1. Get Rid of the Junk! Yup, that’s right. One of the best things we can do to ensure our health is keep away from all types of unhealthy foods—sugary, greasy, fatty, salty foods that are overly processed should be cleaned out of the fridge and pantry.
Now I know all of us Moms are wondering “What am I going to pack for snack?” or “How is this going to work for the entire family?” but that’s just it. It is for the entire family too. If you have kids that don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, look for more natural snack items in the organic food sections of your grocery store. There are many varieties of veggie chips, crackers, fruit leathers, gluten free snacks that incorporate healthy alternatives but will still provide kids with that crunchy, tasty texture they look for.
2. Drink Water! This is probably the most important thing I could impart. Drink water, and then more water and even more water. Eliminate processed sugary drinks, eliminate caffeine (if possible) or reduce, and try adding green tea to your daily routine. Water keeps you hydrated, it heals the body inside and out, and studies have even shown that the simple addition of water can dramatically improve overall health and chronic disease. Why green tea? Green tea is calming, is rich in antioxidants for healthy cells, improves heart and brain health, reduces stress and the list goes on. Give a try daily for once week, and see what you think! Email me and let me know what you think!
3. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks! This continues the step #1… be sure to buy plenty of healthy fruits, veggies and nuts. Chop them up and put them in small baggies so they are already done. Then there is no way you (or your kids) will dip into an entire bag of something. Enlist your kids in the preparation, mix it up and make your own trail & snack mixes.
4. Cook in Bulk!Cook large portions of healthy dishes, so you can have them other times during the week. Having turkey cutlets one night? Make extra so you can make a stir fry later in the week, or toss them into a salad. Cooking large batches of soups, chili, stir fry and casseroles helps in the long run to save time and calories!
5. Be Sure To Add Healthy Ingredients to Your Recipes! One sure fire way to be more healthful is to simply add more healthy ingredients to your recipes. Make a homemade tomato sauce? Add some pureed spinach or kale to get some greens. Make homemade muffins, pancakes, or oatmeal for the family? Add pureed pears, apples, peaches or any other fruit you like PLUS you can even get some veggies in there such as cauliflower, sweet potato or zucchini. I prefer to puree them so the kids can’t see them—but this way I know everyone is getting healthier. Instead of mashed potatoes, make mashed cauliflower. Not sure if your kids will like it? Start by using half potato and half cauliflower (or add some cheese and garlic, mmm)! Swap regular sausage and meatballs, for turkey or chicken alternatives. There are some great Italian style turkey sausage and meatballs out there. And don’t forget nuts and seeds; an easy and amazing way to add nutrients and protein to salads, soups, stir fry and more.
6. Find a Workout Buddy! Working out with a buddy keeps you motivated, helps you tackle more intimidating moves and makes you less likely to skip out on sessions. A study from the University of Pittsburgh reports that women who exercised with a pal lost a third more weight than those who hit the gym solo.
7. Diet Before Your Exercise! So many times we blazing ahead with a new diet and fitness schedule, to only find ourselves overwhelmed with trying to do it all. Take it slow, get your eating habits under control and gradually add in your exercise, especially if you are not currently exercising at all. If you are already participating in an exercise regimen, then change it up. Try a new class, sign up for a boot camp, enlist your kids and get outside, go snow shoeing, go hiking, ride your bikes. Putting FUN into the workout still counts, it doesn’t have to be 100% on the treadmill or elliptical to count. Finding a healthy balance between serious workouts and those that have a fun factor involved, will keep you motivated and on track!
8. Stop, Breathe and De-Stress! Don’t forget to take a few minute each day to just breathe. With the hustle and bustle of life today, we forget to be still and just be. Take 5 minutes every day to just take a break from everything. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure (WebMD).
Stay posted for my next posting about “Getting Happy”