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Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Small Steps to Lead a Healthier Life

10 Small Steps to Lead a Healthier Life
Sweatshirt// Sports Bra (similar)

I'm by no means a 'health nut'. I love an occasional Taco Bell run, I love a gin and tonic or glass of champagne, red meat is my favorite and working out is not my favorite. I don't really follow fad diets, and I'm not a gym rat or vegan. However, I totally believe in 'everything in moderation' and also making small healthy choices day in and day out.

The key to keeping up with making healthier choices is making them extremely easy to follow and maintain no matter where you are on the healthy lifestyle spectrum!

Do you do anything quick and easy in your daily routine to lead a healthier life? I'd love to hear your tips! Here are some things that I do:

Drink Water
Well, duh. I used to be a huge diet coke fan. In high school, my mom literally stopped buying it because I would drink so much of it. Then in college, we had it readily available and I easily drank it once a day. Now, I drink it maybe once a month at most. I've completely cut it out of my diet and it wasn't even that hard! I definitely suggest trying to cut something like this out of your lifestyle.

Now, I stick to water or sparkling water. I really love Trader Joe's brand of sparkling waters, Gerolsteiner mineral water, or Schweppe's lemon lime sparkling water! If you are someone who has a tough time drinking plain water, these are all good alternatives (although none are as good as plain old water). I've also recently discovered these 8 Greens tablets. My friend Aly suggested them and they're delicious and jam packed with vitamins. I also always make sure I have a full Tervis full of water on my desk at all times. Just having it immediately available is the first step! 

Smarter Snacking
I'm not a huge snacker, but if things are readily available, I will indulge. So I limit the snacks I bring into my house which avoids temptation. However, if you are a snacker, I suggest having snacks on hand that are easy to grab. For example, I will often buy snacks and pre-portion them so I don't overeat! I think by choosing very healthy snacks, you're training yourself to eat healthier overall! I personally love carrots and hummus (the Sabra roasted garlic is my fave)... I could eat that all day every day.

Take Vitamins
I've recently become really into vitamins. I've always taken a multi-vitamin (I take this one), but I've started reading a lot on what the benefits are for different vitamins. Right now I am taking L-lysine because I have read it may help with anxiety... I'm not so sure it's working, but oh well (also worth noting, these pills are HUGE, so you've been warned). I've also just started taking vitamin B5 as I have heard it helps to keep skin clear (I'll have to report back on this one as I am only a few days in). My multi-vitamin has Biotin in it (which I didn't realize until recently) and I've read that there are actually very few people with Biotin deficiencies, so it's not very beneficial However, I've heard you can balance your Biotin intake with vitamin B5, which is another reason I've started taking that! When I run out of my current multi-vitamin, I plan on switching to something that doesn't contain biotin. Obviously, this is just me sharing what I do. Everyone is different and you should always consult with a doctor and do your own research before taking anything!

Take a Probiotic 
This has been such a game changer for me (truly life changing) and I always tell everyone I know. My friend Danielle actually recommended them to me last year and I have been taking them ever since. I take these and they're a little pricey since I take one every day (and two every day that I am traveling), but they're so worth it. I feel so much better when taking them and I truly think they help with the digestion process. 

Get Your Steps In 
I'm currently addicted to counting my steps. I never used to pay attention to it, but now that I have the Fossil Activity Tracker, it's like a game!

Sleep
This is my biggest suggestion. I swear, most things can be cured by a good night's sleep. I am personally someone that needs a full 8 hours of sleep or else I'm negatively affected. I really try hard to always get 8 hours. As much as I love naps, I try to avoid them so I am fully tired once it's bedtime. I also suggest cutting off caffeine around noon... and this one is hard for me, but I really think it makes a big difference if you follow it strictly.

Stretch
I was a gymnast when I was younger and a cheerleader in middle and high school so I grew up very flexible. Now, I'm a firm believer in stretching daily to keep as much of my flexibility as possible as I age. Whether you practice yoga or just stretch on your own at home, stretching is a quick and easy thing to add into your daily routine. I personally do it at home as soon as I wake up for about 10 minutes and 10 minutes before I go to bed, too.

Don't Add Salt or Sugar
I never add salt to anything and same goes for sugar. For example, instead of salting vegetables, I'll usually flavor it in other ways such as adding garlic! Obviously, you sometimes have to add salt when cooking/ when recipes call for it, but I avoid it as much as possible and instead of table salt, I use Himalayan pink salt (I've read that it is slightly healthier than table salt). As for sugar, I drink my coffee black, never sweeten my tea, etc.

Substitute for Healthier Options
I do this a lot when cooking. For example, the other night I made riced cauliflower 'fried rice' and I love making spaghetti squash instead of actual spaghetti. Other great substitutions are using Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream, popcorn instead of potato chips, popsicles instead of ice cream. One of my newest favorites from Trader Joe's is their Kung Pao cauliflower. It tastes and looks just like Chinese takeout but is far healthier. These are just tiny substitutions that can make a bigger impact over time.

Seek Out Sunlight
I loathe that it gets dark around 5 during the winter (sometimes even earlier). Sunlight totally changes my mood regardless of what is going on in my day. If you can, try to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible (even if you have to stay inside). I actually moved into the apartment I am in specifically for the amount of natural light it has. I also have my desk facing a window. As soon as I get up in the morning, I open all of the blinds/curtains. It makes SUCH a difference. 

3 comments:

Gold Clutter said...

Drinking water is super helpful.

Rachael Alexis said...

I am a nurse, and a night shifter at that. I need to make it a point to see sun more, but it is so hard when I am always exhausted. But, I do make it a point to get to the gym three times a week and drink a ton of water! Have a good weekend.

http://aduchessandablog.blogspot.com/

Laura Baker said...

Have you ever tried Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute?" It's a seasoning blend with no added salt and it's so good on roasted vegetables, and I love it on homemade baked sweet porato fries! If you haven't tried it before, you have to check it out! xoxx