BY SADIE SALAZAR JUNE 18, 2014
You want to be healthy, but sometimes it seems like being healthy is a constant uphill battle. But what if being healthy was as easy as ABC?
It can be with these easy steps:
Avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners. Become familiar with the names of these ingredients (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, etc.)
Breakfast. This is an important meal to eat every day. Focus on fueling your body with whole grains, proteins, and fruit.
Colorful foods. Think of your plate as a blank canvas. Nobody wants to stare at an all-yellow canvas. Try to make your meals as colorful as possible using a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Drink water. Your body needs water to function properly. Don’t drink your calories, drink water! If you don’t like plain water, try adding flavors using fresh fruit and veggies like strawberries, cucumbers, mint, etc.
Eat seasonally. By doing so, you’ll get the most nutrients from your food because it’s at its freshest point.
Farmer’s markets. Visit your local farmer’s market to make eating seasonally easy. Talk to the farmers and get to know the vendors.
Go outside. Get some natural Vitamin D. This will boost your energy and your immune system!
Hire a health coach. Not only can a healthy coach help you focus on your goals, but they’ll hold you accountable too!
Imagine your ideal self. Not necessarily your ideal weight, but your ideal self. How you want to conduct yourself, what’s important to you and how you’ll make that a focus, what your ideal self will feed your body for optimal health, etc.
Junk food cleanse. While I offer a junk food cleanse to my clients, you can do this on your own, too. Go through your cupboards and fridge, and either purge all the junk food OR make a pact with yourself that when it runs out, you will not buy more.
Keep a food journal. By keeping a journal of what you eat, you’ll be able to see patterns of overeating, stress eating, etc. This is also a way to hold you accountable when you make that choice to have a healthier diet!
Lean proteins. Focus on proteins like chicken breast, turkey, eggs, and raw nuts. These will be the most beneficial when it comes to fueling your body.
Meal plan. Plan your meals every week. Sit down for an hour or so each week and plan out your meals. This helps you stay on track and avoid having to come up with quick, possibly unhealthy meal options.
Nap when needed. Sometimes all that you need is a quick nap! This will give you a great boost of energy rather than reaching for an energy drink or more cups of coffee than you really need.
Omega-3s. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, combat depression and improve mood and memory. Try to focus on omega-3 fats from food rather than supplements. Excellent sources include salmon, tuna, walnuts, flax seeds, leafy greens and hemp seeds.
Pack your lunch. Often, when working in an office, it’s easy to make too many trips to the nearest fast food join. Pack your lunch to keep it healthy. I like salads loaded with fresh vegetables and lean protein. (Make your own dressing to keep it even more healthy.)
Quit making excuses. There are so many reasons why being healthy may not be convenient, but start listing the reasons that you want to be healthy! No more excuses.
Reduce stress. Reduce your level of stress by delegating, meditating, finding your happy place, and taking time for yourself!
Share Your Goals. By doing so, you make it so all the people you tell are going to hold you accountable!
Treat yourself (in moderation). Depriving yourself of things you love will work only for a short time. If you love chocolate, try to eat dark chocolate instead. Love cake? Look online for TONS of healthy versions of your favorite recipe.
Understand your cravings. Focus on what’s causing them. Many times you can offset your cravings with something healthy. For example, if you’re craving chocolate, you may be low on magnesium. Try eating nuts, seeds, fruits, or veggies to help this craving.
Vegan once a week. Try to go one day a week without eating animal proteins. (Also known as Meatless Monday.) It will force you to use some creativity at first, but after a month, it’ll be very easy to come up with meal ideas.
Whole food diet. Rather than trying the newest diet trend, focus on eating a whole food diet. This is a diet that includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
eXercise. (Yes, I cheated on this one!). Exercising for 150 minutes a week can be very beneficial for both your mind and body. Schedule your exercise in to your daily schedule to make sure you don’t skip it.
Yoga. If you’re stressed, yoga is a great way to relax. You’ll focus on breathing and keep your emotions in check!
ZZZZs. Get plenty of sleep! Try sleeping with the blinds open, rather than closed. When the sun starts to rise and shine into your room, your brain will slow down its melatonin production and start producing adrenaline. Once your body starts producing adrenaline, your body will start waking up slowly, even before the alarm goes off.