When I decided that I wanted to be healthier, I had no idea where to start. I knew that I wanted to be healthier, leaner, and stronger, but didn’t have the basics to get started – or the time to devote to massive, over complicated diets and workouts. I know you’re busy, so here are some basic steps you can take TODAY to get you started:
1. Start Reading Ingredient Labels
Did you know that potato chips have sugar in them? I didn’t either! I mean, I knew they weren’t good for you, but sugar?! They’ve added it to make them more delicious – and more addictive – so you literally can’t eat just one. And how about ingredients like maltodextrin. What even is that? Once you start reading ingredient labels it will lead you to start thinking about how you are fuelling your body, which is an incredible starting point. Try not to focus on the macronutrients too much – calories, fat, etc. – because most low calorie, low fat foods contain a ton of additives to make up for the flavour you’re losing by cutting these nutrients down. Your body needs real food & nutrients (yes, even calories!) as fuel so try to focus on making this a priority.
2. Swap cereal for oats
And I’m not just talking Lucky Charms here. All those healthy cereals that claim to be good for you because they have fiber in them? Yup, they are also packed full of sugar and tons of other additives. A quick & easy switch is to replace them with overnight oats. There are tons of amazing recipes online including these: Vegan Overnight Oats, Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, How to Make Overnight Oats
Or, if you’re like me, and you totally forget to do your oats the night before, you can throw some in a bowl with a dairy-free milk, some nuts / seeds / fruit, etc.
3. Eat your Veggies
Ok, this one might seem like a no-brainer since your mom has spent literally your entire life telling you this, but it still needs to be said: Eat your veggies and eat MORE of them then you are thinking. 3 pieces of broccoli alongside your chicken doesn’t count.
Most people make meat the main focus of their meals (or if you are vegan, many people will make their meat substitute their main focus). Instead try making veg a main focus in your meal, like having a salad for lunch (don’t worry, we have some incredible and definitely un-boring salad recipes coming your way soon!). Or try our Fully Loaded Nachos that have tons of veggies piled on top.
Eat as many and as varied veggies as you would like. Vegetables have so many of the nutrients that you need to be getting to support your health and function well. Yes, you will still get all the protein you need if you don’t eat an entire chicken breast for dinner (see tip # 1 about not panicking about macronutrients). Additionally, since they are packed full of fiber they will keep you fuller for longer than other foods, which means you are less likely to be tempted to eat cake for dessert.
4. Snack like a Pro
It’s 3pm and you finished your lunch at like literally 11am (because honestly who can wait until noon to eat lunch?) and you are STARVING. And you’re starting to get a bit moody. You leave work in 2 hours, but then you have to run to the store because you forgot to get that thing and then there is picking up the kids and by the time you are home again it is 6pm. Your partner says something oh-so-innocently to you and you snap because doesn’t he know you haven’t eaten since the dawn of time?!
Or worse, you try to wait it out but by 5:30pm you are pretty sure you are actually dying of starvation so you grab the first thing you see in the store which – surprise! – is a chocolate bar. You eat it and your blood sugar sores. You feel awesome. But you also feel guilty about caving and eating something you know is bad for you. And then an hour later, you are hungry AGAIN and you actually feel worse than you did before.
You don’t need to go down this rabbit hole. Pack snacks to avoid the hanger. I always eat a snack mid-morning and another mid-afternoon. Here are some ideas:
- Seeds & nuts for a quick granola-style option
- Hummus with veg
- A clean energy bar like Boho Bars or Larabars
- Homemade smoothie
- Natural peanut butter or almond butter with crackers
5. Move Your Body
You don’t need to do hours-long sweat sessions. I’m talking 20 minutes a day. Heck, even 10 minutes. Whatever you can fit into your schedule. But do it every day. Every single day. Choose an activity you actually like, so you will stick with it. Love walking outside? Do a short circuit on your lunch break. Always wish you had a few extra quiet moments in your day? Try some at home yoga. Get pumped up by the community feeling of group exercise? Find a short, manageable class where you’ll be surrounded by others who love the same thing as you. By committing to even a small amount of movement that you actually enjoy every day you will make it a habit and, because you enjoy it, you will naturally start to do it for a bit longer each time AND it will actually feel good.
Here’s a yoga routine I love that you can do from home:
And if you’re more into kickboxing:
Ok guys – that’s it! 5 super simple, easy to incorporate steps that you can take right now to get started on your wellness journey. Start making these changes this week. We will check in with you next week to see how things are going and give you more tips to help you feel healthier, happier, and motivated to take things to the next level. If you have questions along the way, post them below!