If you follow my blog, then you know I’ve been working on the AICR’s New American Plate Challenge for the past two months. It’s a twelve-week challenge to get your plate and your body in better shape, to reduce your risk of cancer. The challenge goals for the past few weeks were to continue working on exercise, by picking up the intensity, and to work on limiting meat.
My exercise routine was going along great, until we hit the upper 90-degree mark with “oppressive” humidity for a week straight. I refuse to ever complain about the heat because I complain about the cold all winter, but it did suck the life out of me for at least 7 days, and it put a damper on my outside exercise. And it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
I did get to the gym a few times instead, but it’s not the same. Not sure I could ever live in the deep South…
The AICR recommends limiting red and processed meats to no more than 18 oz weekly, as it’s linked to increase risk of colon cancer, and I did well with this challenge. Although I’m not a vegetarian, I rarely eat red meat, and even tend to limit chicken and fish to just a few ounces a week. I’ve been advocating for low to no red meat in my house for a long time. We made the switch to veggie burgers a few years ago, and we love them with topped with vegetarian chili, lettuce, pickles and mustard. It’s a much healthier grilling choice for summer.
Last week’s challenge was to work on making better beverage choices. Specifically, they asked us to limit sugary drinks and alcohol. Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and it’s also been noted to increase the risk of colon, mouth, throat, esophageal and liver cancers. Yikes! I really do enjoy my glass of wine when I’m making dinner, but I’ve cut it in half and added seltzer and a spritz of lemon for a wine spritzer instead.
Sugar in beverages adds extra calories that most of us don’t need. I realized this firsthand when I turned 40 and my metabolism came to a screeching halt. No more cranberry juice coolers and (don’t tell anyone) occasional icy cold Cokes for me! I’m strictly a water drinker now – except that it does get boring. Have you been wondering when I would get to the Fruited Iced Sun Tea?
Sun tea is a nice change from water, especially in the summer, and you really don’t even need sun to brew it. As a bonus both black and green tea are full of antioxidants and compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, diabetes, and blood pressure. To make it a bit more interesting, I use a muddler to mash and mix some fresh fruit in the glass. Simply. Refreshing!
Do you have any tips to drink more water? Please share!