High Five For Healthy Habits

It’s time to talk Friday Favorites with Andrea, Narci, and Erika and today I’m sharing my five favorite parts of a healthy lifestyle. Join us! Write about some of your favorite things and join the link up on their blogs!

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Are you the kind of person who has a healthy lifestyle?  I guess that depends on how you define the word “healthy”.

For me, the word “healthy” relates to my nutrition, my physical activity, my mindset, my social life, my confidence…it’s the whole picture.

For others, the word “healthy” means eating certain foods and forcing themselves to work out…otherwise known as a diet. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, does it?

My very favorite quote that I have ever heard about diets is this one by Chalene Johnson:

“Don’t go on a diet. HAVE a diet.”

If you decide that you absolutely need to make a change and become healthier, try a diet. I’m not at all saying you shouldn’t. There are tons of different diets out there! However, there is a reason that so many people start a diet and then quit. It’s because most diets are meant to be a quick fix. It might also be because it’s not the right diet for them. You need to decide how you can eat and exercise for LIFE, not for a short period of time. What do you enjoy doing as physical activity and what do you enjoy eating? That is your personal diet. You don’t need some fancy name for it. That’s just your diet!

Now when I say what do you enjoy eating…obviously we all have our vices. I like peanut butter and cookies and popcorn and queso, but those are not foods that I need to be eating every day. Do I want to eat them every day? Yes, sometimes I do.

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Do you feel me? 😉

But I know that there are other foods that I love just as much like chicken, yogurt, bananas, and eggs that are good for my body. They are the foods that have always been foods. They are real, they aren’t processed, they are full of nutrients. And so because this is my life and my personal diet, I eat all of those healthy foods and then sometimes I have one of my favorite indulgences. And I don’t feel bad about it. Because this is how I plan on eating for the rest of my life, not for the next few weeks. See where I’m going with this?

If you really like carbs, let yourself eat carbs. Just make sure you are getting lots of protein and lots of veggies in at your meals, too. If you really like to eat a snack before you go to bed, go ahead and do that. Just make sure that you aren’t eating mindlessly throughout the day because then when you eat that snack at night, your body will still need those nutrients.

It’s a balance game. It’s a guessing game. There is no one right answer and that is so frustrating to so many people! 45 million people go on a diet every year. That blows my mind. Are you a statistic? I am. I like to try new things. But I like to read up on what these diets are promising. Is it something I could do forever, or is it something that is only going to last for a few days or a few weeks? Because I’m telling you, if it promises that you are going to lose 10 pounds really really quickly, you probably will. But you will also probably also gain those 10 pounds back really really quickly. Figure out what works for you! It’s a puzzle. It’s a game. Puzzles and games are fun. 🙂

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So if you recall, I defined “healthy” as the whole picture: my nutrition, my physical activity, my mindset, my social life, and my confidence. And since we are planning on doing this healthy thing for life, we have to have some tricks up our sleeves when life gets in the way. You aren’t going to eat a perfectly balanced meal every time you sit down to eat, but you can try. Let’s start there:

– ONE –

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My biggest food tip is prepare.

Start the day eating a healthy, balanced breakfast.
Make lunch or prep ingredients for dinner the night before.
Keep nuts, fruit, a protein bar, or any other healthy snack you love in your bag AT ALL TIMES.

I cannot be trusted when I’m hungry. I have been known to eat while I’m cooking, which is very counterproductive. 😉 And when you are out and about at school or work or doing errands, you can’t be sure what your choices will be for a quick snack.

Prepare.

– TWO –

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Kill your cravings by hydrating. Half the time when your body tells you it’s hungry, it is actually thirsty. I have 32 oz. water bottles that I take with me everywhere. How much do you weigh? Divide that number in half and you’ve figured out how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. I am actually working on drinking LESS water right now because I am constantly going to the bathroom. Ha! Hydrate yourself. I promise your body will love the crisp cool water. Or you can add some fruit for flavor if that’s your thing. 😉

Hydrate.

– THREE –

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Exercise is a huge part of being healthy. But for goodness sakes, do something that you LOVE. Do something that you look forward to! If I told myself I had to wake up every day and get on the StairMaster, I would probably never workout. I like running and Spinning and occasionally going to a yoga class or a hip hop class. Those are things that I know I will do FOREVER (I hope)! If you are feeling uninspired by your workouts or you can’t even convince yourself to GO to the gym, I encourage you to try something else. You might hate what you’re doing, but I promise you don’t hate working out all together.

Exercise. And love it.

– FOUR –

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Go to bed. I have been making a conscious effort to get eight hours of sleep every night and it is great. Of course the first few nights you have to “make” yourself go to sleep aren’t very encouraging, but when your alarm goes off and you actually feel like you are READY to wake up…well that’s totally worth it. And if you’re working out and eating well, your body is recovering and getting stronger while you sleep. You’ll probably concentrate better and be happier if you go to sleep.

(I like this article here about catching zzzz’s.)

EVERYBODY SLEEP! Hahaha

– FIVE –

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If you’re on this path to getting healthy FOR LIFE, you need to make more changes than just those to your diet and exercise. You also need to think about the rest of your life. That’s not overwhelming at all, is it? 😉 Truly…is your job fulfilling? Do your friends make you happy? Are you a caring wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, cousin…? In all the craziness that is life, people take pride in saying they are SO BUSY! But are you making time for the things you love to do? Example: I like to ride bikes. I like to read. I like to bake. I definitely don’t do some of those things regularly, but when I consciously make an effort to do them, I feel so much better. Find the love in everything that you do, and most importantly…

Love yourself.

To review: prepare {food}, hydrate, exercise {because you love it}, sleep, and love yourself.

Five little changes to lead a healthier life…are you ready to take on that challenge? You’re doing such a good job already. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “High Five For Healthy Habits

  1. Okay… That picture about the bikini and burritos = my life! Haha also your tips are extremely helpful for me as I try to get into my summer routine… Emphasis on routine because I’m trying to create one! Also – I drink water like there’s no tomorrow too! I probably drink enough for my entire family haha! Guess that explains the trips to the bathroom 😉

    • Haha I love when I see pics like that pop up on social media 🙂 And I just love my beverages especially when I want a snack! That is how I get out of mindless snacking! I drink water! And the consequences are obviously so annoying! Hahaha

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