While flipping through the January issue of COOKING LIGHT magazine, I came across their 12 Healthy Habits challenge for 2011.  I like the idea of replacing bad habits with good habits gradually over time.  I believe that this is a more sustainable way of improving our lifestyle, so I really was attracted to this idea.  At the Poe Center, the staff will be tracking our progress with these habits and challenge you to join us! Have fun eating more fruits and veggies during January! Click here to download your own January Healthy Habit “Veggie Up!” Tracking Sheet.

Cooking Light’s 12 Healthy Habits

2011 Can Be Your Healthiest Year Ever. Let’s Do This Together.

12 Healthy Habits

Forget the grandiose, impossible New Year’s resolutions: The path to a healthier lifestyle begins one little habit at a time. Welcome to our 12 Healthy Habits program: Each month this year we’ll focus on one healthy practice that you’re probably already doing but want to do a bit more (usually food-related, but we’ve thrown in a couple that focus on exercise). We’ll profile people and explore their challenges and goals, then recommend food or fitness strategies, and provide recipes and nutrition tips. Want to join us? The plan challenges you to add a new habit each month, and by year-end, the accumulated effect will be a much healthier you. Here’s what to expect, month by month:

January: Eat More Fruits and VegetablesAdd 3 more servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet each day.

Feb: Get Moving—Increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do.

March: Get Cooking—Cook at least 3 meals more per week than you are now, even if that means cooking breakfast or lunch (for freezing, maybe).

April: Go For More Grains—Add 3 servings of whole grains per day.

May: Eat Breakfast Daily—Eat a healthy breakfast every day.

June: Get Stronger—Add strength training to your fitness regimen: at least 2 sessions per week.

July: Ease Up on Salt—Cut back on salt/sodium and increase your sodium awareness.

August: Go Vegetarian at Least 1 Day a Week—Expand the number of all-vegetable dishes that you eat by making 1 dinner or main-meal-of-the-day vegetarian.

September: Go Fishing—Cook fish or seafood for dinner 2 times a week.

October: Focus on Healthy Fats—Swap healthy fats for unhealthy fats in your diet.

November: Be Portion Aware—Cut your portion size of less-healthy or higher-calorie foods at least once per meal.

December: Eat Mindfully—Be mindful of the Earth, be thankful, be giving, be happy this holiday season.