Major changes to your lifestyle take effort, time and discipline. I’ve been on my wellness journey for 6.5 years and I am still learning new things. I have to constantly remind myself that undoing over thirty years of eating habits, cultural norms, and group think is a continuous process. So if you’ve faltered on your 2017 health resolutions/goals don’t beat yourself up.
The basics of healthy living are just that basic. Don’t get sucked into waist training, teas and fancy supplements. I am sharing five easy lifestyle changes you can make right now. Guess, what most of them won’t cost you a thing.
This is probably the easiest, cheapest and most effective changes you can make. All the cool kids on IG and FB say you should be drinking a gallon a day. I myself have done it in the past and it was no easy feat. Do your research and figure out what is best for you. Don’t worry about keeping up with the cool kids. Check out this website on all the amazing benefits of drinking water.
Get Some Sleep
I wake up at 4:15 am four days a week so I can hit the gym. Staying dedicated to my early morning workouts requires that I get my rest at night. I use to be a night owl staying up way too late watching bad TV. Guess what, I got rid of the TV in my bedroom and the temptation to stay up late. Getting those extra Zs will have you energetic, thinking clearer and in a better mood. I try to get at least five hours of sleep and I keep up with my sleep patterns using my Polar Loop.
Eat Whole Foods
I’m not talking about food from Whole Food grocery store. I mean food that has been minimally processed. This was and is the most difficult lifestyle change I made. Packaged/fast food is plentiful and to be honest it tastes pretty good! I gradually “weaned” myself away from McDonald’s cheeseburgers, Checkers seasoned fries and Taco Bell crunch wrap supreme’s. Honestly, that stuff upset my stomach each time I ate it so I didn’t miss it too much when I gave it up. However, transitioning from packaged foods to cooking fresh meals was a struggle. I was a die-hard HotPocket, Eggo waffle, canned soup for lunch type of person. The convenience of throwing something in the oven or microwave was everything to me. However, I was committed to eating better and that meant limiting package food for organic meat and vegetables. Eating cleaner has been the best thing I have done for myself and the benefits have been and are continuous: my adult acne cleared up, no more crazy PMS, shorter and lighter menstrual cycles, no daily bloating and I “go” regularly.
Eat Your Veggies
If you would have told me I would be a devoted vegetarian six years ago I would have laughed in your face. There was no way I was giving up love for crispy fried wings, BBQ ribs and grilled hamburgers (my faves). However, my body had a different idea and consuming meat just wasn’t worth the hassle of feeling terrible anymore. Don’t worry this isn’t a hard sell on becoming a vegetarian but I do believe the benefits of consuming in season vegetables are worth a try. I still miss burgers, ribs, and chicken but I love finding new and creative ways to cook vegetarian/vegan meals. Have y’all seen the cauliflower pizza or the Krispy Kreme Avocado Portobello Mushroom Burger I posted on Instagram? Trust me when I say plant-based meals are not boring.
I spend most of my day behind a desk staring at a computer and most evenings I’m on my laptop. My life is pretty sedentary because of my job and my hobby. However, that’s even more of a reason to make sure I get my workouts in. I was never a “workout” person. Not that I hated it or anything I just rather spend my time doing something else. That was until I actually starting working out and realized how amazing it made me feel. I started out very basic by going to my local park and walking a few miles. It’s pretty cold everywhere besides South Florida so taking a stroll in the park is probably not the best option right now. However, you could grab a jumping rope or hit the stairs at an easy pace or you could knock out a workout on Youtube. Our bodies are amazing and can do amazing things as long our minds allow it. Set aside that time to get moving.
Healthy lifestyle changes aren’t easy but they are worth it! What changes have you committed to making this year?
P.S. Next week is the start of my six-week wellness series, Plant-Based Eating Reloaded. I’ve partnered with some great brands to provide informative content on starting and maintaining a plant-based lifestyle. It’s also my return to an all plant-based diet. No more fish, eggs, and cheese for me! Oh, and there will be lots of giveaways so make sure keep up with my post via Feedly or sign up for my email list to get new posts sent to your inbox.