Hello sweet friends and Happy New Year. This is a special time of year; I believe people are a little more open to change than usual. This is a GREAT time to think about your health goals for the week, month, and year! Let me help you get started. Here are a few simple things to consider regarding your food and health.
1. Eat mindfully.
This is something I did NOT do this holiday season. When at a party, I ate as many cookies and nibbles as I wanted. I didn’t count them, I didn’t think twice, and I didn’t stress. But I ended up eating WAY more than I needed or even wanted. And wow, all that sugar made me feel like crap. Instead, all I needed to do was set a goal for each party, each day, each week. How many desserts will I allow myself at this party? How many cookies this week? If you set no guidelines, you’ll just be scattered. If you set a goal and stick to it, you’ll feel proud.
2. Don’t buy it if you don’t wanna be tempted.
Know what I mean? Just because Utz chips are 2 bags for $3 doesn’t mean you need to buy them. If you buy Utz chips, you will probably eat Utz chips. Then you’ll be all like “Damnit I ate a whole bag of Utz chips!!”
3. Portion control is huge.
Did you know that when soda was first sold, the portions were 8 ounces? Now we have 12-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, and GIANT cups at gas stations and fast food places. Free refills are very common. It all adds up! Think of the sugar content in a 20-ounce serving compared to an 8-ounce serving. Yikes! That’s more than twice as much. And your body knows it. What about food? Restaurants serve giant portions. There are buffets everywhere. This encourages us to eat more. Remember to eat mindfully!
4. Push the veggies.
I mean REALLY push. Vegetables provide nutrients, and we need those nutrients for our bodies to function. And! Veggies are super low in calories so eat a giant portion. Unfortunately, about 90% of Americans do not enough veggies. Sure, maybe we’re proud that we had a salad yesterday. But we are supposed to have MULTIPLE vegetables EVERY day! Not just one veggie per day, and not just some days with veggies and some days without. Kids don’t get a free pass; their bodies are growing so they might even need veggies more than we do. Figure out a way to get vegetables into your kids’ diets. Every day. Make those veggies look and taste delicious! I have tips and tricks to share! That will be another blog. But don’t lie to your body; I wouldn’t count potatoes or corn as healthy nutrient-filled vegetables. Click HERE for some delicious and fun ways to eat your veggies.
5. Eat food.
Just because you eat it, or just because it’s on a menu, doesn’t mean it’s technically food. When we eat non-food or non-nutritious food, our bodies think “Oh crap! What’s this?! Is this an intruder? Attack!! Attack!” Our bodies won’t function the way they’re supposed to. They’ll react with inflammation. Our digestive system and immune system will go kablooey. We’ll feel sick, unfocused, and sleepy. If you focus on eating food (like vegetables, fruit, healthy proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds, healthy fats), you will lose weight, feel better, and your body will start running more like a polished machine! You’ll do a better job at digesting food and fighting off colds. You’ll decrease your chances of getting cancer later in life. And your brain will work better. That’s a lot of good stuff right there!
Examples of food: apples, chicken, spinach, olives, coconut, olive oil, broccoli, walnuts, whole-grain noodles
Examples of non-food: Velveeta, vegetable oil, soda, energy drinks, Kraft mac and cheese
There are sooooooo many things you can do other than being bored on a treadmill for 40 minutes. You could spend LESS time doing something that’s more fun and has a greater impact! And the goal of exercise is not to just lose or maintain weight. It’s to exercise our limbs, get our blood flowing, and freshen our minds. It’s great for body AND mind. There’s so much out there; go explore! Sign up for a crazy class. Bring a friend or just meet new ones there. I always swore I would never work out in a group setting, until I tried Stone Forge CrossFit! It was perfect for me! But I never would have known if I hadn’t tried.
You can do it! Revisit this list each month. Log your food in a diary. What are you eating? Be mindful!