Have you been thinking about getting healthier but have wondered where to start? Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be difficult. Nor does it mean gaining a ton of knowledge in order to do it right. In fact, the healthiest of lifestyles do not live by rules. The healthiest lifestyles are just that, a lifestyle. It is about routine with occasional indulgences. Because let's face it, life happens!
Indulgences are necessary because we all have things happening in our lives. Weddings, vacations, family gatherings, school events and travel for work. If we try to follow a very stringent lifestyle, it will be impossible to maintain and we will give up. Feelings of failure and thinking we don't have the willpower to be healthy are inevitable when the routine is too strict.
Below are 5 quick tips you can incorporate into your routine to live a healthier life. They are simple and easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. To successfully incorporate these into your routine, start slowly. Maybe one night a week cook and eat a vegetarian dinner. If you need recipe ideas, simply search my blog. There are plenty of easy recipes that do not require fancy ingredients.
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5 quick tips about how to live a healthy life:
I know you've heard it before but drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Not any water. It should be bottled and purified water. Why? Our tap water contains chemicals that mess with our bodily processes. For example, flouride which is found in many city water treatments binds with the magnesium in your body. Magnesium is necessary for energy production within your cells. When your cells are energized, they help your body fight pathogens that are in your body, which may make you sick.
When your body is healthy, it contains 65-72% water. Interestingly enough, when you gain fat in the body, water content reduces. This means you are dehydrated. The old adage is true, if you feel thirsty, it is already too late. You need to drink to avoid thirst. So what counts as water? Plain bottled water, water with electrolytes and herbal teas. Coffee does not count. So if you drink coffee, you need to drink more water.
How much to drink? WebMD states we should strive for half an ounce to a full ounce of water per every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75-150 ounces of water per day. This will also depend on where you live and how active you are. If you live in a hot climate or are physically active most days of the week, you should be drinking more water.
I know, I know, exercise is something we have to do and you've heard it all before. It helps you manage your weight, lower blood pressure, sweat out toxins and lower fat in the body. But who has time? Well, you have to make the time. If you aren't exercising, you need to start. Starting slow is the key to making it part of your routine.
Try to take a 30 minute walk three times a day. Try to schedule it into your to-do list. There are plenty of free classes on YouTube that you can follow if you can't afford a gym membership. The key here is to get your body moving instead of simply sitting at a desk all day or in a car running errands and taking the kids to their after-school activities. If you start slow, I promise you, it will become part of your routine and you may even look forward to it.
3) Eat more plants
Reducing the amount of meat you eat is a really great way to give your body a break from animal protein. If you think you can't get enough protein from plants alone, let me help you overcome that fallacy! Plant protein is plentiful in a variety of vegetables, grains and legumes (beans). In fact, did you know as you get older you need less protein not more?
Despite what you have heard in the news about following a high protein diet, our needs actually become less after we have stopped growing. After the age of 30, we only need 30 to 40 grams per day. If you eat one cup of kidney beans in a day, you are getting 15.6 grams of protein. Half the daily serving if you are consuming 30 grams of protein. If you need recipe suggestions for vegetarian meals, feel free to search my blog. I practice eating 3 to 4 days vegetarian so I have a lot of vegetarian friendly meals on the blog.
4) Say no to dairy
Dairy may be a key ingredient you use daily in recipes and meals. There are so many great non-dairy alternatives that are easily available to buy that using cow's milk is no longer a necessity. Cow's milk not only has added hormones (I know there are rBGH free products on the market) but it contains pus. That's right! Pus.
Our government allows a certain amount of pus from the cow into our milk supply. The pus comes directly from the cow's milk due to infections that are in the cows from over-milking and the antibiotic resistant germs in the cow. While I have an allergy to dairy, if I didn't, just knowing this would make me seek alternatives. In any recipe, you can use soy milk, oat milk or nut-milk as a one to one replacement to cows milk. Try it. I bet you won't even know the difference.
5) Cook more often
Cooking is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you cook, you can control the ingredients that are used and add healthy herbs and spices to your liking. Plus, when cooking with whole foods you are avoiding processed foods that can be very high in fat and sodium content.
If you think you don't have time to cook, I would challenge you to take a hard look at what you are doing in a 24 hour day. Over the weekend, I will typically prep meals for the upcoming week. I may make a vegetarian casserole that is simply heat and eat during the week. Also, stuffed peppers are a great make ahead dish. When I make meals on the weekend, I also plan for left-overs that can be lunch the next day. Now, I am making sure the family is eating healthy at lunch as well.
I hope this post inspires you to live a more healthy lifestyle. Just remember, start slowly to incorporate the various steps into your routine. You've lived your life until now in a very different way. It will take time for you to change that routine. And that is OK! When you start slowly, you'll be amazed how quickly the above steps will just be your lifestyle.
If you want more healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.