1) Plan Ahead
2) Drink Plenty Of Water
3) Exercise Whenever And However You Can
4) Make Double Use Of TV Time (if you have TV time)
5) Keep A Yoga Mat At Home
6) Get Rid Of Junk Food
7) Buy A Big Bag Of Small Apples
9) Eat Fresh Fruit Often
10) Read Labels
1) Skip Breakfast
2) Drink Your Calories
4) Curtsey Lunges
5) Feel Bad When You Indulge
6) Disturb Healthy Food Habits in Travels Or Eating Out
7) Assume A “Salad” Is Healthy
8) Make Yourself Crazy
9) Shy Away From Buying Fresh Produce In Bulk
10) Let Anyone Make You Feel Bad For Healthy Choices
10 Healthy Habit Do’s
1) Plan ahead. My trainer Mark DiMuzio is always telling me “Set yourself up for success. Success happens when opportunity meets preparation.” Tip: Hard-boil a dozen eggs on a Sunday to prepare for the coming week. Wash and dry your fruits and veggies as soon as you get them home from the store. Package them in “to go” containers for healthy snacks on the run, or place washed and prepped to cook in containers where you can see what’s inside. Not only are you more likely to eat healthy in the moment you are hungry if there’s less prep involved, but you will most likely have less food that goes to waste.
2) Drink plenty of water. Tip: Buy a measured reusable water bottle and fill it up at home, make sure it is BPA free. It will save you money and reduce waste too.
3) Exercise whenever you can, however, you can. Tip: If you only have 10-15 minutes to exercise, do it. At the end of the week, you may have accumulated anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour of exercise.
4) Make double use of TV time, that is if you have TV time. It is a waste to just sit there. Tip: Do squats and lunges while watching TV.
5) Keep a yoga mat at home. Tip: You can find ones that are relatively inexpensive at places like Ross or TJ Maxx. Use it to do exercises like sit-ups, leg lifts, stretching, and simple yoga moves like the downward dog (Which looks exactly like it sounds. If you aren’t sure just watch your dog stretch after a nap and then copy the maneuver).
6) Get rid of all the junk food around you. If it isn’t there you will eat something else. Tip: Clean out your fridge and pantry. If you really want it you will have to go out and get it because you will have decided it is time to indulge in a favorite treat. You will be sure you want to treat yourself instead of eating on impulse just because you are hungry and it’s there.
7) Buy a big bag of small apples. Tip: Wash them all as soon as you get home and place them in a beautiful bowl inside the fridge. A cold crisp clean apple really hits the spot to satisfy as an after-lunch sweet snack. (Place a fresh paper towel in the bottom of the bowl to absorb excess moisture after washing and drying). Yum.
8) Snack: Having a light snack when hunger hits to keep us from overeating when we finally get to have a meal. Tip: Grab an apple on your way out the door as a snack for later, or keep nuts in your desk drawer or in your glove box.
9) Have fresh fruit for dessert or as a snack if you are hungry after dinner or before bedtime (or as a midnight snack). Tip: Make your own homemade sugar free popsicle treats. All you need are popsicle molds, fresh fruit, a blender, and some creativity.
10) Read labels. You will be amazed to see how often bad things can be hiding in good food. Tip: As a general rule if you can’t pronounce it, or don’t know what it is, don’t eat it.
10 Healthy Habit Don’ts:
1) Skip breakfast- ever! Tip: If you are in a super rush and know you won’t have time to prepare food in the morning then make sure you have an easy no-prep food item to go! I like Kind Bars and a piece of easy grab & go fruit or hard boiled eggs.
2) Drink your calories- just don’t do it. It is a waste of perfectly good calories and is usually filled with things you don’t want, like sugar! Save the sugar for your cupcakes and NOT to hydrate. If you’re thirsty drink water, there’s no substitute.
3) Diet. I will say it again DO NOT DIET. What we need is to have healthy habits. A diet is something we automatically view as restrictive. Tip: Look at how you eat and what you eat, and look for ways to implement a more healthy item, dish, alternative, or preparation method. Every little bit counts. Find ways to incorporate flavors you love. You will begin to gravitate towards the healthier option naturally if it becomes your tendency. It is all about re-programming habits.
4) Curtsey lunges- a forward or backward lunge is okay if you have proper form. But it is unnecessarily hard on your knees to curtsey and then squat. No good. Don’t do it. My physical trainer said that the universe where one MUST do a curtsey exercise is so limited that it wouldn’t apply to me, or you (unless you are a professional athlete or training for the Olympics). Tip: If you are in a group exercise class and they are doing a curtsey lunge/squat just modify to a backward lunge instead. It works.
5) Feel bad when you indulge. If you are going to treat yourself to a “splurge” then enjoy every bite. Life is too short to regret eating a piece of chocolate cake. Tip: Make a conscious decision ahead of time like “I am going to a wedding and I am going to eat cake,” or “I am in France so I am eating a buttery croissant” and decide that it is what you want. If you have generally healthy habits then these treats won’t make a big difference, especially if your go-to is nutritious and maintains an overall healthy approach. I do not like referring to this as a cheat because it has a negative connotation and food is not the enemy. Remember, it is called birthday cake (not everyday cake) for a reason!
6) Let eating in a restaurant or staying in a hotel room get in the way of eating healthy. Tip: Ask for olive oil instead of butter, or for a dish protein style instead of with loads of bread, or order a salad in place of a greasy or carb-heavy side-dish.
7) Eat a salad thinking it is healthy without checking out the ingredients. Tip: Have you ever pushed the croutons aside? There have been more than a few times you could have formed an entire loaf of bread from the croutons on my plate in a single salad- I’m not being dramatic. Dressing is also a place where calories can hide. Opt for no dressing and use balsamic, olive oil, and fresh lemon or lime instead. I really love the selection of olive oil and balsamic by Leonardo e Roberto’s Gourmet Blends.
8) Make yourself crazy. Every day is a new day to start fresh, and a new chance to start healthy habits. Tip: Start your morning with a healthy breakfast and short workout early in the day. It will make you feel good.
9) Shy away from buying fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk, especially if it is in season! Tip: Use this as an opportunity to try new different recipes. You can also cook in large batches for meals throughout the week, or prepare and freeze so you’ll have a healthy pre-made frozen meal or side dish on hand.
10) Let anyone make you feel bad for healthy choices. Countless times I have heard people say “Oh, you are on a diet? I could NEVER eat like that!” or “Healthy food is boring.” Healthy food is not boring. Summer fruit is beautiful and deliciously sweet. Sweet potatoes and cherries are natural anti-inflammatories (along with so many other foods), avocado is considered to be a healthy fat, and so on. Tip: The point is your answer should be “No, I am not On A Diet. This Is My Diet.” It’s funny. I found the more I stayed with my conviction to have healthy habits and make good food choices others started to follow. All of a sudden it became “I’ll have what she’s having how she’s having it. That sounds good.”