“We are formed by what we do. It is our actions that ultimately make us. What we do slowly, slowly becomes the creator of our lives and our souls. What we are doing in life decides how we are creating ourselves. What our behavior is in life decides the directions our soul will travel, the paths it will move on, the new worlds it will explore.”
“The place and the food should be appropriate. What we eat is very important. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into what and how much we consume every day, we’ll come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, and consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our body and our consciousness.”― Thich Nhat Hanh
“I really regret eating healthy today,” -said no one ever!
Learn to make peace with food. So many of us struggle with our eating habits and body image. Our emotions are often tied to eating; we use food to celebrate, relieve stress, and console us if we’ve had a bad day. So instead of turning to fad diets and weight loss gimmicks, consider changing your attitude about food. Learn to pay attention to your emotions surrounding your daily food choices and discover how you can bring more awareness to how you fuel your body.
Try these tips to improve your relationship with food by bringing more mindfulness to your meals.
Drink a full glass of water before your meals. This will help curb your hunger and help you to make better decisions regarding the amount of food you eat.
Try to avoid snacking in between meals. Quite often we snack without thinking about the quality, quantity, or taste of our food. Consider limiting yourself to one snack if needed during the day.
Make a habit of sitting down at the table when you eat meals or snacks. This allows you to bring more mindfulness to the taste of your food and how much you eat.
Take a few days to time your meals and focus on chewing your food more completely. Learn to pay attention to the consistency and the flavor of your meals.
Celebrate all your meals no matter how big or small. Take time to set the table. prepare a beautiful plate, and then pause and express gratefulness for having food to eat.
Put more thought into the importance of food and how it affects your mood, energy levels, and overall health. By becoming more mindful of your food choices, you will begin to see the relationship with what you eat and how it affects your overall health.
“This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP”
― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
Develop simple habits that will reward you with better health. It all starts with a cue, a trigger, and creating an automatic response. Drink water upon arising, increase your activity level daily, express gratitude, and focus on a positive attitude. Remember, “healthy is a choice.” Here’s a great start with a simple workout and some great ideas to develop into new habits. Learn and experience the power of habit 🙂
“The attraction of New Year is this: the year changes and in that change we believe that we can change with it. It is far more difficult however to change yourself than turn the calendar to a new page. We are creatures of faith, like it or not.” ― R. Joseph Hoffmann
Many people are a little too exuberant when it comes to health and fitness goals for the new year. Although it’s helpful to be excited and motivated when setting weight loss goals, running your first marathon, or going after those six-pack abs; it’s important to put some thought into how to achieve those goals. If you’re not careful, you can end up with an injury that will put you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.
So go ahead and set those goals for the new year, but follow these tips to help you along your health and fitness journey.
Hire or consult a fitness professional if you are new to exercise or have existing medical issues. You can’t put a price on your health. Therefore, think of hiring a personal trainer as an investment in your health. A fitness professional can design an appropriate workout for your fitness level. Additionally, they can show you proper form, weight selection, and execution of the exercises in your program. This will provide you with a good base knowledge so that you can continue on your own and gradually build strength and stamina.
Make sure to include a warm-up and cooldown. It’s easy to pull a muscle if you neglect warming up when exercising. Muscles need to be prepared for work and the warm-up should be tailored to your workout. For instance, If you are running, it would be appropriate to walk on a treadmill and then perform some active stretching to prepare you for the run. If you are doing a weight workout, it’s important to warm up all the major muscle groups before lifting weights. Bodyweight exercises such as squats and pushups are great exercises to prepare the body for weight training.
Allow a recovery day. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Overtraining occurs from a lack of recovery time and can result in injuries and hinder progress. Recovery is vital for repairing and building muscle. Therefore, make sure to schedule a rest day each week. Also, practice body awareness and if you are unusually sore or tired, consider adding additional recovery time before resuming your workouts
Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Per orthoatlanta.com “As your body loses water during physical activity, your muscles can become tense. This interferes with your athletic performance and can make you more likely to injure yourself.” Make a point to drink at least 20 ounces of water before your workout. Also, take breaks to hydrate during the workout, and fuel your body with a good protein and carb source post-workout. Great fuel options are bananas, nuts, apples, and shakes.
Change is never easy but it pays to be patient and take it one step at a time. Set small goals and stay consistent with your program. Before you know it, you’ll reach those goals and be ready to move to the next level.
Celebrate the little things! Find happiness within you rather than the attainment of material things such as aspirations for more money, a better job, the perfect body, etc. Learn to cherish a walk on the beach, meditation, a great cup of coffee, an amazing workout, great food, or time spent with family and friends. Choose to find happiness each day in the little things 🙂
“Remind yourself daily that there is no way to happiness; rather, happiness is the way. You may have a long list of goals that you believe will provide you with contentment when they’re achieved, yet if you examine your state of happiness in this moment, you’ll notice that the fulfillment of some previous ambitions didn’t create an enduring sense of joy. Desires can produce anxiety, stress, and competitiveness, and you need to recognize those that do. Bring happiness to every encounter in life, instead of expecting external events to produce joy. By staying in harmony on the path of the Tao, all the contentment you could ever dream of will begin to flow into your life—the right people, the means to finance where you’re headed, and the necessary factors will come together. “Stop pushing yourself,” Lao-tzu would say, “and feel gratitude and awe for what is. Your life is controlled by something far bigger and more significant than the petty details of your lofty aspirations.”
― Wayne W. Dyer,
“The place and the food should be appropriate. What we eat is very important. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are.We are what we consume. If we look deeply into what and how much we consume every day, we’ll come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, and consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our body and our consciousness.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat
Day #1: (SUNDAY) Plan your workouts for this week and get them on the calendar. Set your alarm to get up early if you’re short on time. No excuses – just get your workouts in each day.
Set a reminder on your phone to remind you to drink 8 glasses of water per day
Try to set aside an hour on the weekend to do some of your holiday shopping online to eliminate stress, save time, and money
Avoid the holiday food traps in the grocery stores- just say no to candy, cookies, and desserts. Keep them out of the house so that you’ll be less likely to be tempted to snack on high-calorie foods. Splurge only during family get-togethers and be mindful of your serving sizes. The holidays are not an excuse to sit around and gorge on junk food and empty calories.
Begin to take time each day to be mindful of the true meaning of the holiday season rather than presents and unhealthy food.
“Enjoy making decisions. You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place. If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy.”
― Anthony Robbins
I found these Belvita breakfast biscuits on my most recent trip to the grocery store. They are absolutely delicious. They come four to a package and I couldn’t resist having two biscuits before work with my morning coffee and the other two biscuits after my workout today. Although they are not on the top of my list for healthy snacks, (Tis the season for gingerbread), I’m happy to report they do not include high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. I like to pair the biscuits with raw almonds and a banana to make this a healthier snack. They are heaven with hot, steaming coffee. If you are a coffee lover, consider trying the bulletproof coffee recipe above with the optional add-ins.
“How would your life be different if…You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read? Let today be the day…You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life. Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today.”
― Steve Maraboli, The Power of One
FEED YOUR BODY:
Consider the power of being mindful throughout the day. Mindfulness can transform a mundane situation into a unique experience. Imagine sitting down at a nicely set table with a beautiful table cloth, candles, fresh flowers, and savoring each bite of your meal. Does this sound familiar? Or do you typically watch TV, scroll social media, and stuff food down your throat? If that’s the case, you are most likely oblivious to what you eat. There is no doubt as to which experience most people would find more enjoyable.
Simple changes in your daily routine can make a significant difference in how much enjoyment you get out of life. Make your meals a special occasion by taking the time to create a beautiful experience for you and your family. Set the table using your best china, cloth napkins, and fresh flowers. Why save the good stuff? Life is happening now, so make each day count. Experiment with new side dishes each week or choose a new bottle of wine you’ve been wanting to try. Plan and create meals with loved ones that you can all look forward to each week. Make the mundane something special; the possibilities are endless. It’s all about creating a wonderful experience for you and your family; something you can look forward to each day.
FEED YOUR LIFE:
In addition to feeding your body healthy food and enjoying mealtime, it’s important to work out on a regular basis. Your body needs to move and stay active throughout the day. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, and best of all, there are no side effects. Take care of your body the same way you would care for a new car. Proper fuel and service are needed to keep it running efficiently. Consider ways to increase activity during your day. Take a walk on your lunch hour or after work. Walking outside can boost your mood by increasing serotonin levels and soaking up vitamin D on beautiful sunny days. Get in the habit of observing nature and appreciating the beauty in this world. If that’s not an option, consider home workout videos or joining a gym. Make a point to become more MINDFUL of how amazing your body is and how important it is to take care of your mental and physical health.
In addition to exercising your body, it’s important to feed the mind. Try to develop a positive mindset and learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Express gratitude daily and watch how your life changes. What you watch and listen to every day can affect your attitude and mood much more than you realize. Our subconscious is continually recording everything we see and hear. Consider the negative impact of various movies, video games, or BREAKING NEWS STORIES that run constantly throughout the day. If you want a positive outlook on life, it’s important to pay attention to the negativity your brain is exposed to daily from movies, TV, the internet, and also your social circle.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE: Your family, friends, and co-workers can affect your mood in a positive or negative way. Some people are constantly negative and zap the energy out of you, while others motivate you and elevate your mood. So choose wisely! I love this quote:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn
FEED YOUR MIND:
You have the ability to change your outlook no matter what your circumstances. Fill your mind with positive affirmations on a daily basis and watch how your life changes. Take time to read books, learn how to play the piano or violin, or learn a new language. Our minds are like sponges and can expand when fueled with new information and experiences.
Breakfast can be tough if you are short on time. I love to grab bars in the morning but it’s difficult to find any healthy options. These are delicious and a great bar to take with you on the run. Pair with greek yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs to add protein and have a healthier convenience meal on your way to work or at the gym.
Check this out! Ingredients you can read:
Compare this to other bars on the market that claim to be healthy:
And I love these Zone Bars, but check it out:
Although I love the Peppermint Bark bars for the holidays, I’m going to stick with the Cinnamon Raisin Lara Bars. Definitely a healthier choice. Make sure to take time to check ingredients when shopping even if you are short on time 🙂