5 Small Steps Toward a Healthier 2018
I greatly dislike New Years Resolutions.
Because they are a means to an end- not a real commitment or lifestyle change.
Though I DO think a new year signifies a new start, something fresh, something exciting and something motivating.
One of the things I HIGHLY recommend for a new year is a commitment to health.
NOT WEIGHT LOSS (though this is 99.9% of the time the result) but true health.
How many of you: ✔️ Want to live longer? ✔️ Want to have more energy for your kids or grandkids? ✔️ Are sick and tired of being sick and tired? ✔️ Want to rid your body of chronic issues like fatigue, auto-immune issues, digestive issues, skin issues, inflammation and pain? ✔️ Want to have a healthy pregnancy? ✔️ Want to produce more nutrient-dense milk for your babies ✔️ Want to conceive ✔️ Want to have more energy to workout and get strong? ✔️ Want to FEEL better everyday ✔️ Want improved sleep?
The list goes on and on and on.....
The biggest underlying factor to all of the above is what we put IN to our bodies.
Put junk in- we feel like ....well......junk.
But where do you start?
START SMALL! I repeat, START SMALL.
If you try to do everything at once, you and your body will become overwhelmed and you will not be able to sustain. I have found that most people are successful at implementing lifestyle changes when they are simple, gradual and easy to maintain.
Here are my best tips for making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle this year:
1. Walk. Every day. Even if it’s around your block to start. Walking has umpteen benefits like improved mood, increased caloric burn, improved cognitive function, improved body composition, improved energy, improved muscle and joint movement, etc. We rarely get enough actual movement in a day to be considered ‘active’ – even with daily workouts. Have a pup? They NEED to walk and will be much happier if you take them on daily walks.
CHALLENGE: get 10,000 steps a day. Use a tracking watch like a FitBit, an Apple watch or a simple pedometer.
2. 🚫Give up the soda.
Yes even diet. It’s doing your body much harm by way of artificial sweeteners that cause inflammation and is linked to heart issues, kidney issues, diabetes and more. But isn't cutting our sugar a good thing? Yes - but so is cutting out artificial sweeteners also linked to the above as well as cancers and other chronic illnesses. Have health issues already? Then you definitely need to ditch the soda habit – diet or not.
CHALLENGE: Instead of cutting cold turkey- drop to 1 a day, then 3 a week and then none. Try out healthier alternatives like La Croix Sparkling Water
3. 🥑Eat Real Food.
Open your fridge- how many fresh fruits and vegetables and raw or cooked meats do you have? (NOT lunch meat or highly processed/packaged meats). Open your cupboards. How much of your daily food staples are located here in boxes and packages? If your answer is not many fresh foods and a lot of boxed/packaged, likely you are consuming too many processed foods and preventing your body from optimal health. Processed foods contain ‘non-foods’ created in a lab like preservatives and chemicals but also contain high amounts of sugars and unhealthy fats our body cannot process the same as real food. This leads to so many issues from weight gain to pre-diabetes to inflammation to hormone imbalances and so much more.
CHALLENGE: Replace one meal a day with real food like pastured eggs, avocado and smoked salmon or a big-fat-salad with shrimp, goat cheese, pistachios, grapefruit and roasted bell peppers (YUM!). Slowly replace more meals until ALL of your meals are real-food based. You will not BELIEVE how good you feel.
“You never know how bad you feel until you feel GOOD.”
4. 💧Drink water (and lots of it).
This isn’t just a myth- drinking water fuels your body and helps transport nutrients to your muscles as well as detoxes your system. You don’t need a detox diet- you just need to eat real food and drink lots of water!
CHALLENGE: Start replacing one beverage a day with real water- not flavored or sparkling. Not tea- water. Continue replacing until you are drinking water all day. 🔻Tips🔻
Take your weight and divide in half- this is how much water you need in ounces per day.
Try adding lemon, grapefruit or wild orange essential oil in your water- yum!
No seriously. SLEEP. Gone are the days of bragging about how little you sleep. Very prevalent and popular research has shown that lack of sleep affects cognitive function, performance at work, personal relationships, weight gain, hormone imbalances, energy levels and more. If you are getting less than 7 hours a night consistently, something needs to change.
CHALLENGE: Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Yes you read that right. Think it’s impossible? Think again. The most successful people on the globe link sleep with their ability to perform at high levels from business owners to athletes to Mom’s. 🔻Tips🔻:
TURN OFF ELECTRONICS 1 HOUR BEFORE BED (this includes TV, phone, tablets and anything with a backlit screen.)
Sleep in a cool, dark room.
Make your bed warm, soft and inviting.
Meditate before bed.
Take a warm bath.
Listen to soothing music.
Make bedtime consistent and an appointment with yourself- make sure to go to bed in enough time to get your full sleep.
Make a task list for the next day so you don’t think about this at night.
Diffuse calming oils like lavender.
Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year! tNutritionista