Being “healthy” doesn’t happen overnight. Healthy people started doing healthy things a little at a time, made them habit, and eventually watched their bodies – the way they feel, think, and look – transform.
Today, I want to try a crowd-sourcing post. Let’s all share some healthy (ish) habits we’ve picked up over the years. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to try them out too.
Here are my Top 10 Healthy Habits.
- I drink a glass of cold water before bed. Sure, I might have to get up in the middle of the night to visit the loo, but water is like the cure all for what ails you. Our bodies are over 50% water, but we have to constantly fill the tank. Picture a wrinkly prune. That’s kinda what happens to your cells when they’re dehydrated, so you can imagine why drinking enough water is so crucial.
- I wake up with a positive attitude every day. You’ve heard the saying “happiness is a choice.” I fully believe this. Even if I’m dragging ass because I didn’t get a good night sleep, I tell myself “today is a new day.” It’s a chance for a fresh start. It’s day one.
- I eat protein at breakfast every single morning. It provides this sort of background level of hunger satisfaction all day long. If I don’t get my protein, I find myself digging in the cupboards every hour because nothing seems to tame my growling tummy. My go-tos are 2 eggs with whole grain toast, muesli with almonds and almond milk, Greek yogurt with berries and peanuts, whole grain toast with peanut butter, or oatmeal with whole milk, almonds and raisins.
- My husband and I enjoy a cup of tea every evening. It’s a simple ritual, but it helps us relax, unwind and get on the same wavelength. The added hydration also makes it a better choice than that 2nd glass of wine.
- I buy no salt added soups. Yeah, they’re gross as is, but I’d rather add the salt myself than consume more than my entire days worth in one meal. I like Health Valley Organic (http://www.healthvalley.com/products/category.php/no-salt-added-soup).
- I love taking walks. I’ll choose one subway stop further, go to the further grocery store, or take the scenic route just so I can move a little more. Walking helps me clear my head and gets my blood flowing. I go stir crazy if I can’t get out to stretch my legs every day.
- I snack on nuts at least twice a day. My mom calls me a squirrel, because I always have a ziplock of almonds, peanuts, or cashews in my bag. I don’t really think about the number of calories or how many nuts I’m eating. Nuts don’t spike your blood sugar so they don’t promote fat storage. They’re high in fiber, protein and fat, so they help you feel full and satisfied.
- I eat dark chocolate all the time. I’d estimate about an ounce or 2 every day. That’s the other thing you’ll always find in my bag. It’s delicious and lifts my spirits, so I’d eat it even if there wasn’t all this fantastic research about how the flavanols in cacao can lower your blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and reduce inflammation. And believe it or not, studies show that those who indulge in dark chocolate on a regular basis have lower BMIs. Crazy! And awesome.
- I’m not carbophobic; I’m a carb discriminator. I usually pass on the bread basket unless it’s freshly baked bread that smells insanely good with a really high quality butter – my will power’s got nothing on that. The point is, I don’t just eat any bread. When carbs accompany my meal, I see them as a side dish. For example, if I make pasta and meatballs at home, I’ll serve a small portion of pasta and try to load up more on the salad and meatballs.
- I love leftovers. Some people (ahem, Dad) will finish a plate of food for no reason other than they “don’t want it to go to waste.” That is such a terrible mindset! You’re literally using your body as a garbage disposal. So even when Javier leaves 1/8 of a chicken breast on his plate, I’ll save it for lunch the next day. It will act as a protein supplement to my piece of cheese and tomato soup.
I’d love to hear what has worked for you!