I’m excited to introduce my first blog and I’m even more excited that my topic is on living a healthier lifestyle and how to incorporate into your life.
I recently received my nutrition certification and on top of that I’m watching many informative videos and documentaries surrounding that subject of nutrition. Obesity, disease, and sickness are spreading around our nation despite the education and awareness that’s out there.
My clients ask me all the time what should I be eating, how can I eat healthier, how can I save money and still eat healthy, and why does eating good have to be so hard?
Seems to me they start off not knowing what to eat when really it’s they don’t know how to go about it. Most people know what eating right consists of whether you are a nutrition expert or not. Fruits, veggies, protein, and grains are the core of good nutrition which we’ve been taught since elementary school. Yet in a nation where were surrounded by sugars, fats, and all these processed foods we lose track of what’s really needed in our diets and how to work it into our lifestyle.
The first step into having a healthier lifestyle is to change our mindsets. We need to shift our thoughts from its hard to eat healthy to eating healthy is simple and it’s improving my quality of life.
Eating healthy is not expensive any more then eating unhealthy. In actuality eating a poor diet is more expensive because when you’re not taking care of your body it leads to sickness, doctor’s visits, medications, lost time at work, and emotional stress. Though when you eat healthy and clean there are so many benefits such as increased energy, improved mood, reduced pain and sickness as well as can even reduce or eliminate preexisting conditions.
Do the foods you eat now give you those benefits? Or are they making you sick, overweight, sluggish, tired, or unmotivated? If you shift your mindset into the positive side of health you’ll no longer feel overwhelmed or confused when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle instead you will feel that you want to change rather than need too.
After you shift your mindset to a positive outlook you should then begin to educate yourself on the human body. I know we’ve all learned about our bodies when we were in school but how much of that information do you actually remember? Understanding how our bodies work, what foods give us the nutrients our body needs, and what’s in the foods we eat and how it affects our health are very important things to know to start leading a healthy life.
I find Youtube.com a great source for videos that are short and informative. Just be careful that it’s a video based on facts and not on opinions. Another site I use that has well researched articles is ideafit.com. Just click on the articles tab on top of the page and you can search through dozens of fitness and nutrition topics.
Once you’ve gained some insight on nutrition then you can begin to evaluate your current diet. Write down what your diet consists of right down the foods and drinks you consume on a regular or daily basis and how consistently you eat. Do you tend to eat more at night, during the day, or do you graze? After you write this information down read it out loud. I bet after reading this list you can already see what’s lacking in your diet, what foods you could use more of and what foods you defiantly need to eliminate. Then pick one thing off that list for example let’s say you eat a lot of pasta. Now pasta is considered part of the grain family so what other healthier alternatives can we substitute pasta for? Well there is spaghetti squash, quinoa, and brown rice. So make a goal that this week you will replace a pasta meal with one of these three alternatives. You can do this with anything on your list and the best part if you don’t know what to alternate ask the internet. There are dozens of sites dedicated to healthy foods and recipes. (A great site where you can create this list and get healthy alternatives is http://www.suptracker.usda.gov.)
So now that you found healthy food alternatives for your regular eating habits let’s find something on that list you can immediately eliminate. If you are a heavy soda or juice drinker I find that this is the best and simplest thing to eliminate from your diet first. Since these are liquids we tend to consume more than average serving size leading to excessive intake of calories and sugars. Some might say well its diet soda so that’s okay well just because something says its diet does not mean that it’s healthy. Companies use this as marketing strategy for the unaware customer but that’s a blog for another day. So diet sodas and juices are just as bad as the regular and take up space for good nutrients to come in. So makes this your first goal to eliminate soda or juice from your diet. If you are not a soda or juice drinker find something on your list you eat a lot of on a regular basis and make that your goal to remove.
After you establish alternatives and remove a few bad eating habits it’s time to go shopping. Look for coupons or check out your grocery store ad before heading to the grocery store to find deals on good foods. Also to plan out a list and meals you are potentially going to cook. This will save you time and money later. When you get to the grocery store attempt to avoid aisle shopping remain on the outside departments. This will prevent you from getting unnecessary foods as most processed foods tend to be down those aisles. Always look at labels check % of daily value, serving size, and most importantly the ingredients before putting anything into your cart. I will do a blog on what to look for when grocery shopping in the near future but for now this is just a quick summary.
Now that you’ve created healthy habits and have purchased foods to support those habits it’s time to get in the kitchen. Make cooking fun by playing music, getting your family involved, and experimenting with new recipes. If you make cooking more of an experience rather than a duty or chore you’ll be more likely to stick to healthier eating. Also by getting your family involved you’re creating healthy habits for not only yourself but everyone you live with.
Eating healthy isn’t the only thing you need to be aware of when living a healthier lifestyle but also the daily products we use. Just as you check the labels on the food you eat you should also be checking labels on clothing, household products, and beauty products.
Last but not least being active is a big part of leading a healthy lifestyle. You need at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Now depending on what your diet consists of, what your goals are, and your level of fitness will dictate the intensity and activity needed. Make working out fun by finding activities you enjoy doing. Involve friends, join classes, or hire a trainer like me to get you started if motivation and guidance is what’s needed. Eating healthy along with being active are the most important aspects of leading a life full of energy, love, and feeling alive.
I could go on and on about everything I discussed and in way more detail but I will save that information for upcoming blogs. I hope for now this information has helped you to start or continue your path to a healthy life. Just remember to start changing you mindset. If you mess up along the way that’s OK we’re human just get right back on track and continue moving forward. Stay positive and trust me positive things will happen!