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January 7, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions are often considered a very individual and personal undertaking. Staying fit and healthy, losing weight, living life to the fullest, saving more and spending time with family and friends round out Nielsen’s top five list for 2015.

This year, make a healthful family life top priority. Making healthier eating a family initiative knocks out multiple birds with one stone, and creates an automatic support system to see the commitment through all year long. Choosing healthier options will also provide your family member’s bodies and minds with the fuel they need to carry out their own personal goals.

Pacific Quest is here to arm you with the nutritional knowledge and practical how-tos to get your family started on a more healthful path in 2016.

The Standard American Diet (SAD)

We’ve all seen it: The old pyramid filled with food and broken up by serving recommendations. It’s called the Standard American Diet (SAD) and while its intentions are good, it is not the healthiest option for our families. Many US families continue to consume processed foods—or food-like products—high in refined sugars, chemicals and trans-fats. This diet inevitably leads to health issues, including metabolic problems, elevated cholesterol and insulin resistance, to name a few.

“The sheer novelty and glamour of the Western diet, with its 17,000 new food products introduced every year, and the marketing muscle used to sell these products, has overwhelmed the force of tradition and left us where we now find ourselves; relying on science and journalism and marketing to help us decide questions about what to eat,” says Michael Pollan in an article published by The New York Times titled “Unhappy Meals.”

Going beyond the Standard American Diet, and back to basics with organic, whole, anti-inflammatory foods is the first step.

More Food for Thought

A general rule of thumb is to avoid all food products that contain unrecognizable or difficult-to-pronounce ingredients. Whole foods are free of these harmful substances and should be consumed as often as possible. They also provide vital nutrients to improve our bodily functions. It is important to eat a well-rounded diet daily, but these nutrients in particular have been proven to contribute to brain health:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish)
  • Vitamin B-12 (found in fish, meat, dairy and nutritional yeast)
  • Vitamin C (found in leafy greens, citrus and strawberries)
  • Vitamin E (found in nuts)

Family-sized New Year’s Resolutions
Modern families live their lives behind computer screens and smartphones. Internet and video game addictions are a very real issue.  Learning the truth about nutrition, planting and caring for fruits and vegetables at home and cooking healthy meals together as a family will soon become a beloved tradition. This approach is also beneficial to families suffering from greater issues, such as problems with a troubled teen or young adult. Horticultural Therapy combines the art and science involved in working in a garden with current human behavior theories. The New Year is the perfect time to participate in a growth-focused treatment program. If you think someone in your family may need more help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Pacific Quest—We’re here for your support.

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