By Amira Lamb
When the goal is to improve one’s health, people try to make too many drastic changes all at once. A well-intended attempt at such massive change usually ends in failure. Feeling like a failure is no way to start the year, month or week off. Read this article for 5 easy things you can implement now.
I, personally, have found that making small changes over time produce the most lasting results. Patience is also key since, according to behavior studies, lasting habits can take anywhere from 18 days to 8 and a half months to develop. Generally, the more simple the change, the less time it will take for it to stick.
There’s a good chance you ARE thinking about creating a more healthy lifestyle, so here are 5 pain-free things you can start doing TODAY that will put you in the right direction without having to completely overhaul your life:
1. Start the first few minutes of each day with positive thoughts. Make the first 5 minutes your “me time”. This could be as simple as praying, laughing for no reason (yes, you will look crazy or annoy your roommates), reflecting on an inspiring quote, considering the things you’re thankful for, or simply starting your day without immediately checking your emails/Facebook/SmartPhone. This last one is something I’m working on.
2. Drink more water. Instead of reaching for that morning coffee, drink a glass or two of water as soon as you wake up. That groggy morning feeling is often due to thirst. Remember you just spent several hours in hibernation mode without any fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. This means that a person weighing 140 lbs needs to drink at least 70 oz of water each day. 70 oz is approximately 4 and a half pints, or a little over 2 quarts or 2 liters.
3. Eat one or 2 large servings of vegetables each day. If you’re not exactly a salad fan, try these ideas:
Serve whatever you plan on eating for lunch or dinner ON TOP OF a bed of leafy greens. If you dine out for lunch, order a large fresh salad on the side and then toss your main course on top (or ask the chef to).
If that idea turns you off, you can also try drizzling some organic extra virgin olive oil or juice of lemon with fresh herbs over the greens. In case you cannot stomach raw greens – steam them and add a pinch of unrefined sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan).
4. Add healthy fats into your diet. Fats are your friend when it comes to appetite control. Prepare your foods with coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and even organic butter from grass-fed animals (e.g., KerryGold).
5. Limit or restrict your grain consumption. Most people don’t require anything more than 1 small serving of grains per day. If you decide to eat a grain-based food, stick to a sprouted wrap or white rice (it’s free of gluten, lectins and phytates). If you’re interested in restricting grains, choose sweet potatoes, yams, yucca and plantain for a starch.
If you aren’t already implementing any of these into your repertoire, try it for the next 30 days and notice the difference in how you feel overall.
Amira Lamb, of Holistic Hottie, Inc in New York City, has over 16 years experience as a certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer and Nutrition and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. She graduated with a BA from UMASS-Amherst and has worked for esteemed companies such as: the Sports Club LA, Crunch, Equinox and New York Sports Clubs. Amira is also is a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and maintains certifications from National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Fitness Association of America, and the CHEK Institute.
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