In other occasions I’ve mentioned that my grandmother is also my mother who raised me and that I have receive from her thousands of good things and memories that will stay with me always. However, like in other Latino families, from grandma I have also inherit my bad eating habits that little by little were getting me in route to inherit the family’s illnesses.
Despite the fact that I have yet to fully eliminate such habits, fortunately my mentality has change and I am determined to modify my life, not only to lose weight but for my overall wellbeing. I have to admit that this consciousness I did not developed on my own or with the learning you would think should come with many years of getting on and off diets.
Unfortunately, that wake-up call came hand in hand with a very difficult moment. During the summer of 2010, my grandmother went from being “healthy” to terribly ill and near death. Her disease, high blood pressured added to an abusive use of salt and a high-fat diet, made her heart weak and stop functioning properly.
Teaching by example from what we put on the table to the time we spend engaging in physical activity versus the time we spend in front of the TV or the computer screen, is the best way we can embed those habits in our children. If they grow in an environment like that, it will be for them the only lifestyle possible; that is precisely one of my goals for this year 2012.
Fortunately my grandmother continues to be with us, but this experience definitely changed my way of thinking in regards to what I eat, and especially my sodium consumption. To achieve a change in lifestyle is not easy, my strategy is to begin with three basic changes following the recommendations from the experts:
- Reduce salt. The American Heart Association recommends we should not exceed more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. These are 1.5 grams, which is less than half a teaspoon. I know is hard to lower the taste buds, it has been for me; but I guarantee you that when you do, you’ll notice the difference.
- Reduce sugar. Sugar, like salt, when ingested in excess has a harmful effect that provokes multiple diseases. The American heart Association recommends not exceeding 8 teaspoons of sugar a day. No soft drinks!
- Let’s get moving. Lastly, the third change, but not of less importance, is physical activity. Yes, you can do your cardio dancing, walking or with aerobic, that does not matter. But it is basic you do a minimum of half an hour 4 times a week to be able to take advantage of the benefits of exercising.
I challenge you to dare to implement these changes for you and your entire family and if you feel you are lacking motivation, I have to tell you that just yesterday a new TV show started yesterday in Univision in which you can see the transformations of participants through exercise and good nutrition. “Dale con Ganas” (Give it your all) has the same concept of The Biggest Loser, but we will have it available with the opportunity of enjoying it in Spanish at 10 PM.
If you are also interested in talking about this subject and learn more information about how to create more healthy habits for you and your family, I invite you to the Twitter party that will be held tonight at 9:45 PM EST. You just have to use the hashtag #LATISM to participate. See you there!
Disclosure clarification: This article is part of a campaign sponsored by LATISM to promote a healthy lifestyle within the Latino community. The opinions expressed before are mine and were not edited by third parties.