We get so caught up in our busy lives and trying to please everyone that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. You’ve probably heard this a million gazillion times, but health IS wealth! There are so many small things you can start doing now to ensure optimal health in your future. Take anything you can from this article and start working on your health now.
It’s never realistic to quit all of your habits cold turkey, but you can definitely start slowly changing them for better and longer health results.
So let’s start from when you first wake up. What do you usually start your day with? Water, coffee, or a high sugary breakfast? All of that is just fine, but there can be little tweaks. For coffee, try to wean off the sugary, processed creamers. Go for natural creamers and spices. What helped my clients stop drinking those sugary creamers was unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon.
Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day. That was definitely the hardest habit for me to change. Instead of just cutting out every sugary thing like waffles, cinnamon rolls, and bagels, I found other options I liked just as much! I chose whole grain options and started to incorporate more fruits, healthy fats, and protein. So my typical breakfast looks like:
a slice of whole grain toast, over-easy eggs, and a couple of strawberries.
If I’m in a hurry, I usually make a smoothie filled with spinach, a banana, protein powder, and peanut butter. The best advice I can give for wanting to eat healthier, but in a jiffy, is to have things on hand! Overnight oats..yogurt parfait..etc
Find those health staples that YOU like.
If you have time before work or school, try a 10-minute workout. Whether it’s a walk or just a simple floor workout routine. Just these 10 minutes are so beneficial for your heart and overall health. If you can fit in a longer workout then perfect! Exercise can help you to start your day energized and clear your mind, therefore making you more productive and concentrated. I challenge you to start your day with just 10 minutes!
Before you head off to work or school, pack some snacks. Make your own trail mix with some nuts, seeds, and dry fruits. Have healthier options ready to avoid the mindless temptations in the office like three day old store-bought cupcakes. If you work in an office all day, every hour on the hour stand up and walk around for two minutes. Sitting down for too long is not a good habit for your health, and so is staring at your screen dall day!
For lunch, plan ahead. Like mentioned earlier, it’s all about finding what you like. I try my best to balance every meal I have! So for lunch I might enjoy leftovers from the night before, (which likely includes a protein, complex carb, and veg), or create a quick lunch that also includes these components. It’s all about finding what works in your schedule. I tell my clients all of the time: it doesn’t need to be or look perfect. You can have quick things like hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, trail mix, kale chips, etc that all have a place in a healthy lunch.
Lastly, don’t skip your lunch! Block off time on your calendar. Skipping lunch can lead to decreased concentration and productivity in the afternoon.
You 100% know this and have heard this a million times, but drink your water! It’s so important and drinking more can actually help you lose weight as a side effect. I’ve found what works for me is keeping a glass with me. I get so lazy sometimes and don’t want to fill up a water bottle (I have to go downstairs..get distracted by my dog.. etc)
Everytime I see my glass of water get low, I refill it. If you can’t stand just the taste of water, try natural fruit infused waters or sparkling waters. You could also drink out of a straw – this takes away the effort of having to undo a water bottle or take your hands off your keyboard if you are truly desperate.
Now it’s time to talk about the grocery store. The most important part is planning ahead! And also not going into there hungry. Find new easy healthy recipes that not only inspire you but look delicious. Jot down those ingredients. Include healthier snacks; my favorites are fruit, popcorn, and carrots with hummus. Include a good amount of protein (lean meats, fish, beans, etc), healthy fats (nuts and avocado) and fruits and veggies!
One big thing that helped me change so many habits was educating myself. I spent some time reading about what certain foods did to my body, what foods are best to avoid and why, and I learned how to make a lot of new foods I’ve never tried before. On nights you know you will have some free time, learn about nutrition or maybe try a new recipe.
So for dinner on busy nights, the best meal to make is a sheet pan dinner. Include a protein, vegetable, and a healthy carb. My go-to on a very busy night is chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes tossed in onion and garlic powder.
The bottom line
One of the best habits you can make is learning how to balance your meals and incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Drink more water and workout whenever and however you can. Take it slow at first so you don’t get overwhelmed, but after a while, it’ll be a breeze!
Below are some more small habits you can challenge yourself to do:
- Try to hit 6k-10k steps daily
- Consume at least 64 fl oz of water each day
- Drink less caffeine throughout the day to get more sleep
- Switch out soda for carbonated water
- Plan your lunches out for the week
Looking to learn how to incorporate healthy eating habits into your busy routine? Schedule a free call with Alli here.