What Health Changes Did You Make In 2010? Here Are Mine…

So how was your 2010 here in Beijing? Do you feel more or less healthy? For me personally, it was a continuing slow improvement of my overall wellness, and I continue to be fortunate in having no major illnesses. I did make a few changes which I’d like to share with readers (and perhaps you can share your changes in the comments section under the article):

Change #1: I stopped taking a multivitamin. I took multivitamins for years, but this year I finally decided that the hard research evidence simply wasn’t there for me. I always assumed that a multivitamin may do some good and at least couldn’t hurt, but the best studies I’ve seen still don’t show much of a benefit — at least, not with already healthy people who eat well. I wrote a post earlier this year about the latest research on multivitamins. I’ve been eating much better this year and I’m convinced enough that my multivitamin isn’t doing much for me. But I’m still very much on the fence, and further studies may indeed convince me to start again.

Change #2: I started taking vitamin D. This is my one exception for vitamins this year; I started to take 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. As I’ve mentioned in many posts this year, a lot of research shows positive benefits of vitamin D supplements — and vitamin D is one of the very few vitamins not easily available in foods (it’s mostly created by sunlight on your skin). Although most research shows few people are seriously (“clinically”) deficient in vitamin D, most health agencies are recommending this supplement. I’ve mostly been convinced by studies showing how vitamin D can cut down on winter’s colds and flu.

Change #3: I started a protein soymilk breakfast. OK, fellow Americans, let’s be honest here: after eating the typical American breakfast of pancakes, sausage, potato and eggs, your body and brain feel very sluggish and heavy. Breakfast is the #1 meal of the day, so it’s important to get proper nutrition. As I mentioned earlier this year, I love to start my day with warm, freshly-homemade soy milk. And this year, I started to add a couple tablespoons of freshly ground protein powder to this soy milk, and this protein/nutrition boost gives me a lot of positive energy for the morning. I also start my day with a small cup of warm water with juice from half a lemon; honey; and alfalfa powder. Plus, I make a big glass of a homemade smoothie, usually fruits plus spirulina powder.

Change #4: I stopped using any plastic for leftovers. How many of you still microwave your restaurant leftovers in their plastic/styrofoam containers? I previously was trying to use only “safe” plastic codes (like #5) but I finally stopped this entirely this year and switched completely to glass containers. I mentioned earlier this year that there is increasing evidence that many plastics have harmful chemicals, mostly due to chemicals such as BPA which can cause multiple endocrine and other disorders.

There are supposed to be “safe” plastics you can reuse, but I made the switch to all-glass mostly because of scary news reports this year on the Chinese media about a review showing many Chinese restaurant take-out plastics and styrofoams containing dangerous chemicals. These unstable chemicals can easily leach out into foods — especially oily foods — and especially when microwaving. The public health groups recommended that people immediately transfer all take-out foods to different containers as soon as you get home; even sitting in the fridge overnight isn’t considered safe.


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