Seven Steps to Healthy!
Healthy doesn't have to be hard....but it does have to be delicious!
It seems everyone is looking for a simple strategy to looking and feeling better. After all, who doesn’t want to have more energy, less brain fog, more happiness and less stress? There is so much information out there to help you achieve these things, but a lot of it is conflicting and confusing. There has to be a better way, right? I’ve narrowed it down to seven simple steps for you to get your life back on track over the next few months. Slow down, take it easy and take it all in. What I’m going to encourage you to do is take one step each week for the next seven to eight weeks. That means, if you start today, you can easily achieve a much healthier and happier life well before your next vacation. Just think, you can be one of the few who quits talking about getting healthier, but actually does something about it!
Week One: Begin your day with a smoothie. Use a base of almond or coconut milk, then add bananas, berries, a handful of spinach or other leafy greens, a few nuts and some protein powder. You can take it up another notch with superfoods like cacao nibs, maca powder, hemp hearts and goji berries. Get creative and change it up each day, but the important part is to just get started. This is a great way to begin your journey to a new you! Week Two: Add one big salad to your day – either lunch or dinner (or both). Taking this one simple step can help you start crowding out some of your less-healthy choices. Start with 2 cups leafy greens, then add in the rainbow of chopped yellow peppers, sliced avocado, strips of crunchy jicama, shredded carrots, and bright red tomatoes. Make a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, apple cider vinegar and fresh herbs. Then change it up the next time with different greens, herbs and chunks of fruit. Keep it fun; keep it interesting and most of all, keep it healthy!
Week Three: Drink flavored water to help you hydrate. We all know we should be drinking half our body weight in ounces of water each and every day. But how many of us actually take this all important step? An easy and tasty way to achieve this is to get a large pitcher and fill it at night with the amount of water you need to drink the next day. Then add some sliced fruit, such as lemons, kiwis, oranges, cucumbers, or strawberries. Let it sit overnight (in the fridge) and then you’re ready to infuse your body with some incredible hydration the next day. Week Four: Now it’s time to add healthy fats to each meal. Healthy fats include things like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, olives, seeds and nuts. With breakfast, you can throw any of that into your smoothie and you’re done. With lunch, you can easily add any of these delicious components to your salad. The same goes for dinner if you’re having a salad then. If not, you can saute vegetables with coconut oil or slice up an avocado to have with your meal. You can also simply pour a little olive oil on your meat or veggies right before you serve them. Week Five: We all love to snack, but most snacks are not terribly healthy. Many are overloaded with bad fats, bad oils and bad sugars, and that leads to weight gain, inflammation and clogged arteries. This week, I want to encourage you to start changing out your unhealthy snacks to healthier options. Once again, I want you to keep it simple and try to save most of your appetite for your healthy main meals. If you find yourself feeling hungry in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon times, start reaching for fresh fruit or vegetables instead of pre-packaged junk. Four of my favorite snacks are sliced cucumbers and jicama with red pepper hummus, a handful of grapes with a few ounces of organic cheddar cheese, a sliced banana or apple with nut butter, or a ½ cup of blueberries with a ¼ cup of almonds. Week Six: By now, if you’ve been following all of these steps, you’ve made some wonderful changes to your diet and your life. The next step is for you to add fermented foods to your dinner, like raw sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir. You can find these things at your local health food store, farmers market and even in the natural or gluten-free section of many big-box grocery stores. These amazing products will add healthy, natural probiotics to your incredible microbiome, which will boost your health to the stars and beyond! Week Seven: My final step is to switch out your dessert choices to what I like to call “simple sweets”. That is, desserts that are smaller portions and less sugar that you will soon learn to love. You can search the internet for recipes or feel free to email me for some simple suggestions. I have a great lemon cookie recipe on the website that is sure to please anyone in your household. Start training your taste buds to be happy with one small cookie or a small square of dark chocolate after dinner, instead of a tub of ice cream or a bucket of brownies. Your pocketbook and your waistline will thank you! And if you do mess up one day, forgive yourself, move on and promise to do better tomorrow.