Welcome back y’all! I am so glad you decided to stick around and learn about the ways you can get your health back on track. Today’s post will fill you in on the most important tips for your success on your health journey. Remember that the journey will not be an easy one, but it will sure be worth it! These tips personally helped me during my health journey, but just because they apply to me and helped me, doesn’t mean that they will work the same for everyone. Without further ado, here are 5 useful tips that worked for me.
Tip 1: Preparation
Preparation is the single most important tip of them all! If you are not mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to embark on your health journey, you will eventually begin to notice that you are making choices that may negatively affect you. A great example of this is having the feeling of guilt for choosing to do whatever it was that was not a positive part of your health journey.
Many people make poor health choices out of lack of convenience, but the solution to this is to have a plan of action and be well prepared so that you will stay focused on reaching and maintaining your health goals. Are you mentally prepared for your health journey? Are you ready to put your foot down and tell yourself that you are worth investing the time and energy to live a healthier lifestyle? Most importantly, are you prepared to deal with challenging days when you feel exhausted, over stressed, and/or sick? If you answered yes to all these questions and you have a growth mindset about your journey to better health, then you may be mentally and emotionally prepared.
What about physical preparation you ask? Well, here is where you must put in some work. You will need to make sure you prepare enough meals to last you all week. Remember, this is not a steamed chicken and veggies kind of food program. Eating Paleo or Whole30 gives you an array of flavor options that are nutrient dense, which is what your body will thrive on for energy and nutrients. For those of you with autoimmune conditions like me, I modify the recipes to fit my body’s own needs. Meal Prep Boss Tip: Roast different kinds of veggies to last you the whole week. You can use them as side dishes or even blend some of them up with herbs, spices, and coconut milk to create delicious creamy soups that keep you quite full. If you are so hungry and extremely tired, I recommend grabbing a clean ingredient jerky such as Chomps (http://www.chomps.com) instead of reaching for fast food or unhealthy snacks.
For a quick hunger buster, grab a meat jerky with clean ingredients such as Chomps or EPIC.
Tip 2: Checking Ingredients
Always check your food, skincare, and cosmetic ingredients to ensure they are clean! Here is an example of clean ingredients from Applegate Organics chicken and apple sausages.
One thing I did that made me feel better from my health was to check the ingredients in my food, skincare, and cosmetic products. Repeat after me: DO NOT RELY 100% ON LABELS! Although they may seem harmless, labels can be incredibly misleading. I will write an entire post on that in the future. When you start reading your labels, you will see that ingredients for food items have plenty of unnecessary ingredients such as gums that irritate the gut, cane sugars and other “hidden” forms of sugar, and harmful preservatives that your body was not made to break down naturally.
When it comes to skincare and cosmetic ingredients, you will be even more surprised to know that there have not been any federal laws passed to regulate the ingredients in our skincare and cosmetic products since the 1930s! Yes, the 1930s! According to Beauty Counter http://www.beautycounter.com, European countries have banned the use of many ingredients that are available in the products here in the good ol’ USA. If you look at the back of your conventional skincare or cosmetic products, you will see many chemical components and high amounts of alcohol being used in them. This may cause skin and other issues in people whose bodies do not respond well to the chemicals, ESPECIALLY if they are being used daily.
Here are some of my favorite skincare and cosmetic brands that are full of clean ingredients. #YAS
Brands pictured: Well People, Buca Botanicals, Primally Pure, Beauty Counter, A wooden handled blush brush from somewhere over the rainbow.
Tip 3: Listen to Your Body
Sometimes our lives could get a bit hectic. We tend to get lost in the rush of things and tend to rely on habits to get us by. Some habits may be unhealthy in nature such as reaching for fast food to save time and energy on cooking, or even something simple like overeating and under-eating because of distractions. Sometimes people will over do it at work or at the gym because they just need to reach some type of goal within a constrained amount of time. Believe it or not, these things can make it more difficult in obtaining and maintaining overall health.
Get in tune with your body! Take a pause and listen to what your body is telling you. No one knows your body better than yourself, so listen up and treat it with respect. If your body is feeling more sluggish than usual, try to bank your energy and prioritize your tasks from most to least important. Try remembering what you ate before, maybe there is a food item that your body is not processing well. Sleep is crucial as well. If you were up until 3 AM on your phone or device because you decided you wanted to binge read all of my blog posts (thanks by the way), you need to do something in order to regulate your sleep pattern. Lastly and most importantly, listen to your gut! Did you know that there are more nerves in your gut than in your own brain? I know! I was mind-blown too! If your gut is telling you that you are full, put away the remainder of what is on your plate for later. If your gut is telling you that you really don’t want food, but you feel you need to eat something because you’re bored, opt out of that unnecessary snack and do something to distract yourself from feeling bored. I suggest going for a nature walk or doing something to organize your time. Whatever it may be, your body needs for you to listen to it.
Tip 4: Make Food Fun
One thing I had to do in order to make my eating experience positive was to make my food fun. I experimented with several ways to make my foods both delicious and appealing. I found out that using different colors and contrasting colors when preparing my food made it so much more inviting. Even my dad who is the king of picky eating asked if he could taste my foods. Being creative in the kitchen will stimulate your mind, nourish your body, and maybe even entice a picky eater to join you for a meal.
Butternut Squash Frittata with Onions and Herbs
Another way to make food fun is by answering to your cravings. If you crave it, try making a Paleo version. Remember that just because Paleo treats are a better alternative to the traditional ones full of grains, refined sugars, and dairy, they are still to be consumed in moderation. One food I normally crave is chocolate cupcakes. To save time, I use the Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin and Cake Mix (https://www.simplemills.com/collections/almond-flour-baking-mixes/products/chocolate-muffin-mix) and top it with 4th and Heart’s Chocti spread (https://fourthandheart.com/product/original-recipe-chocti/) and raw chopped pecans. To be honest it tastes more like a yummy brownie and I don’t even care because it is DELICIOUS! Be careful to eat it slowly because it is super nutrient dense and will give you a tummy ache if you eat too much too quickly. I personally can do with half, but I push it sometimes and eat a whole brownie cupcake.
This Paleo Chocolate Brownie Cupcake is Legit Delish!
Tip 5: Set Up a Routine
The last tip of today is to set up a solid routine for your activities. Whether your schedule is flexible or not, try your best to eat at the same times daily. I revolve my meals around my schedule. I eat breakfast by 8:30 AM so that I am also consistent with my medication management. If you take any medications that require food (or even just daily intake), it helps to take them at the same times daily. Lunch comes in the afternoon, and I always have a light dinner by 7:30 the absolute latest! Having an eating schedule helps your body know when to expect nutrients. I personally have also experienced how this consistency has helped with digestion.
A routine doesn’t just end with eating. If you workout or do any physical activity, you should include it consistently on your schedule. Whether it is going to your crossfit class or just taking your kids to the park, consistency is key.
Thank y’all for taking the time to read up on some tips for success when starting your health journey. I wholeheartedly wish you nothing but positivity and success on your journey. Regardless of your current health situation, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. For those who do not have any illnesses, take care of your body! No one is guaranteed lifelong good health. Until next time, peace and blessings!
BONUS TIP: Do NOT weigh yourself! Hide or get rid of your scale! Your overall health is NOT determined by a number on the scale or your physical appearance!