Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle, but the simple thought of giving up food you love, working out and fully committing, terrifies you and stops you before you even start? Do you wish you wish you had the money to buy organic food or get a membership to the gym? Do you simply wish you had the time to put in the energy it takes to live a healthy lifestyle? Well, I’m here to tell you that I know exactly how you feel and I used to have all of these thoughts. You don’t need a lot of money or a gym membership to get started working towards a healthier life. When it comes to living a healthier lifestyle you have to first realize that no one is perfect. You may make mistakes or “fall off the bandwagon”, but that doesn’t mean you give up. As Kimberly Snyder always says, its about “progress not perfection”. I live by this quote and it keeps me motivated even when I feel like I’ve gone off track.
I created a list of simple and easy (but very important) steps you can take to ease you into a healthier lifestyle. Often times, when you make a drastic lifestyle change, such as completely changing the way you eat and going from not working out at all to working out everyday, you are more likely to get burnt out and give up. Small changes each and every day can have a much larger impact and can truly help you change your lifestyle.
If you are already living a healthy lifestyle, I’m sure there is someone you know who may be resistant or hesitant to change their ways and this list can give you some great ideas to help get them started on the right path without overwhelming them.
Start your morning off right: Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning to jump start your day. After a long night of sleep, you need to hydrate and energize and that is exactly what this drink will do for you. There are so many benefits to drinking hot water with lemon AND it’s absolutely delish!
Drink Green Smoothies: Now, just because I say “green” smoothies doesn’t mean it needs to be ALL green vegetables right away. Start with a simple strawberry and banana smoothie and add a bit of spinach. Overtime, increase the amount of spinach. Your taste buds will get used to the flavor and texture and eventually, you can start to add more greens and try different variations.
Get Sleep: Ultimately, this should be #1. You hear it over and over and read it everywhere, so why don’t you just listen? Sleep is so important to a truly healthy lifestyle. You should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Make it a priority. No excuses!
Focus on what you CAN eat: When beginning a path towards healthy eating its important to focus on adding vegetables and healthy foods, instead of focusing on what you CAN’T have. If you put all of your energy and thoughts into what you “shouldn’t” or “can’t” eat, you will feel deprived and eventually, end up eating something unhealthy. Start by incorporate a salad with each meal and adding more vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Over time you will get used to the healthier foods and you may even notice that you start craving and actually wanting healthy foods over processed food.
Enjoy eating: Eating food is all about nourishing your body. You should never feel guilt or associate food with negative feelings. Eating food should be enjoyable, and not so much about the food, but the experience. Try to make preparing dinner fun by turning on some music or cooking with your family or friends. Sit down and talk and take your time while eating meals. Try to limit eating on the go and eating in front of the television. Food is wonderful, enjoy it!
Walk more: This is another commonly hear and read statement, but its so true. If you jump into a rigid work out routine while trying to get on a healthy track you may start out good and after 2 weeks you’ll be burnt out and possibly quit completely. Start simple, by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going inside a Dunkin’ Donuts instead of through the drive through, part further at the grocery store. Start small and work your way up to a solid work out routine.
Write in a Journal: This is a great place to write out your health goals, track what you are eating, and write about how you are feeling. This may seem weird and/or pointless, but it’s important to write how you are feeling and keep track of your progress towards a healthy lifestyle. It can be quite inspiring to look back and reflect on how much you’ve grown.
Read a book: Pick up a book on health and start learning. A few of my favorites are Beauty Detox Foods, Whole and In Defense of Food. If you’re not into reading books, pick up a health magazine or two (my favorite!). It can me quite motivating when you learn the benefits of healthy living.
Prioritize “me” time: In today’s world, everyone’s busy. A lot of people forget to take time for themselves. It’s important to prioritize some “me” time, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day. Find something that truly makes you happy such as meditating or yoga for 10 minutes, a hot bath, painting your nails, or whatever it is, do it for you and no one else.
Practice gratitude: Be thankful. Make it a point to start each day by thinking about something you are thankful for. Practicing gratitude can greatly increase your mood. The more you practice, the more it will become natural to you. Gratitude will give you peace of mind and happiness inside.