Updated: Feb 22
With every turn of a calendar, we resolve to do something or not do something but... resolutions fade. Solutions are long term. Let's discuss some proven ways to establish and stick to a healthy habit below! Let’s address the two primary pillars in wellness because I know these are at the top of your to-tackle list; Fitness (Movement) and Nutrition (Eating).
1. Add in One Simple Change. This will be something just outside your normal so that when you reach it, you’ll feel empowered to keep adding more. Some options may include: Going to bed an hour earlier, drinking more water every day, kicking the soda habit, listening to only good-for-the-soul music, turning off the evening news, rebounding, reading and understanding food labels, redefining your inner circle, setting healthy boundaries with family members, etc. For me, I signed up for a boxing class. This is completely out of my element but I am going for it! Talking about going for it...
Set attainable goals and go for it! Yea, we can shoot for the stars but many needing a reset may give up before they reach their goal; however, when we make these small changes, we will see the benefits and rewards stack up which will keep us encouraged to keep at it. Ten years ago, I started with removing high fructose corn syrup. Now I consider myself an avid label reader and I will never purchase something without first reading the ingredients even on trusted brands. I look for several things on the label and this can be addressed during your nutrition consult with me.
I firmly believe that baby steps will get and keep us moving forward in our realm of understanding our body better with each passing day. 2. Incorporate more movement. Your fitness goals should include cardio, strength, and flexibility. So, if there's something you haven't done in a long while or something you've been wanting to try - and you're needing a sign, this is it! Walking, jogging, running, riding a bike (stationary or not), treadmill, Zumba, etc., is all cardio focused. Lifting weights is strength focused. Yoga is a great exercise for increasing and maintaining flexibility.
Haven’t you noticed how gyms are especially crowded in January? If you really want to work out in a gym but don’t like crowds or having to wait in line for a machine, go in February or find other places you can work out – your back yard, your hallway, your neighborhood, a local park, or even private studios are a great choice, too. Find something you love and do it daily or as often as possible during the week. Not sure what you love anymore? Try something new. Reach out to a private gym or ask your friends what they're doing to incorporate more movement. Maybe you'll find a new walking / running partner!
3a. Food. Eat Real Food and lessen your dependency on red light foods (more on this during a consultation with me). I will tell you this, while you’re focusing on adding more fitness to your lifestyle, you will want to eat clean paying attention to quality and source more than or versus strictly calorie counting. Most people have no idea how to make healthier food choices. They are told to eat under a certain number. There is usually no focus on quality of foods chosen. I know the programs out there - I've researched them, had friends tell me about them, and I have asked the consultants what their focus is on. It is usually on the foods they want you to buy and they're usually chock full of sodium, MSG, hydrogenated oils, and the big one: artificial sweeteners and worse, GMOs or it's on foods that fit a target calorie range without any attention on quality of ingredients. Matter of fact, many times, there is ZERO education label (ingredient) reading. I used to be the person that trusted the fancy labels because I just.did.not.know any better but let me tell you this, accountability really helps as does education and research. I encourage you to dig deep when it comes to the foods you’re consuming. And, the ole' adage - when in doubt, leave it out, is your back up plan when uncertain.
3b. Wait, what is real food? This definition will vary depending on who you’re talking to BUT, the foundation is the same: Choosing foods closest to their source while paying attention to quality.
4. Gain a firm understanding of ingredients. This may take you out of your comfort zone. Remember uncomfortable is good; nothing magical happens in our 'zone.' Seek out a partner who will teach you these tools or you can do this on your own. For starters, you will simply choose at least one controversial ingredient, learn what it is, what it's found in, ways it's hidden, avoid it, and if necessary, substitute it with a healthier choice. 5. Cook at home more. Choose simple, wholesome ingredients to make a meal from scratch. It is a lot easier than you are probably thinking. Sure, if you're used to eating out often, have a busy work schedule, or have never cooked anything without a box, this task may sound daunting but truth be told, you're capable. A few quality ingredients to have at your disposal: a healthy fat /oil like organic olive oil or organic coconut oil, dried herbs, sea salt, cracked black pepper, spices like cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, lots of veggies (organic when possible or those grown without contaminants), your choices of lean clean protein (wild caught fish, chicken, grass fed organic beef), some staples - quinoa, rice, etc.
6. It's okay to ask for help; it's even encouraged. When it comes to your health regimen, especially the food part, wouldn't more encouragement and accountability be helpful? I bet working with me one-on-one would help you put some of these tips into motion for the long haul. I will show you how/why to eat more of the colors found in a [real] rainbow and in [real] foods by way ingredient label reading and food journaling and more.
“Want to be healthy? Cook! The food industry has done a great job convincing eaters that corporations can cook better than we can. The problem is… it’s not true.”
~ Michael Pollan
Which suggestion is the hardest for you? What can I help you with? Consider booking a nutrition service to gain further insight into your habits and create healthy changes in just a few weeks! Learn more about me before hiring.
This post was originally published on my first blog at i convey awareness dot com. Eventually, all articles past will be published on this site. You can still find previously published content on the original blog until it has all been moved here.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease, condition, or ailment. This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Speak with your healthcare provider to see how/if it pertains to your individual needs.
The purpose of this blog is to offer support for your health goals. As of July 2022, Jessica David is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Jessica has ten years of coaching experience and you can consider her an encourager, someone in your corner, a friend, and a professional.
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