The thought of changing eating and lifestyle habits you’ve had for years can be daunting and scary. So much so that you might put it off until later. The problem is, later never seems to come!
You can slowly incorporate new habits into your weeks to help you improve your health. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and remembering that can make the process easier to wrap your head around.
Here are some steps you can take today (yes, today) to get you moving in the right direction. You don’t have to do them all at once. Start with one of the following:
1. Add more greens to your meals. Cut up spinach, kale, Swiss chard or broccoli and put in soups, smoothies, pasta dishes, scrambled eggs, omelettes, use lettuce as wraps.
2. Use Stevia rather than white sugar or aspartame.
3. When you get a craving for something sweet, reach for fruit rather than a cookie or donut.
4. Be more mindful about when you eat. Are you really hungry or are you bored, sad, stressed or anxious?
5. Keep a plastic-free water bottle with you to make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day. Make your water taste good so you’re more likely to drink it.
6. Swap out your white bread for sprouted bread.
7. Ensure you get your essential fatty acids by eating fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts.
8. If you hate vegetables, try cooking them a new way. Roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious. Honest! Try one new veggie per week.
9. If you drink two cans of pop per day, cut it down to one a day, then the next week, one every other day, then the next week, two per week, etc.
10. Eat meals off salad plates rather than dinner plates to help with your portion sizes. This is especially important if you have oversized plates.
11. Carry healthy snacks with you so you’re less likely to reach for junk food when you’re hungry.
12. Perhaps you can’t buy organic produce all the time, but try to buy items on the Dirty Dozen list as often as you can. These are most heavily sprayed with pesticides.
13. If you buy your lunch every work day, choose two or three days per week to brown bag it.
14. Go grocery shopping after you eat to avoid letting your rumbling stomach influence your choices.
15. Make a list and actually bring it to the grocery store. The list is no good at home! Putting a list in a notepad or in Evernote on your smartphone is a good idea if you always have your phone with you.
16. Take a few minutes for yourself every day to just breathe. You can start with one minute and work your way up.
17. If you eat meat, choose grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and poultry as often as you can. Eat lean meats.
18. Eat breakfast every day. If you usually skip it, make time to eat it. Your brain and body need energy and you won’t be starving partway through the morning.
19. If you drink multiple large coffees every day, slowly reduce the number every week, along with the cream, sugar, and syrups that are added to them.
20. When you eat at a restaurant, ask for a doggie bag to take half your meal home. You can eat it the next day for lunch.
21. Whatever you do, if you happen to indulge in a bag of cookies or eat a tub of ice cream one night, don’t give up or beat yourself up too much. We’re all human. Get back to your good habits the next day.