I think January is such an easy month to really kickstart our health regimens because we bang our body up so badly the last two weeks of December. By January 1st, we are begging for a new chance and new beginning. It’s all fun and games ’til your jeans don’t fit anymore…!
I was driving in the car today- feeling SO energized from being back in the blue skies and mild California winter- and it got me thinking about my health. I will say that the past 5 years I’ve really gotten passionate about health and wellness, and made small changes to my habits slowly. It wasn’t an overnight fix, but I would implement something new to my health regimen, master that, then add something more onto it from there.
I am asked a lot from friends and my followers what my secrets to good health are. Let me clarify that I think health is an overall wellness- inside and out. I think total health affects many areas physically in a positive way. Some examples I have found are: faster growing/shiny/strong hair and nails, clearer skin, less dark circles and puffiness, a flatter tummy without bloating, moist skin, and an overall healthy glow. So what is the secret to achieving all of these things? It’s not anything you haven’t heard before- but instead of just reading this and nodding your head yes, you really have to IMPLEMENT healthy habits. Here are my top 5 that I try to follow 80% of the time. I decided that the 80/20 rule is what I can live by to feel BALANCE. If I try anything 100% I can do it for a little bit, but then I have really bad days that result in starting all over again. I’d rather still be fun, live a little, and not kill myself to be perfect.
HERE WE GO……..!!!
1. VEGGIES, VEGGIES, VEGGIES! You need to make these your best friend! I’m not saying you need to be vegetarian, but I am saying you need a lot of servings of vegetables a day. This is the “diet” secret of success. I say diet lightly because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I think there is moderation in all types of foods- but I have found that if I fill myself up with the majority of veggies and then accompany it with healthy grains and meats, I am a happy camper, and so is my body. I don’t have vegetables for breakfast- because I can’t go that far, but I do have them with my lunch, dinner, and snacking. I keep raw vegetables in the fridge at all times, and pack them with me when I go to work. Yes- I’m the weirdo that pulls out the snap peas or carrots- but if I don’t, I’ll go straight for the cookies. If you prepare for healthy habits, you’ll surprise yourself that your body will start to crave the veggies. There are many ways to prepare them- steamed, raw, baked, sautéed, or used in a soup. Get creative, and try a lot of different types! I think the easiest way to flavor them is with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. WATER, WATER, WATER! I wrote a recent article about the importance of water, and I will again link that below at the bottom of this article. Water is SO important. It affects your digestion, the moisture in your skin, and your body’s overall function. I drink A LOT of water. I try to get in at least 3 liters a day. I pack it with me wherever I go, and never leave home without it. When I was a young 18 year old, I never drank water. I would finish my day, and have to try to remember if I even drank water that day. I loved Diet Coke. I quit that cold turkey when my mouth started salivating for it. Enough was enough. Slowly but surely, I’ve cut out a lot of other beverages, and just stick to water. The past two years I’ve gotten more serious about the amount I drink, and have been very consistent with it. I have seen a major change in my skin, my digestion is consistent, and I feel better all around. I can’t emphasis this enough. Trust me, and DRINK. MORE. WATER.
3. MOVE YOUR BODY. I don’t care what you do, just find something that makes you move. Run, walk, dance, yoga, barre, pilates, lift weights, box, swim, garden, ski…..the list can go on and on. The important thing is that you do something. It’s not only important for your physical appearance, it does so much for mental wellness and clarity. We were made to move! Even when it’s hard, your body needs it, and the minute you start, you will immediately feel SO MUCH BETTER! It’s also important for longevity. We need to move and treat our bodies well now, so we can be a youthful senior citizen and live a long, healthy life.
4. START BIG AND GO LIGHTER. I wake up hungry every day. It’s what helps get me out of the bed in the morning…..BREAKFAST! This is the meal where I fill up on healthy carbs. Whole grain toast, oatmeal, or protein pancakes are usually my go-to’s. What works well for me, is starting my day off with a decent sized breakfast and lunch, and a lighter dinner. I try not to eat too late or go to bed on a full stomach. I eat my light dinner, and then try not to snack afterwards. I sleep better when I’m not stuffed, and I think my body can process the food easier. Of course, this is where the 80/20 rule comes in. Sometimes I go to late dinners with friends (especially those Italians), or have events that don’t permit me to eat the “perfect healthy dinner.” Nor, would I want to…. I can’t say no to great food! Overall, since I have implemented this habit, I feel like my body is functioning at optimum health, and I’m also not missing out on the carbs. I eat them early in the day before 3pm, and then my body can burn them as energy as the day goes. I do try to stay away from heavy foods or carbs at night- I try to go for a lot of veggies and a lean cut meat.
5. SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP. I’m a sleep snob. I need at least 8 hours….and if I don’t, I’m a big baby. I do understand that I am lucky in this category not being a mother- because I can be totally selfish and sleep without interruption through the night. (Except for when my kitty decides he needs to be CRAZY once the lights are turned off….) So, do your best. But make sleep a priority. Try to get yourself to bed at a decent hour, and you will wake up feeling refreshed in the morning and ready to take on the day. It does affect your overall health, mind, and function. AND your beauty. A well rested woman has less dark circles, puffiness, and tired looking eyes. Let’s face it, your a hell of a lot happier too. When your tired, you might make poor food choices because you are on “survival mode”, and you might skip your workout because you are too tired. You might also get sick easier and more often because your body isn’t able to fight it off. So get your beauty rest my friends!
Okay, I think I’ve rambled enough for one day. I truly do live these rules to the best of my ability, and it definitely has made me happier, healthier, and more balanced. It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. I promise you, the more you tweak your healthy habits, the less if feels like a big deal, and the more it really is just how you live your life. Are these things you’ve been wanting to try? Take baby steps! Add more veggies to at least one meal, try to add one more hour of sleep a night, and drink one more glass of water. Once your start and it’s becoming easy for you, add a little bit more! Let me know if you have any other health questions or things you’d like me to talk about. I’m happy to be here and support you! Look below as well, you can read more in depth articles about the things I’ve covered. Cheers to a healthy heart, body, and mind my darling friends. XOXO