Thursday, January 24, 2013

Myth: There are too many things at home and work that promote unhealthy food choices or sitting too much.

Answer: This may be TRUE, but...

You can change your home or office environment so that you are surrounded by reminders to make healthier food choices or become more active.

  • Make your glove compartment or desk drawer into a healthy snack box. Keep a small package of almonds, a container of applesauce or a small plastic bag of whole-grain cereal handy so you reach for these healthy snacks instead of driving to the nearest fast-food drive-thru. Not enough room in the glove compartment or at your desk? Pack a small cardboard box with healthy snacks and keep it in the back seat of your car.

  • Download a mindfulness bell for your desktop or get a free mindfulness bell/meditation timer mobile app for your mobile device. These applications help you set up bells that chime every hour, reminding you to get up and take a short walk. Type "mindfulness bell" or "meditation timer" in your search engine to find free examples and downloads.

  • Planning your next day’s appointments? Be sure to add a walking appointment with yourself to your mobile device’s calendar or list of things to do. This will ensure that you take the time to add walking to your schedule.

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting at home. Stand up and walk around when you are on the phone.

  • Keep healthy snacks like cut-up veggies in clear containers right up front so you see them when opening the refrigerator. Keep other foods in opaque containers so you can’t easily see what is in the containers.

  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the kitchen counter. It will remind you to reach for fresh fruit for a snack.

Go to for more information about healthy eating and becoming more active.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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