Healthy habits for a better lifestyle


Julia Drabczyk

Jack Nicholson holds a basket with a variety of fruits and vegetables that could be included with every meal.

Julia Drabczyk , Reporter

Before the sun even rises the dreadful sound of the alarm goes off. Sophomore Gabby Hentemann slips out of bed to start her day with the most important meal. She fills her body with a source of protein, carbs, and anything she can find that powers her throughout the day. However, this has not been a lifetime habit. By the middle of 8th grade she started to pay attention to what was actually on her plate to improve her running career as well has her overall well being and she has continued with this habit since.

“I went from not feeling good when I woke up in the morning to having too much energy when I go to bed,” Hentemann said. “Now I wake up in the morning and I feel refreshed. In the middle of the day I am not getting sick or tired, and when I go to bed I am accomplished.”

It was as simple as adding healthy meats, vegetables, and less package foods into her meals. She admits that workouts were challenging with no motivation and the urge to quit, but with switching to healthier foods it fuels her fire.

As the new year continues and the countdown to spring break arrives the thought of being “bikini ready” slips into mind. Remember, a strict and fast diet that practically starves oneself is not the answer. Local MA licensed professional counselor, Dana Hood believes that balance and basics are two important components to a healthy lifestyle. Balance in the means of not overloading certain components of your life, and basics as in sleep, exercise, and eating.

“For food, always have healthy snacks [ like nuts, cheese, crackers, dried fruit] on hand for when you do become hungry and maybe would choose a candy bar over a healthy snack,” Hood said via email.

According to Hood, it’s important of to be aware of the choices that are made in everyday life. In place of a soda or other sugary drink, carry a water bottle around. Make sure to decrease on the caffeine intake. Keep in mind to limit package and processed food because most often they contain unwanted sugar and sodium that does not benefit the body.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Jacqueline Destrampe, a 2012 GHHS grad, suggests setting a realistic goal for yourself in a timely manner.

“At the end of the week evaluate your success at achieving your goal and if you didn’t do so well that’s okay,” Destrampe  said via email.

According to Destrampe goals can be as simple or as complex as you make it, so if you do not reach the goal then it may alter to fit the individual needs. Some ways to keep track of your goals is to keep a log or a journal. Another helpful tip is to have a partner that holds you to accountable for showing up for a planned workout.

At first it may be difficult to get into the healthy habits of working out and being mindful of what you put into your body, but after a few weeks that habit is formed. After some time you will recognize the adjustment your body has made, and most likely will feel better physically and mentally.

“By eliminating the diet mentality we can free ourselves from food cravings, battling negative body image and feelings of exhaustion,” Destrampe said.

People often think starving yourself is the solution, but it negatively affects not only your physical health, but also your mental health.

“An important factor is the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates our appetite, mood and sleep,” Destrampe said.

Our body needs essential vitamins and nutrients and by eating unhealthy foods it does not provide enough for our body. When a person exercises the body also releases chemicals that help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and allows the person to get better sleep.

A healthy plan should include proportions of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and low fat dairy.

“One positive lifestyle change only produces more down the line,” Destrampe said.

With a positive mindset it makes it easier for making healthy decisions down the road.

“Going into competitions or even tests, you have so much more confidence because you know that you prepared your body for this. Even if eating cake the night before and instead eating yogurt doesn’t physically affect you, it affects your mind because you have so much more confidence,” Hentemann said.