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Technically speaking, I'm a dietitian, but I see myself as a listener, a motivator, coach and teacher of nutrition. I prefer to end a busy day with a glass of red wine while chopping vegetables. Lover of almost anything pickled and fresh baked scones just not at the same time. I'm happiest when I'm cooking for people I love. Why am I so into food? Because I KNOW how much eating well can change your life. What you eat every day is going to impact your body and your mind. It's a confusing world out there - full of diet and food advice that always leaves you feeling like it's that one next diet that's going to be the weight loss answer. Stop waiting for that magic diet, and begin to take one step at a time in the right direction. I'm here to help you on your life-long journey, there's no better time to start!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tackle your Health Goals with Your Honey this Valentine's Season

As a girl who aims to stay healthy and happy, I know that I'm always the most successful with my eating and activity routines when my live-in boyfriend, Johnny, is by my side.  When we're both feeling our best, we have more fun and have more energy.  Just because you've got love in your life, doesn't mean all your healthy habits like cooking dinner at home and working out after work have to be thrown overboard.  Living your best life is all about BALANCE. Love and relationships are as equally important as taking care of your body and mind. Read some of my healthy tips for couples in this article on Naturally Savvy, a fun website hub for everything savvy about health, wellness and balanced living

Very often when you find yourself holding hands with someone new, you may let go of  the hold you had on your health and fitness routine. Believe it or not, it is possible to be in a relationship, whether new or existing, that creates a supportive, motivating, and sustainable way for you both to stay healthy and in love. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here are some tips on what you and your honey can do to support each other’s health and  be the best you can be for yourself and your relationship.
Talk about your goals
Share what is important to you with your significant other. Communication is the key to keep expectations of each other’s time realistic. How will you agree on fitting in workouts, keeping a healthy kitchen stocked, and eating out less? If your health and fitness goals are not necessarily similar (and often they are not), talk to your partner about the importance of these routines for your well-being so you can continue to be the awesome person that you were on your first date!

Cook healthy meals together
Use a weekly meal planner and shopping list as an easy way to stay organized during the week. One of the best ways you two can relax and enjoy each other’s company is to throw on some old aprons, get comfortable, and whip up a tasty, healthy meal together. Make sure to keep copies of recipes that turn out great so you can make it again another night. Your recipe database will grow quickly and so will your affection for each other in the kitchen!

Go on dates that do not revolve around a meal
Eating out is usually the center of romantic dates, but if you end up feeling full and weighed-down from rich food, the night might end on the early side. Think outside the box and set dates that include excitement and activity. Get to know each other from another angle, rather than from across the table. Try ice skating, surfing or stand-up paddle board lessons. Jogging or hiking through a state park, or going to an arcade are activities that can help you stay active and get to know each other in a unique setting.  You can even register for a race or marathon together, which will help you both stick to your exercise and healthy eating habits.
Give the gift of health
These gifts are not only generous and thoughtful, but will help motivate your partner to stay active and get fit!  Great gift ideas include a new mp3 player, workout clothes, Wii Fit, or a stability ball for at-home exercises. For the ladies, I cannot leave out perfume or jewelry - we can wear those while staying healthy any day!
Take the lead
With all team activities, it can help if one person stands up and takes the reigns. If you have both been considering getting gym memberships, go tour a local fitness center. Be the one to make the call and sign up for a couples meeting with a registered dietitian in your zip code. Visit www.eatright.org to get more professional support, information and accountability. 
The better you both feel about yourselves, the stronger and more stable your growing relationship will be.  It is also important to remember to schedule some “me time” to decompress, maintain friendships, and of course, make your sweetie miss you just a little.

Written by Sumner Brooks, RockIt Body Pilates’ Registered Dietitian. Follow Sumner on Twitter @MyDietitian or learn more at www.NotOnADiet.com

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