Can I let you in on a little secret? The last five years my weight has constantly fluctuated, and my health habits haven't always been the best. Despite that little fact and through trial and error, eating healthy can be not only be delicious, but it can be easy too. Choosing healthier options can be a joy and a life changing path to help you feel & look your best, ( I'm not talking about weight loss folks, I'm talking about feeling beautiful & comfortable in your body). On top of that, anyone can do it, because at the end of it all it's about starting out small & making little changes that will hopefully result into big impacts. Here are some of the simple steps I'm implementing to eat great & feel great this year.
1. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Stay hydrated. It's easy for me to remember to drink water if it's right in front of me, so I keep a water bottle on my desk that holds 1 quart. Water, as plain as it may seem at times has phenomenal benefits. From keeping your skin glowing to keeping your motivation running strong, water has a huge impact on our bodies. Last year I went 365 days without soda, the biggest changes that I noticed were that the intensity of my headaches & migraines were far less brutal, and that after dropping the caffeinated drinks, I actually had more energy, and craved less of processed & refined sugars.
2. EMBRACE NATURAL SUGARS & SWEETS
First of all what's the difference between refined & natural sugars? Refined sugars have been processed, in so being that all of their nutritional values have been erased. Simply put refined sugars are empty calories, you won't feel full after eating them and the results of eating too much can be a little scary. Refined sugars have been known to help spike your insulin, create cancer cells, diabetes, heart disease, and memory loss. Natural sugars on the other hand are usually found in fruits, which are also packed with fiber, this creates slower digestion, allowing you to feel full, and to avoid the insulin spike. With cooking or baking, if the recipe calls for white sugar, we try and find ways to substitute it with coconut sugar or honey.
3. CHOOSE TO MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE
Even if it's just for 15 minutes a day, start somewhere and get moving. No gym required. This is the biggest challenge for me since my excuse is always lack of time or lack of equipment at home, but once again I have found that you can be active anywhere. Right now I'm using the Nike Training App, which is completely free, full of great workouts, easy to use tutorials, and my favorite, you can choose what fitness level you feel most comfortable at.
4. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET
It's easy to be successful when you allow yourself to be. Have the attitude that you can do whatever you put your mind too, focus on why you're choosing health & happiness, and dwell on the positive. Write down how you want to feel about yourself. Allow yourself wiggle room so your motivation can still thrive, it's not the end of the world if you ate fries & a milkshake, just keep going forward and be proud of what you're accomplishing.
5. READ THE LABELS
Knowledge is the ultimate power. Be aware of what you're putting into your body. If you are unsure perhaps of what a particular ingredient is while you're checking out the back of the label, look into it, and always make sure you're getting your information from credible sources.
6. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
The best help for eating healthy is to bring the types of foods I want to eat into my home, and vice versa for those foods I'm trying to avoid. If it's not in your home, it'll be easier to say no. For us, we keep the dark chocolate chips on the top shelf behind the brown rice, that way it's not the first thing we see when we open our cabinet.
7. PLAN YOUR MEALS
An easy way to avoid eating out, or snacking mindlessly is to plan your meals. At the beginning of each week we sit down, discuss our schedules, and calendar accordingly. If we know we're both going to be unavailable to make dinner one evening then I'll plan on a low maintenance dinner, whether it's a Thai Salad, or my favorite Butternut Squash crockpot soup. Our go to breakfast options? Cast iron skillet omelets or cinnamon oatmeal with honey. With most of our food we try our best to buy in bulk, so by planning our meals it also helps with coordinating groceries, steering clear of last minute trips to the store and staying within our budget. *If you're baking gluten free, remember that most dough takes at least 12 hours to rise.
8. STOCK UP ON SNACKS
By keeping healthy snacks available in my home, I snack healthier. Whether it's baby carrots, almonds, or celery with our favorite organic peanut butter, this year we're making a point to keep better quick food options in our fridge & pantry. We approach our kitchen with the mindset of the fresher the better. To combat a late night sweet tooth, we make sure we have ingredients for smoothies. Tackling an afternoon munching mayhem? Roasted cauliflower. Truth be told, we eat smaller meals with snacks in between & it works really well for us.
Whatever your circumstance or lifestyle is, just remember that health coincides with happy.
The better you eat, the better you feel. Even if you just choose one of these points to work on this year, we'd love to hear your stories and experiences. Join in on Instagram too with what healthy choices you're making this year so we can help each other be successful in our goals okay? Thanks for joining in on this journey with me!