know, that lifestyle plays a large role in these diseases, and healthy living can actually prevent or minimize your risk.

Did you know that...

More than 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices like not smoking or using other tobacco products, maintaining a healthy body weight, getting regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption and getting cancer screening tests.

Are your lifestyle or food choices, putting your health at risk? Do you feel like adjusting your lifestyle and diet would be too difficult? Have you tried and failed in the past? Would you like to be making better food and lifestyle choices, but you're just not sure how to go about it? Are you trying to model good eating habits for your children? If you have answered yes to any of these questions...I may have just the thing for you.

It's called The Great American Eat Right Challenge and it is sponsored by The American Cancer Society.

Eat your way to better health. What you eat (or don't eat) and how active you are can influence your risk of developing cancer. Learn about the best ways to reduce your risk through simple lifestyle changes.

The American Cancer Society promotes the Great American Health Challenge to educate Americans about how to reduce cancer risk. The Great American Health Challenge, a year-long program, encourages Americans to make a commitment to take the following actions to reduce their cancer risk or detect cancer when it is most treatable.

The best part is, you can get started right now. Take about five minutes and answer a couple of Health Check Questions - just click on the get started button. Once you are finished, you will instantly receive a personalized health action plan, that you can share with your doctor.

If you are ready to make healthy lifestyle changes, this program will give you everything you need, by providing you with tools to help you with all aspects of the program. Here is some of what you'll find at the Great American Eat Right Challenge website...

Learn about Shopping and Cooking Smart.

The first step to cooking healthy is to stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights.

    Here is a YouTube Video on The Great American Eat Right Challenge...

    Also, learn how to take control of your weight.

    Controlling the portion sizes of meals.

    Get restaurant eating tips.

    See a list of health snacks.

    Get some great healthy recipes.

    Are you ready to start The Great American Eat Right Challenge? Now that summer vacations are winding down, this may be the perfect time for you to begin a healthy lifestyle program.

    If you're looking for inspiration, check out Carmen from The Elff Diet (Eat Less Fatty Foods). Carmen has lost over 75 pounds, and has been keeping it off since 2006. Carmen's blog is great. She talks about her successes as well as her struggles. Carmen has a wonderful way of making you feel like...you can do it too.

    Yes, I did lose a lot of weight. And I did it the old fashioned way. I ate less fatty foods and moved more.

    I lost 80 pounds between January of 2005, when I made a New Year's Resolution to get in shape, and May of 2006. I've kept all but five pounds away from my body since then. I've discovered many cool things about myself during this time - I can climb the rope at the gym, punch and kick like no one's business at Muy Thai, and was amazed and astounded to be awarded my first belt rank for capoeira this past spring. I completed a dozen 5K's, 2 8K's and one Half Marathon, which is amazing because when I first began this odyssey, I couldn't walk around the block without needing to rest more than a few times. I learned to step away from the chocolate cake, embrace the yumminess of fresh vegetables, that salad is really good without dressing, and that I was eating much too much of the wrong stuff.

    Last year Liz was inspired by the Eat Right Challenge and started a blog about it. She calls her blog My Eat Right Challenge.

    I was chatting with one of my co-workers about dieting. She's been on quite an interesting diet for the last few weeks, and she's had some great results. One of her more amazing accomplishments, though, is that she feels like she's fueling her body. She doesn't miss all the crap, for like of a better word, that we typically find ourselves eating.

    She also drinks about a gallon of water a day, saying that it's just become habit. Instead of reaching for pop, which I generally do, she brings in 1-liter water bottles and just drinks those. She feels like she's flushing out all the bad stuff and just putting things in her body that help her function and live better.

    You might also want to check out Kathy McHenry from My Online Meals - She has posts on healthy recipes and great meals ideas.

    More and more people are choosing to eat a vegetarian diet because they know that veggies are healthful food. Using low calorie and vegetarian recipes is one of the most important things you can do to protect your heath and the health of your family since obesity is now an epidemic in the United States and other developed countries. Cooking them is still better than the alternatives to a vegetarian lifestyle or a vegan lifestyle, but we receive the most nutritional benefit from ingesting whole and organic raw foods. They will often include many of the vitamins, minerals, and sources of nutrition that every body needs. These low calorie recipes, usually high in fiber, protect against digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and may offer protection from colon and lung cancers. Many low calorie and vegetarian recipes use soy, tofu, dried beans and peas to add protein to meals. Using low calorie recipes will provide a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, adding high amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals.

    Have you ever wondered... Is it cheaper or more expensive to eat healthy? This is a question that really doesn't have a firm answer. But, Kayris from The Great Walls of Baltimore wrote a guest post for Crunchy Domestic Goddess, that attempts to come close to answering this persistent question. Here is an excerpt from her post...

    Clean Eating is a new magazine by the publishers of Oxygen and it’s aimed, not at dieting, but at changing your lifestyle. When you "eat clean," you try to eat foods in their most natural state and avoid refined grains, processed foods, etc. The idea isn’t new, but I think it’s a great way to reduce unnecessary sugar, salt and calories in your diet.

    Anyway, the front of the magazine caught my eye because of the headline "Feed your family for five nights–Only 60$." Food prices have been steadily rising and I've been struggling to keep our grocery expenses to a reasonable level, so I checked out the article.

    Back in January, I posted on Healthy Living and The Great American Health Challenge...

    The Great American Health Challenge is based on four simple things…

    1) Check — Take a quick quiz that screens you for potential risk factors, and promotes early detection and treatment.

    2) Move — Encouraging exercise by finding activities that are best suited for your lifestyle.

    3) Nourish — Maintain a healthy weight, learn about healthy eating and get tips on diet and nutrition.

    4) Quit — Information and tools to help you quit smoking.

    So that’s it, four easy steps that could help you prevent cancer and heart disease.

    You can also participate in BlogHer’s Good Health-A-Thon.

    Let me ask you a question. Are you ready to kick your unhealthy lifestyle habit?

    If so...Will you accept The Great America Eat Right Challenge?

    You can accept the challenge by blogging about it, and leaving your link in Mr. Linky and/or in comments.

    Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
    at catherine-morgan.com, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election

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