10 Healthy (and easy) things to do for your body
Right this very moment, you are sitting on a gold mine. It’s called opportunity. Each and every day you have a fresh 24-hours to make a difference in the health of your body. They don’t have to be a perfect 24 hours—in fact I highly discourage aiming for perfection (hint: there’s no such thing!)
All too often, we fail to see the big picture. We’re so busy chastising ourselves for eating that cookie or skipping our workout, that we become blind to the power of the itty-bitty healthy choices we are making. There is much momentum attached to doing something good for your body. It’s a sort of healthy “high” that leaves you wanting more.
Here is a list of ten healthy things you can do for your body today. Pick one or two and very simply, notice the lift in your self-esteem, mood and energy. It’s there…so pay attention!
- Shop from the perimeter! Fill 75% of your shopping cart with foods from the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where the produce, dairy, fresh meats/seafood are housed. TIP: Spend most of your time loading up on the fruits and vegetables.
- Use more spice. Whether it’s a dash of cinnamon in your coffee, a sprinkle of cumin mixed with brown rice or a pinch of basil in your pasta sauce, spices are loaded with antioxidants that help protect your body against disease. TIP: Choose salt-free spices for extra benefit!
- Drink a cup of green or black tea. Both can help prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing your LDL (bad) cholesterol and keeping your blood pressure in check! In fact, a 2004 study in Taiwan showed a 46% lower risk of developing high blood pressure in those who drank between 4-20 ounces of tea per day compared to those who didn’t drink it regularly. TIP: Sweeten with just a teaspoon of honey or a couple of sugar cubes. Squeeze in a little lemon for a real pick-me-up!
- Ditch any food in your kitchen with the words partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils, or shortening in the list of ingredients. They offer nothing but trouble for your heart and are found in mostly processed foods, such as: cookies, crackers, doughnuts, canned frosting, pastries, microwave popcorn, margarine, potato chips, snack mixes and coffee creamer.
- Make a BIG salad for dinner one night a week. Click here for ideas!
- Trade your regular pasta for whole grain. Or mix half and half until you get used to the texture.
- Eat a cruciferous vegetable! Packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber, cruciferous veggies include:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Meditate. Stress is just as harmful to the body as a poor diet. Sit quietly on a soft cushion or chair for ten minutes every day and just breathe. TIP: Do this first thing in the morning, otherwise it’s easy to bail out.
- Keep a food journal. You don’t have to do this forever, just a few days. It’s amazing how the simple act of writing down everything you eat makes you aware of things you didn’t even realize you were doing.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Maintaining adequate sleep duration and quality can reduce inflammation in your body. BONUS: Getting enough sleep may help reduce overeating!
Healthy habits breed more healthy habits. So stop focusing on what you THINK you’ve done wrong and give yourself the opportunity to do something right…then pat yourself on the back for doing it!