It's April, chances are you may have fallen off of some of your 2018, I-promise-to-be-healthier resolutions you made back in January. Worry not, you’re not alone, and luckily April is coming through with a chance at redemption!
April 7th is World Health Day, and to celebrate we are giving you some healthy life changes, big and small, so you can get finally start taking those steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Best of all, these are all things that can sustain, and put into practice over the long-term!
From food to physical activity, to everyday decisions, here are some surefire ways to get you not only looking but more importantly feeling, your absolute best!
Eat MORE, not less!
You heard that right! Unfortunately, due to harmful advertising, and incorrect advice, our society has linked eating less, and health together; the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth!
People are stuck on this idea that they should limit their intake to 1200 calories per day. Everyone has a different energy requirement, but almost EVERYONE can be eating much more than they think!
Fatigue, irritability, or like you’re always fighting a headache? Chances are ya gotta eat more! Here's a great online calorie calculator, try it out to get an idea of how much you should be eating!
We’ve all hear our momma at some point tell us to, “finish your vegetables.”
Ya know why? Cuz mother always knows best!
We get it, veggies have a stigma for being “bland and gross,” but it’s all in the preparation! Veggies can be prepared so many ways that make them a delicious addition to any meal, or snack!
Plus they’re SUPER filling, so you can eat almost as much as you’d like and completely get away with it!
Some of my favorite Veggie Recipes are:
Quit Milkin’ it, and Go Nutty for Nuts!
Did you know that almost everyone has a lactose intolerance in some form or another?! You can usually tell if you suffer from stomach pain after consuming dairy.
If you’ve wanted to try the dairy-free route, but can’t seem to give up your beloved cheese, one of the easiest ways to start is to swap your classic dairy milk, for nut milk! Not only will your stomach (and skin) thank you, but they’re lower in calories too, so they make a great weight loss swap as well!
And the taste? Almost unnoticeable when you use em in cereal and recipes. My favorite kind is the classic unsweetened, vanilla almond milk; only 30 calories per cup!
Forget the Fizzies and Quench that Thirst!
We’re sure you saw this one coming, but it is the time we All! Ditch! The! Soda!
According To Livestrong.com, the average soda drinker can lose 15 lbs over a year’s time, JUST from dropping full sugar soda! If that’s not a good motivator to ditch the sudz, I don’t know what is.
Nowadays, there are so many healthier alternatives to soda that it’s hard to go wrong when ditching this caloric habit.
We suggest always carrying a water bottle, but if you’re not a fan of just straight H2O, alternatively sparkling water with some flavor drops or some delicious kombucha are also delicious!
Diet soda?? Zero-calorie alternatives have gotten a bad name because of artificial sweeteners. Truth be told, you would have to drink an INSANE amount of diet soda, every day, to experience any harmful effects.
Compromise, treat yourself to one or two a week, then stick to healthier, more natural options.
Feel Ya Oats!
Like veggie, oatmeal has this really bad rep for being bland, and unflavorful; but DUH!
Any grain is going to be gross if you don’t flavor it at all!
Oatmeal is a great dietary staple, not only is it crazy filling, but it is full of health benefits such as being high in fiber, and iron.
Plus, even better, there are SO many ways you can dress it up to be DELICIOUS!
Some of our favorite, oatmeal recipes:
Ban the Booze
Now I know this seems like a lot to ask but TRUST me on this. Don’t worry; I’m not asking you to entirely give up your favorite dose of liquid courage, but try and consume alcohol only when you feel it’s TRULY necessary.
Apart from the fact that alcohol has ZERO health benefits, when it comes to drinking the cons outweigh the pros. Sure it’s fun for a couple of hours, but between the hangover, the price tag, drunken feels, and of course an increasing waistline, what’s so great about it?
So give your wallet, skin, and liver a break, and try not to consume any alcohol for at least three weeks.
Head Towards The Light!
Whether they’re sweet or savory, everyone now and then gets cravings (or if you’re like me, 24/7). But if watching that scale is a priority, giving into those cravings isn’t always the most conducive option.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of lighter food options you can use to curve those inevitable cravings, without breaking the calorie bank. Nowadays, food companies have gotten so good at trimming unnecessary calories, that you can’t even taste a difference between the regular, and lighter option!
Remember: Just because these are lower calorie options, they aren't excused overdo it and replace healthy, whole foods.
Here are some of my favorite food swaps:
- Regular ice cream → Sugar-Free/ Low Fat Ice Cream or Frozen yogurt
- Regular Toaster Waffles → Light Waffles
- 80/20 Ground Beef → 96/4 Ground Beef
- Maple Syrup → Sugar-Free Maple Syrup
- White Bread → Whole Grain Bread
Retire the Tires, and Walk it Out!
GET YOUR STEPS IN!
Making small changes like taking the stairs, walking to the store, or just taking a walk around the block can add up to an extra 150-300 calories burned/ day?! Walking also has mental health benefits, sometimes nothing clears your head better than some music paired with a walk with no destination in mind.
There are numerous options to track your activity (wearables and apps), track your movement for a week and average so you can set daily step goals for yourself, and make sure you’re getting in enough daily activity.
Get Thriving in Thirty!
Don’t have the time to get to the gym for that ideal 60-minute workout every day?
Nowadays there are so many free videos/ routines on the web for those pressed for time that can give you complete a fantastic, sweat blast of a workout in 30 minutes.
What’s even better, is that this way with so many videos to choose from you have the freedom to design your ideal workout; aka no more long, painful treadmill sessions!
Click here for one of my favorite websites when I first started working out, no gym necessary!
Chill TF Out!
Take a step back for a second, you’ll notice that society has quickly developed into one that is continuously go-go-go and getting things done at lightning speed without stopping.
Productivity is great, but somewhere along the way, we lost sight of how damaging it can be on our psyches and mental health. Plus, when our minds and bodies are stressed, it can wreak havoc on our hormones, affecting our mood, and even body fat levels.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with doing nothing from time to time. Don’t be afraid to take breaks whether they be 2 minutes, two days, or two weeks.
Meditation is an easy way to get away without having to pack a bag. Apps like Calm, and Headspace are AMAZING ways to prepare your brain for some killer shut-eye.
Try and turn those 5 or 6 hours into usually get into 7 or 8 and prepare yourself for a whole new world!
Know the FACTS!
Food prep is a great way to make sure that you’re eating well but, sometimes grabbing a bite on the go becomes your only option.
When this is the case, try and pick a restaurant with access to their nutrition facts online! This way you can plan a delicious meal mindfully, and avoid a gut-busting calorie bomb.
Restaurants like Chipotle, Chop’t, and, yes, even McDonalds have amazing interactive nutrition info on their websites so you can enjoy the convenience of a meal on the go while knowing you made a smart food choice.
We could go on, and on about different ways we can all live better, but for right now we hope this helps you find your way back on the right track!!
And as always, love, and take care of YOU! :)