Making healthy choices for the future

Healthy choices for tomorrow

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Around the time I turned 30, I started my career at WLBT, and got married. I had the world in the palm of my hand. But what I didn’t have was a special list put out by Women’s Health Magazine this year: 40 Health Choices All Women Should Make by age 30. The list might have helped me before that milestone birthday, so maybe it will help you.

First, learn to cook a few healthy meals, and get more of your vitamins from food. For help with these, we talked to Jackson based farm-to-table Chef Nick Wallace.

“Just learn how to put some ingredients together,” he tells us.

A big proponent of growing your own herbs and using fresh produce, Wallace says it’s easy to make a delicious healthy meal, like prosciutto wrapped salmon with vegetables.

Chef Nick Wallace prepares prosciutto wrapped salmon.
Chef Nick Wallace prepares prosciutto wrapped salmon.

First, dice your veggies.

“We have kale, we have cilantro, we have celery, carrots, red peppers, onions,” he says as he dices.

Next, put olive oil and seasoning on your fish.

“Black sesame seeds, I love the sesame seeds for crunch, and also the flax seeds,” he tells us.

Then start cooking. Veggies in one pan with some oregano, and fish in the other. Cook both sides of the salmon.

And before you know it, a perfect healthy plate.

Wallace is also a caterer for special events, and he’s currently writing a cookbook called Rooted, which will be out next summer. He also spends a lot of time doing non-profit work in schools and summer programs.

“Talking to kids, putting them in farms, putting veggies in their hands,” he says.

A few more health choices to make: stop tanning. It can lead to premature wrinkles and skin cancer. And wear sunscreen regularly. That’s particularly important for me, because I recently had some potentially dangerous dark spots removed from my right arm.

Carmeshia Cain, a Nurse Practitioner at Mississippi Dermatology in Brandon, has been treating my spots, called aktenic keratoses. They’re caused by all the sunbathing I did decades ago, which I don’t do any more. Sun exposure for any skin tone can lead to basal or squamous cell carcinomas, or even melanoma, which can grow and spread if left untreated.

“The problem normally doesn’t arise right away. We have patients that tanned or worked outside in their younger years... but the effects can show up later,” Cain says.

Can says that’s why it’s important to get yearly checks, no matter your ethnicity.

“A lot of African Americans don’t even think to go to the dermatologist. They think we have darker skin, we’re good. And a of them do end up with melanoma as well,” Cain tells us.

She advises, ditch the tanning bed, avoid the sun, and slather on the sunscreen all year round.

Another health choice to make by age 30: Hit the gym, the pavement, or the pool, just find a workout that you like. Have you ever heard of CrossFit?

CrossFit is a combination of functional movements performed at high intensity. Tom and April Cosgrave own Three Lions CrossFit in Richland.

“The women that come to our gym, 90 percent of them say they want to stay in shape so they can play with their kids, and a lot of them for blood pressure reasons as well, to get off certain medicines,” Tom says.

April Cosgrave of Three Lions CrossFit demonstrates a strength exercise.
April Cosgrave of Three Lions CrossFit demonstrates a strength exercise.

The movements include sitting down, standing up, pushing, pulling, and throwing.

"We use those movements and turn them into workouts, and change them up every day, he says.

Cosgrave took me through some of the exercises. Ring rows are good for people like me who can’t do a regular pull-up.

“Typically, we do three sets of ten for the strength work,” he tells us.

The kettlebell deadlift works your entire posterior, and the trick is keeping your back straight all the way down and up.

The sled push is good for cardio and great for people with bad knees who can’t run.

If you don’t like high impact exercise, yoga is a good choice for increased strength and flexibility.

Click here for the entire list of 40 Health Choices All Women Should Make By Age 30.

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