Creating Healthy Habits to Change Your Life
TRUTH: If you want to see change, you have to make change — and that goes for your diet, as well as your sleep and much more! With so many myths swirling around in the wellness world, though, it can be tough to figure out just which tweaks are worth the effort! It can take time to figure out what works best for you, in order to see the best shifts that you want to create in your life. And, it can be extra tough to stop doing those old habits that don’t support living your best, most vibrant life.
If you’re looking to make a change to both feel, and look better, as well as make a positive difference in the long-term, consider the following suggestions.
1. Beauty Sleep is NO JOKE!
It helps us be beautiful on the inside and out. Getting those 7-8 hours not only allows our body the time it needs to reboot and replenish, but it allows us the ability to utilize both our mind and body to its fullest potential. A Study done at Harvard Medical School discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism (hello weight loss), memory, learning, and other vital functions.
In order to make sleep a healthy habit, we should create a bed time routine. I know, I know…you have already heard many people tell you to remove those blue light techs before bed, right?! Well, I like to take it a step further. Create an evening routine that works best for your schedule with these key steps:
Lower the Lights – Where ever you are in your home, dim those lights. It plays a part in our circadian rhythm. Once the lights get softer and softer, our mind starts telling our body that it is time for bed.
Create a “to-do” list – This might sound silly for some, but the truth is that most people go to bed with anxiety for the next day. If we write down all the things we need to do for the next day, then those thoughts can go away because you already prepared to check the list that next morning. It allows our minds to slow down as we get ready for sleep.
Take a warm shower – Wash off the stress from the day, literally. There is more to this than the actual cleaning of your body or riding of the dirt! While you are in the shower, imagine the soap and water wiping off the demands from your work, your family, or anything that has created stress or tension in your day. Wash it away!
Stretch – Take a few minutes before getting in to bed to roll your neck and shoulders, touch your toes. You can even infuse some soft, calming oils too. The point is to relax your body right before you get into bed.
2. Our bodies were made to move!
Most of us are sitting behind a desk all day, screaming for some blood flow and stretching. Not to mention, our hearts could use the exercise. I am a huge fan of getting your exercise in before you start your busy day. Mainly because, you feel accomplished early in the day, there is no room for excuses from anything that happens during the course of the day, and our bodies were made to shut down at the end of the day…not to get our heart rate up (not good for sleep). Whether it is a walk, spin class, pilates, yoga, swimming, weight lifting…create this healthy habit and watch your energy soar, your body strengthen, and those feel-good hormones will be having a party with you!
3. Food Matters
You know I am going to include the food we eat every day as part of a healthy habit, right? Of course! What we put in our mouth every single day is either healing our bodies or hurting our bodies.
I always push for the 80/20 rule…choose real, clean food 80% of the time and you should be pretty good. Create awareness through journaling on how certain foods affect your body and energy levels. Journaling is so helpful. Try creating one or all of these healthy habits throughout your day:
Start your day with a smoothie. Make sure that it is loaded with fruits and vegetables. Don’t put yogurt in there. I repeat – DO NOT put yogurt in your smoothie! Dairy is not your friend. We wish it was our friend because it tastes so darn good, but it creates inflammation amongst other bad things in our bodies. If you like the creamy consistency in your smoothies, then try adding a small portion of a sweet potato or avocado (real food) to your smoothies.
Have a salad every day. Whether it is for lunch or dinner, adding those vegetables to your daily intake of foods is huge! You can prep them if that is easier to have a grab-and-go salad for lunch each day. That means you will most likely take 10 minutes to create a big, delicious and colorful salad that is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…and fuel your mind and body with real food. The best part is they are ready for you for the rest of the week. If you like an extra salty crunch, throw in some delicious sunflower and pumpkin seeds (my personal favorite and a great source of protein). There are infinite possibilities to mixing up the ingredients in your salads. It will make it less likely for you to get bored with eating them. You can stop by a local farmer’s market to see what’s in season for the freshest possible produce and the maximum amount of nutrients, and always opt for organic produce to avoid nasty pesticides.
Reduce your meat Intake. Yes, I said it. I didn’t say, “Stop eating meat”. We are all so different and it is important to learn what your body truly needs. However, facts are facts, and meat is high in saturated fats – even chicken. Try eating it once a day, or just a few days a week and see the changes it can make. Having less saturated fat in our daily intake of food will help our livers, heart and so much more.
Starting with these three ways to create healthy habits in your life can make a big difference. We are all constantly growing and evolving. As you shift your life of adopting healthier ways to start your day, manage your stress and nourish your body, you will reap the benefits of feeling happier and more energetic. You will see yourself start making better decisions for you and your loved ones every day. It is a domino effect once you feel the amazing benefits. Start today, don’t wait for tomorrow!
Write below and share ways that you have changed some habits to create a healthier life. Each positive step leads to the next on our journey in life. The small ones count because every small step we take in life leads us to the big goal. I can’t wait to hear about yours.
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In love and gratitude,