02 Dec It Starts with Me!
The journey for healthier living starts with you. When you make the decision to change—you want this for yourself. It starts when you understand you’re worth it. The journey to change is not easy. That’s OK. The greatest growths in personal development happen when we’re challenged to step outside our comfort zone. Yes, we can do hard things!
It Starts With Food
Try to focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, low fat or nonfat dairy and lean protein. Limit packaged and processed foods and eat more foods from their natural state by cooking at home.
Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. If alcohol is not making you the best you can be, consider eliminating it. Avoid trans-fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils such as margarine or cooking oils. Plan for success by preparing meals and snacks in advance. Cook double portions on the weekend so you have leftovers during the week.Meal prepping for the week saves time on busy days and helps you know what you are putting into your body.
Drink More Water
Drink water to stay hydrated. Drink 8 – 16 ounces first thing in the morning and 8 – 10 oz after meals. If you cannot drink this much in the morning, have a water bottle handy throughout the day and make a goal for yourself to finish at least 32 ounces a day. Add fresh fruit slices such as lemon or oranges or fresh herbs to water for variety and flavor. If water is too bland for you, go ahead and spice it up! Find a reusable water bottle that inspires you to drink more.
Aim for 30 minutes a day of physical activity. Wear a pedometer and set a goal of 10,000 steps a day. If you do not have one, that is okay, just get up and move for those 30 minutes! Regular physical activity is not only good for your body, but also for emotional and mental health. Move for fun, try not to make it a chore, it should give you more energy! Participate in cardiovascular activities you enjoy and look forward to. Build and maintain muscle mass, if you can. Participate in weight bearing activities at least three times a week. Stretch before and after every workout and recover. Every successful workout plan also includes time to stretch and recover.
Make Sleep Happen
Have a regular bedtime and routine. Turn off electronics an hour before bedtime, including checking e-mail. Electronics have a blue/white LED screen which triggers the brain to want to stay up later, so putting down the electronics before bed could help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. If you read a book before bed, read the actual book and not an electronic device. Drink hot tea such as chamomile to help unwind and relax, it could help you stay asleep longer if you were able to relax after a long day.
Share the strength of your body with another. Find someone in need of help and use the strength of your arms and legs to help them do what they cannot do for themselves. Laugh more by finding humor in your day. Humor and laughter will help shift your perspective. Whatever made you laugh and smile is probably something to be grateful for. Grow your own food, learn how to tender and care for the things you are putting into your body. Practice gratitude for the earth you live on and the body you live in by planting a garden and nurturing your body with the food from it. Move with gratitude. Move with thoughts of gratitude rather than obsessing over burning off every bite of last night’s meal. Be grateful for the food you enjoyed and the company you were with. Rest when you are tired. Show gratitude to your body by taking a break and resting when you are tired or burned out.
Repeat daily by making a checklist for each day. This can help you stay on track for the week and not over do it for yourself. Putting too much strain on the body without and rest can affect your immune system and also your emotions. Always find new ways to do old things so you never find yourself being bored with your routine!
Some Sample questions for a checklist could be:
What are my goals?
What do I want out of life?
Why do I want this?
How am I going to get in enough water every day?
How will I fuel myself to empower success?
When will I incorporate daily movement?
How will I get in strength exercises?
When will I make time to stretch and recover?
How much sleep do I need?
How will I make sleep a priority?
How will I express gratitude?
How will I remind myself to be grateful for all I have and all I am?
Who can I help along the way?
How will I remember to take this journey one day a a time?
by Marie Wolf
It starts with food – make sure you’re on track with the Family Nutrition Workbook!