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START NOW on your healthy lifestyle

Posted Dec 05 2011 8:59am
As I’m sure you’re aware, we all feel pretty motivated January 1 and ready to burn off those Christmas cookies, but inevitably by February 1 most of our drive is gone, and we are right back to our old ways.  My challenge for you today is to just start now on your healthy living journey! 

My path to healthy living has been long and winding, and I am most certainly not all the way there.  I am fortunate to have parents who instilled a healthy sense of motivation from a young age when it comes to eating well and working out.  My Mom has taught aerobics most of my life (think 80s step classes in all their glory), and my dad has completed many marathons and an Iron Man (in his 50s!).  Talk about inspiration! 

Perhaps you are just now toying with the idea of kicking that soda habit or waking up 30 minutes earlier each day to squeeze in a quick jog.  Here are a few easy lifestyle changes to get you started on the right track not only for January 2012, but hopefully for the rest of your life! 
  • Drink more water.  If you can, cut out soda and try to limit alcohol consumption to a couple of drinks a week.
  • Pack a lunch to not only make healthier and lighter choices during the day but also to save money. I love to pack a big salad with a hard boiled egg, grilled chicken or some tuna along with fresh fruit and maybe a yogurt.  
  • Become a morning person.  I know it’s hard to get out of bed when that alarm goes off, but if you start your day off with a quick run or walk, you’ll feel so much better and already be on the right track for the day!
  • Identify time suckers if you have a hard time getting to bed on time to allow getting up to workout.  Maybe it’s too much TV or time on the computer?  If you can get  at least 7 hours of sleep  a night, you’ll be more likely to hit up the gym and won’t turn to caffeine to keep you awake at work.
  • Prep food on Sunday for the week.  Make a big healthy casserole for the week and chop up some veggies to have as easy snacks.
  • Make changes gradually.  If you enjoy a bag of chips every afternoon for a snack, maybe you could try having an apple with a spoonful of almond butter instead.  If you drink 2 cokes a day, try having 1 a day, and then 1 every other day.  If you never exercise, just go for a 20 minute walk or jog every morning and gradually build up your strength and endurance.
  • Eat breakfast every day.  We all hear this one a lot, but it’s still so important.  If I skip breakfast, I end up eating way too many calories throughout the day trying to compensate.
  • Just move in some way.  You don’t have to go out for a 5 mile run – turn on some music and dance in the living room, run up and down the stairs a few times at work, do 10 pushups at every commercial break, try a new class at the gym or go on a hike with a friend.
  • Start reading labels to see what you’re really putting in your body.  Look for  how much sugar  might be in your food (even things like pasta sauce) and try to avoid overly processed food if possible.
  • Lastly, it will get easier with time.  Stick with it and allow yourself to rest and have small treats along the way.  A day or two off from working out each week keeps me feeling good and that bite of dark chocolate every night stops me from devouring a tub of ice cream on the weekend. 

Want a little more inspiration to kickstart a new lifestyle before we move into 2012?Also, check out my Recipe index for healthy meals to cook at home.
Remember, START NOW!

One final thing, I’d love if you could go here and like my photo.  I’m in the running to become one of Love Grown Food's bloggers and would really appreciate your support!!  Thank you, friends :).
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