Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? It feels like I gave you suggestions for the first half the year just the other day.
In January I promised I would be back this summer to give you the rest of the monthly mini challenges for 2017. If you want to check out the challenges for the first half of this year again, here they are. You don’t have to do them in order. They’re suggestions to help you out each month in case you get stumped.
But if you have done them, that’s great. Here are six more to keep you going throughout the rest of the year.
July: Learn to cook healthy new meals. Sometimes we can get into a meal rut and repeat the same meals week after week. It’s good to mix things up and try new recipes. Crunched for time? Aim to add one new meal per week to start. Look online and get your family involved. When you shop together and prepare meals together, it can be more fun for even the pickiest eaters to try new meals.
August: Stay hydrated. We can get dehydrated especially during the hot summer months and not realize it until it’s too late. The summer months can call for more barbecues and summer parties with alcoholic beverages. Rather than sugary alcoholic beverages or pop/soda, make your water fun by adding fruit for flavour or make iced tea with green tea, rooibos tea, or other herbal tea. Just remember to skip the sugar. You might not realize you’re dehydrated in the hot weather until you are, so be sure to keep a beverage with you, especially when out in the hot, summer sun.
September: Brown bag your lunch. Your work week might include lunches out with co-workers that are perhaps not always be the healthiest. This month, make your lunch to bring with you a few times per week. Not only will you know what’s in your food when you make it yourself, but it can save you some money as well. If you will miss out on socializing with the gang, make the most of the days you do go out for lunch with them. Who knows, you might inspire some of them to make their lunches and eat in with you.
October: Take time to chew your food. This seems to be a no-brainer, but when rushed or really hungry, there might only be a few chews before food is swallowed. You can help improve your digestion by taking time to chew your food until it becomes a paste. Digestion begins in your mouth with the digestive enzymes in your saliva. Chewing your food really well also slows you down and can help prevent you from overeating.
November: Set aside some “me” time. Sometimes hobbies and time to be alone with your thoughts are low on the list of priorities. Being busy might not allow for any of that. Scheduling appointments, kids’ activities, and work can push time for your own interests and reflection aside. This month, pencil in some time to enjoy hobbies you might not have done in a while, or for a relaxing bath or to meditate, read, or journal. Doing things you enjoy that are just for you can help you de-stress and recharge your batteries.
December: Bring healthy snacks with you. Sometimes when you’re out and about and hunger strikes, you might find yourself turning to food like donuts, potato chips, or cookies. This month can expose you to more sugary treats than normal with Christmas baking, so having snacks on hand can help you make healthier choices. Make your own trail mix, bring cut up apples or pears with nut butter, roasted chickpeas, or almonds.
Enlist a friend to do the monthly challenges with if you find have great intentions at first but then get off track after a while. Like I said before, social media can help keep you accountable, but if you don’t want to make it public, you can keep it between a friend or family member offline. A reward could help such as a new cookbook, pair of running shoes, or yoga pants when you incorporate a certain number of new, healthy habits. Let me know how it goes.