I saw a poll that said 77 percent of Americans say they’re actively trying to eat healthier. Are you part of this 77 percent? I know I am, and I already eat pretty healthy to start. The better statistic was that only 19 percent reported being on a diet. Ugh. I hate that word! It’s so temporary. So short-term and short-sighted. If you want lasting results and long-term health benefits you need to make a life change, and life change happens one small change at a time.
When the year turned over I made a few simple tweaks to my routine that I can already tell are making a difference. Here’s the thing: If you want something to work, you have to do it. In order to do something consistently, it has to be do-able. It has to be realistic.
Here are a few simple crops and swaps you can add to your routine starting today:
- Kick the coffee: If you’re a legit coffee drinker then settle down! I’m not talking to you. If you’re like me and you take a little coffee with your creamer, just give it up. Accept the fact that you don’t really like coffee! Creamers are loaded with chemicals and fake ingredients and if you don’t like it, chances are good it’s not great for your blood type. Switch to tea or hot water with lemon instead.
- Skip the soda: The average American drinks 45 gallons of soda a year and nearly 1 in 5 has at least one soda a day. Woa. Grab a bowl and measure in 10 to 20 teaspoons of sugar. That’s what you’re drinking in ONE soda. Crazy! It’s no wonder waist-lines are expanding and cancer diagnoses are skyrocketing. When you take a second to see what’s actually in some of the things you love, you won’t love them anymore. They’re certainly not loving you.
- Pour a mocktail: Alcohol is basically empty calories. When added to it’s appetite stimulating effect and loss of inhibitions and good judgment, you’re perfectly primed for an regret-worthy binge. My new favorite dinner mocktail is Kombucha, served in a champagne flute. It’s bubbly and fancy and super good for your gut. Plus, no regrets.
- Take a quick stroll: A new study found that doing light activity (including walking and cleaning) for an extra two minutes every hour can significantly lower your risk of dying early. If you need a reminder, set a timer! My FitBit tells me to get up and also walks me through deep breathing exercises. Technology is so woo-woo these days!
- Find the funny: The health benefits of laughing include less stress and anxiety, a lower risk of myocardial infraction and an increased pain threshold. Plus, it’s fun. What makes you laugh? Add a small dose to your every day.
On the whole we all want to get better. We want to eat better, be stronger, live longer and do what is in our own power as far as making good decisions. But it’s hard. The norm isn’t healthy. What’s average isn’t actually good for us. That doesn’t mean we should get discouraged or give up. In order to live a healthy life you must start making healthy decisions one small step at a time. Cut out the crap. Eliminate chemicals and empty calories. Move. Laugh. Stop setting yourself up for failure and regret. You get to design your life. Not an average life, not a normal life, but a life you actually love. I’ll drink a mocktail to that!