The New Year often symbolizes a new starting point for many people. New Year’s Resolutions are on everyone’s mind as the holidays come to an end and they often want to focus on eating well throughout the New Year after straying from their diets during those holiday months! It is so easy to get caught up in the festivities, and fun to do so! But, with the New Year, comes a new outlook! What a better outlook than to focus on eating healthy and staying active for 2011?
Personally, I am a very motivated person. I like my routine and like to stick to it! I just feel better when I do so. I love getting in an early morning workout and feel even better when I start off the day with a healthy breakfast. For me, eating a healthy breakfast will often help me eat better throughout the rest of the day. Your body gets the fuel that it needs early in the morning to jump-start your metabolism. I focus on eating real, whole foods instead of packaged possessed foods. They make me feel better, make my skin clearer and definitely make me more energized!
But, I also understand that not everyone has the motivation and determination to workout and eat healthy every single day. It is really hard to get started on a healthy path, but once you do, it will be easy to choose whole foods over processed and a walk over that extra hour of TV. You will feel motivated because your body will feel more energized!
Tips for Eating Healthy
1. Keep a well-stocked (and healthy) pantry!
My ‘diet’ consists of real food and yours should too! Whole foods contain the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to thrive. If you need a jump-start to eating healthy, I suggest that you spend some time cleaning out your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Get rid of all of those processed foods that you don’t need. My rule of thumb is that if the ingredient list contains any ingredient that you cannot pronounce, then get rid of it!
Real, whole foods are the goal here. So, get to the grocery store to re-stock your kitchen. Shop only on the perimeter of the store, where the produce, meat counters, etc lie. By staying on the perimeter it is very easy to only buy whole foods! Then, hit up the bulk foods aisle. Buy beans, grains, nuts, etc. Anything that you think will be a good pantry staple to have. I keep our pantry stocked with beans, grains, nuts, dried fruits (without sugar), protein powder and cooking oils. Each month or so, I re-stock those panty items. Then, each week, I buy all of the perishables - produce, eggs, milk, etc. It makes trips to the grocery store much quicker and makes our grocery bill much less! Keeping a well-stocked pantry will allow you to cook quick, healthy meals each night.
2. Make your meals easy!
I find, that the key to always creating a healthy meal is to keep it simple! Normally, I choose one grain and some veggies to be the main course, and then spice it up with nuts, dried fruit, cheese, etc. By keeping your meals and snacks simple, you will continue to create something healthy. If you cook an elaborate meal every night, you are more likely to burn out and run down the street for takeout!
My favorite snack/light meal is a protein smoothie. They are simple, so quick to make, and taste much better than any smoothie or snack you would otherwise buy.
-1 frozen banana
-1 cup frozen fruit (or fresh fruit and a handful of ice)
-1 scoop (or ¼ cup) Living Harvest Hemp Protein Powder
-Pinch of cinnamon
-Dash of vanilla
-2 tbsp hemp seeds
-1 cup milk of choice
Add all of the ingredients to your blender, then mix and enjoy!
See how easy smoothies are? They taste great, and the addition of the Living Harvest Hemp Protein Powder and hemp seeds gives the smoothie extra protein and all of the essential amino acids that our body can’t produce, including Omega-3’s. Other protein powders could be used as well, but I prefer the Living Harvest Hemp Protein because it is not nearly has processed as others. And, to me, the least processed, the better it is for the environment and for us!
Tips for Staying Active
1. Get moving!
Being active is almost as important and eating healthy. In fact, they go hand in hand. In order to be active, you need to eat healthy. You will have more energy to do the things that you want to do. Staying active helps to keep our bodies healthy. Just 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week will keep us healthier and happier than ever before. You will sleep better from the exercise and will automatically find yourself craving those healthy foods to fuel your workouts.
I do some form of exercise almost every day, and afterwards, I make a smoothie for breakfast and always add hemp protein to it. Your body breaks down the proteins from the hemp so quickly, that the body is able to spend time absorbing that protein and immediately begins to repair your muscles, instead of spending all of its time and energy digesting the protein. It repairs your body while getting it ready for your next activity, and provides your body with the fuel that it needs.
2. Walk to the store!
In the winter months, it is very easy to curl up on the couch with a big mug of hot chocolate and a movie, staying away from the cold weather. But, it is also the perfect time to get back on track after the holidays. Take a walk to the grocery store, if it’s walk able, instead of driving. If you keep your pantry stocked, then weekly, you won’t need to buy that much stuff. A 30 minute walk to and from the store will help your body fight off sickness by breathing in some fresh, crisp air and will keep your body active. Once you get home, you will feel accomplished and will be even more excited to relax!
The New Year is a perfect time to start something new. Grab a buddy and get them on a healthy track as well. You will be even more motivated for that walk, if you are meeting someone else!