Good morning and happy Friday! I hope you all have had a fantastic week! It’s been a great week for me, that’s for sure! My husband and I have been on a real health kick as of late and this week has been really successful for us in that aspect. As you may know if you read Tuesdays post, I am currently on a spending ban. Well, our really our household is on a spending ban. This has allowed not only a change in the beauty and fashion aspect of my life, but also in the health and wellness area. Matt and I are having to really crack down on our eating habits and have been working towards coming up with budget friendly, healthy ways to reach our health and financial goals (Belize, we are coming for you in March! Get ready.). In the spirit of health and wellness, I wanted to share with you these 6 simple tips for living a healthy lifestyle. These are little things I encourage you to try out in your daily life if you are working towards a specific goal or if you just want to be a little healthier in general!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional. I do not mean to imply that I know all things healthy. If you are unsure, seek a healthcare professional before using any of the following tips. :D)
- Choose things to eat that you enjoy
This is probably one of the most important things to remember when you are trying to make a healthy change in your eating habits. Wouldn’t it be great if we all loved all of those things that are supposed to be the best for us? I would love it if I were okay with eating plain baked chicken, steamed broccoli and brown rice for supper, but that’s just not realistic. I don’t like chicken that much anyway and I can’t make myself eat the same damn thing everyday! If you don’t like it, don’t force yourself to eat it! Find healthy things that you actually enjoy and make them a part of your diet. With that being said, if you have decided you don’t like something after eating it once, it may just be the way it was cooked. I encourage you to try whatever that food is cooked a different way. You may fall in love with it! My husband never liked brussels sprouts until he tried them roasted. His whole life he thought he hated those little tiny cabbages, when in fact he just didn’t like the way they were cooked for him! Find what you like. Eat it. Repeat. 🙂
2. Keep track of what you’re eating
I know, I know. You don’t want to count calories. It’s annoying. But you know what? It works. I know most people think it’s silly, but for me, it’s so easy to get carried away with eating throughout the day and before I know it, I’ve eaten twice as many calories as I should have that day! This is why I LOVE the MyFitnessPal app. It’s a free app (with a monthly subscription for the full version…I don’t use that…not necessary to me) that you can enter what you’ve eaten and how much and from its GIANT database of foods it will put in your calorie intake and your macros. Super easy. Super helpful.
3. Pre-plan meals and snacks
Using My FitnessPal, I find myself planning my full day of food and entering it all in the morning before I get the day started so that I know what to look forward to for the day! (I love food and love knowing what I get to look forward to eating) So with that in mind, I spend some time planning my meals and pre-packing them. This is especially helpful if you go to work or school and need to take your food with you. This way, you know exactly how much you will have to eat and what your caloric intake will be.
Below are some of the types of snacks I will pre-plan. All of the numbers I got MyFitnessPal so that I’m aware of what I’m putting into my body. I love an apple for when I need just a little something to tide me over. If I’m looking for something a little more filling, I find something like almonds that have protein and good fats that will help to keep me full longer. If I’m looking for something sweet, I’ll measure out just enough to subside my sweet tooth. Here I can have a little ramekin of Chex Mex Muddy Buddies and not break my caloric bank!
4. Invest in useful items
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle and eating within a caloric budget, it’s really helpful to have handy gadgets that can help you along the way. I had been wanting to invest in a kitchen scale for quite some time, since it is super easy to just measure out the weight of something I want to eat and enter it into MyFitnessPal. Moderna Housewares was nice enough to send me this *Ozeri Ultra Thin Professional Kitchen Scale to try out in my kitchen and it has been sooo helpful! I love the elegant design of it and the fact that it is in fact ultra thin. We keep it on the island in the kitchen where we do our prep work and use it every single day. This scale is currently sold on Amazon for less than $20 (actually $17.47) and is Prime eligible! It really is a great deal.
When it comes to using a kitchen scale, it is not only helpful when you are tracking calories, but also when you are baking. Many recipes (especially ones formulated in Europe) give their measurements in weight and having a scale like this with so many options (pounds, ounces, grams, etc.) gives me a lot of flexibility. My favorite thing about this scale and most scales you will find is the tare option. If you don’t know, the tare option basically zeros out the scale after an item has already been placed on it. So for example, I put down the ramekin before weighing these almonds (which weighed well over 100g), then used the tare option to zero out the scale before I actually measure the almonds. Perfecto! I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale if you are trying to get serious about healthy eating and keeping track of what you’re putting into your body. You won’t be sorry!
5. Find a method of exercise you actually enjoy
This to me has been a game changer when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. I used to try to like certain types of exercise, like dancing videos, but ended up putting them off when it was time to workout because I just didn’t enjoy them. I have found since that I really enjoy just going out for a walk and lifting weights. When I go for a walk, I either grab my headphones or another person and just zone out while I walk. Getting outside and getting some fresh air for an hour or so is usually all I need to burn some calories and get in a little cardio action. I used to run for the same reasons, but I have a bad knee so that’s off the table for me for now. 🙁 As for lifting weights, I have fallen in love with this over the past year. Matt and I set up a little mini gym in the downstairs storage space in our house and have turned it into something we do together when he gets off work. I really enjoy the feeling I get from lifting heavy weights and seeing a change in my body. The point I’m trying to make is: find something you love doing and go do it. If you like biking, do it! Like to go out for a hike? Do it! Do you like do those dance videos? Do them! Just get up and get active. But enjoy it while you do.
6. Hydrate. Hydrate. Did I mention to hydrate?
I know you’ve heard this before. But it’s true. Hydration is one the most simple and effective things you can do to start living a healthy lifestyle. Water helps in countless ways to help you feel great and potentially lose weight (with the rest of the healthy lifestyle tips of course :D) Here are some ways that water helps your health:
Helps with circulation of fluids throughout the body, energizes muscles by giving them adequate fluids to work properly and stave off fatigue, keeps you feeling fuller longer, replaces fluids lost through sweating and general skin evaporation, helps detox your body which in turns helps with weight loss, skin issues, energy issues, etc.
These are just some of the ways water helps your body!
Do you love fun little helpful Iphone apps like I do? If you have trouble making sure you drink enough water throughout the day, check out Plant Nanny. I mentioned it in my 10 Favorite Iphone Apps post because it really has been a favorite for a long time. You put in your height and weight and it helps you calculate how much water you should ideally drink everyday. From there, you choose a plant to grow and as you drink water throughout the day, enter in the ounces you drank and watch your plant grow! It’s adorable and has been key to helping me drink enough water throughout the day! I honestly have seen a difference in my skin and my overall health since getting so addicted to this app. Plus, it’s FREE!
Speaking of investing in things for your health, I highly recommend investing in some sort of reusable water bottle to keep your water in. Not only is it helpful to the environment to use a reusable bottle, but it is a great way to make sure you always have fresh water on-hand to drink! I love my Nalgene bottles and have two of them that I keep around the house. The best thing about them is that they have measurement lines on them to help keep track of exactly how much you’ve consumed.
Whew! That was a doozy. Thanks so much for reading all the way through if you have gotten this far! I truly hope that these tips are helpful to you and your health! Please don’t hesitate if you have any questions!
*Thanks so much to Maryann at Moderna Housewares for sending me the Ozeri Kitchen Scale. It has been great!
As always, thanks for stopping by!