After a night eating out with friends (and maybe enjoying some delicious cocktails), my wonderfully energetic sister and I decided to start our Sunday morning off in the gym. I usually try to get a workout in on Sundays, but this week it’s especially important, since I’ll be traveling later in the week and work is expected to be beyond busy. So, even though it’s the one day we can sleep in, we set our alarms for 7:30, and got right to it.
Working out on a Sunday is definitely a great way to start off the week. Sweat out those toxins from the indulgent weekend, get a head start on energy balance for the day (even if you might be brunching later…actually, especially if you’ll be brunching later), and give yourself a boost of both energy and calmness for the week ahead. Sure, we could have slept in, woke up to bagels and coffee (seriously tempting, I must admit…), and watched reality TV til we could drag ourselves off the couch. But we fought the urge, made it to the gym, and are now ready to tackle the week ahead. After our afternoon pedicures, of course…
*My beautiful sister and me, post Sunday workout *
March is National Nutrition month, and this year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is launching a theme titled “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” This is a big deal because, sadly, so many people still hold the view that eating junk food tastes better than eating healthier options. And believe me, you’ll never hear me argue that ice cream isn’t tasty…but I think it’s irresponsible to our health and our families to carry the preconceived idea that healthy food isn’t as enjoyable as junk food. When we think that way, we’re quite literally planning to fail to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It’s not true that we’ll be hungrier and less satisfied by choosing to eat healthier (though there might be a bit of that in the beginning, as our bodies actually become addicted to sugar, salt and fat), and it’s not true that the food won’t be as flavorful (again, once your body acclimates to the downregulation of excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat). By trying new recipes and sticking to the natural flavors of whole foods, you can learn to enjoy how food should really taste, and will start to look forward to eating every single meal.
This month, I’m encouraging all of my clients, family and friends to adopt one healthy swap in their diets, and learn to love the way whole foods taste, and the way they make us feel. Try a smoothie in the morning instead of that stale bagel (that will surely make you feel hungry again in 2 hours), or try a salad topped with fruit, nuts, seeds…you name it…for lunch. Pick up one new fruit and vegetable to try each week, and learn which spices can flavor your foods, so that you don’t ever need to cook with added salt and fat. Treat yourself to a new recipe book that concentrates on whole, natural foods…seeing how beautiful some of those meals can look makes all the difference! Try one swap per week, and you’ll start to enjoy eating at home, incorporating more whole foods, and using less of the bad stuff in every meal.
Eating right is 80% of the battle people fight in losing and maintaining a healthy weight, but it doesn’t have to be nearly as hard as we make it. Start to experiment with the taste of healthy foods, and by the time National Nutrition month rolls around again, you won’t believe you ate any other way!
I’m Blogging National Nutrition Month
I love this article because it supports a philosophy that I love…fitness and health are not unattainable. In fact, the very opposite is true: EVERYONE can get healthier, happier, calmer. No matter where you’re at right now in your healthy journey, there are little things you can do every day to make you a healthier person and improve your quality of life.
One of the strategies I use often with clients is establishing short-term goals. I’m talking really short-term. It’s the best way to create healthy lifestyle habits, and easily fit them into an already existing, busy schedule. If you want to lose 20 pounds, but you haven’t worked out since your high school sports days, I don’t want to hear you say that you’ll go to the gym 5 days every week. Because you may not. And that’s ok…in fact, you probably shouldn’t start such a rigorous schedule from the get-go. What I want to hear instead: “I’m going to take the stairs up to my 3rd floor office ONCE this week. Only once.” And you know what? When you do it, you’ll realized you survived. And it’s only Monday. Maybe you’ll even do it again on Wednesday…and Friday. And when you meet with me for our session on Saturday, you’ll have exceeded your goal. The stairs will no longer seem impossible. Next week, we’ll shoot for a goal of taking the stairs once per day. And before you know it, you’ll walk by the elevator every time without a glance. And your heart and lungs will thank you…
This situation may exaggerated, but it’s not at all. How many people take the elevator instead of the stairs up to their second floor office? And that’s ok. I’m not judging, I swear. I’m just encouraging you to take the stairs once this week, maybe twice next week. You get the gist.
So read this article. Choose 3 easy lifestyle habits you can implement in your daily life. Start with small goals…and realistic expectations. You’re a busy mom/dad/wife/boyfriend/employee/business owner/etc… But you want to be healthier, to feel more fit, and to live a long and healthy life. Choose easy ways to make healthy habits, and over time, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
This article was written a while ago, but I stumbled upon it today, and felt completely inspired after reading it. I heard Emmanuel speak at an Occupational Therapy conference last year, and was beyond impressed with his determination to accomplish so much in life, and a desire to turn his own experience into something positive for so many athletes with disabilities. I love this story, and I’m pretty sure you will too: