6 Tips to Make Healthy Living a Breeze

Eating healthier

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if healthy living just seemed like second nature?  Here are six tips to help make that a reality for you.

  1. Aim for a spectrum of color in the day

You are looking to eat a rainbow of colors coming from produce items every single day to meet your vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient needs (plant nutrients). In order to do that, every week aim to fill your grocery cart with the following:

  • 2 leafy greens
  • 2-3 green vegetables
  • 2-3 red items
  • 1-2 purple items
  • 3-4 yellow/orange items
  • 1-2 white/tan items
  • Onions (yellow, red, white)
  • Garlic, shallots, leeks
  • 2-3 fresh herbs
  1. Let whole foods be the star of your meals

You may wonder what a whole food is. There are 4 questions you can ask yourself that will answer this question:

  1. Can you imagine it growing? Maybe in a field, on a tree, or in the ground?
  2. What’s been done to it since it’s harvest? If you think of an oat cereal, lot’s has been done to it since it’s harvest. It has been joined together with other cereal grains, fruit has been added, likely sugar has been added too, as well as preservatives and additives to make it shelf stable. But, if you think about the large flake oat by itself, nothing has really been done to it, other than being harvested from the field. So, in this case the large flake oat would be a better choice versus an oat based cereal.
  3. Is the ingredient list have more than 5 ingredients or is the ingredient list longer than my pinky finger? If it is longer, then it is likely is not a whole food.
  4. Are all of it’s edible parts intact? If you think about orange juice, the peel is gone and the majority of the pulp is gone. So, orange juice would not be a whole food, but the whole orange would be

3.  Limit yourself to a maximum of one processed food/day

This is a good for your digestion tip. Processed foods take a large toll on our digestive system and the resulting symptoms we may experience like gas, bloating, cramping, skin issues, and headaches.   A processed food is anything that doesn’t fit the criteria above! 

  1. Make time for movement

We need to move in order to keep our digestive system moving along in tip top shape! So, make time to take a walk out in nature or grab a buddy and hit up your favorite activity together.  Great activities include yoga, biking, or running.

  1. Make time for relaxation

Making time to reflect, zone out, and be present is essential if we want to make healthy living seem like a breeze.  Stress is something everyone is dealing with these days and it can impact our mood, how we digest our food, and our general well-being.   Excessive stress in our lives can also make you more prone to developing food sensitivities!

The thing is, if we don’t take the time for ourselves  it is MUCH easier to forget about exercise, forget about choosing the healthier alternative or easier to have that second or third glass of wine.  Maja Karlsson, RD and Life Coach at Healthbean, came up with the term the “commitment cup.”  The thought behind this is that you only have so much motivation, willpower, or whatever term you like to use, available in a 24 hour period.  As the day goes by, little by little, each task that we have to do or each deadline we have to meet reduces the level in our “commitment cup.”  The less commitment, the less motivation/willpower you have to meet your goals.  If we don’t take the time to actively keep it filled throughout the day, we can’t expect our commitment to make healthy choices or exercise or (fill in the blank) to be an easy one.

Easy ways to keep that commitment cup filled can be as simple as taking 5 minutes to do some deep breathing once you get home from work, calling up a friend to chat, sitting on the couch with your favourite book, or heading out into nature for a walk.  

  1. Include at least 1 probiotic rich food everyday

Many of us are working 10-12 hour days, relying on processed foods more often than we should and living high stress lifestyles.   All of this takes a large toll on our microbiome. Our microbiome is the variety of bacteria that live inside of our digestive system. The variety of our gut bacteria and the amount of our gut bacteria found in our digestive system help to make us more resilient to disease and illness. More reasons to make probiotics your friend! You can find probiotics in plain yogurt, and also find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store in items like sauerkraut, kimchi, and other varieties of fermented vegetables.

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