Summer seems to be flying by, as it does every year. Many of us are looking to the start of school, getting back to the grind and living with a routine again. It is easy to look to the next season to make some of the changes you know you need to make to feel your healthiest. “In the fall I am going to…..”, “Once the kids go back to school I plan to….”, “I know I need to….. but I am waiting until the end of summer.” Ha. I know it’s true because I catch myself making the same excuses. We are all human after all. But now I am reeling it in and thinking about what simple adjustments I can make to feel my healthiest. When there is a lot going on in life, self care seems to be one of those things that lacks the attention it deserves. So – here are a bunch of small things you can do to improve your health. Choose one or two to help you dive into the new season feeling fabulous…
Reconsider your morning meal: What are you starting your day with? White flour like a bagel, doughnut or toast along with a cup of coffee may give you a burst of energy that will later lead to fatigue and cravings for more junk food. Try starting your day with something nutrient dense – like a smoothie, high fiber cereal & fruit, greek yogurt and fresh berries. Protein, fiber and complex carbs will give you the energy you need in the morning without the crash later.
Eat regularly: Every person’s body and routine is different. But generally speaking, when you skip meals or go too long between eating, you will wind up paying for it later. Those cravings for cheeseburgers and French fries are there for a reason – your body is probably starving for nutrition. Consider making a commitment to yourself to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven straight days – then journal how you feel. You may be pleasantly surprised at how good it feels.
Stay hydrated: We all know the importance of drinking enough water. But it is easier said than done. When life gets busy, it can easily strike noon before you realize that you haven’t had one glass of water yet for the day. Try not to allow this to happen to you. Water will help your bowels stay regular, keep your food cravings at bay and help deliver the nutrients you receive from your food to where they need to be in your body. Not drinking enough water can send your body into haywire. Try setting goals for yourself and planning to drink 20 oz by breakfast, 20 oz before lunch, 20 more before dinner etc…
Learn to read food labels: Whole foods outside of a package are your very best choice. But when you are out and about, sometimes packaged foods are the only options. So – if packaged is all you have to work with, shoot for foods that contain at least 3 or more grams of fiber and less than 10 grams of sugar. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient – this is a good indication that your body won’t know what to do with it either. Artificial dyes, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup and MSG are always deal breakers. If it contains those ingredients- make another choice.
Get enough sleep: We all know the value of sleeping well, and we’ve all experienced the feeling of being refreshed after a good night’s sleep – and the feeling of fatigue after a poor night’s sleep. But even though we know this, in our busy society, many of us are not getting the quality sleep needed to truly receive the health benefits of sleep. To understand why sleep is important, think of your body like a factory that performs a number of vital functions. As you drift off to sleep, your body begins its night-shift work:
- Healing damaged cells
- Boosting your immune system
- Recovering from the day’s activities
- Recharging your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day
Healthy Recipe: Cabbage Delight
Click here for recipe…