Eating healthfully

Eating healthfully

I get this question a lot, “April, I want to start eating healthier, what do I do?” Now that is a huge question that usually prompts other questions for me about goals, lifestyle, likes/dislikes, etc. We can get pretty down, dirty and specific when you’re ready, but if you want to get started and then take a deep dive – this is what I would recommend.

1. Stick to whole foods

Aim for 75% of your diet to be whole foods. This means unprocessed and as close to their original form as possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense – they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than processed foods. If it’s made in a factory and you cannot pronounce many of the ingredients or there’s a million and one ingredients? You can be sure it’s not a whole food. Less is more.

2. Avoid added sugar

Check the labels. Sugar is okay in moderation, but you really don’t want added/processed sugar. Packaging can be deceiving at times so take a peek at the ingredents for yourself

3. Limit alcohol

It’s midnight, you’ve had a few and you’re STARVING. Do you really think you’re going to grab a salad or bowl full of fruit? Probably not. My go to was always pizza, peanut butter, cheetos and ice cream. Sometimes all at once! And then what happens…I wake up full of guilt because I know I just put all kinds of garbage in my body. Alcohol lies to you – you really do not need that bowl full of mint chip ice cream with a side of oreos.

4. Set yourself up for success

Keep the garbage out of the house and DO NOT buy any more. If there’s others in the household (insert the husband for me); that want the crap then there’s a couple things you can do. One, have a serious conversation as to why you want to eat more healthfully – don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Two. Have ah-mazing will power which is hard. Something I do is if it comes in the house and it’s something I really like I put it WAY up high in our pantry. You see I’m short and sometimes lazy, so I have to be REALLY hard up to pull out a stool and climb the shelves.

5. Ditch emotional eating

All of us do it. We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we even eat when we’re angry! Find something other than food to handle your emotions. Journal, buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, go for a walk, call up or text a friend, and my favorite…play with your pets!

6. It is not about perfection; it’s about consistency

Giver yourself some grace. It’s okay to have an ice cream cone with your kids. It’s okay to try that new pizza place. The world is not over! The option to be healthy is not ruined! Tomorrow is a new day. And actually NOT being so restrictive can work in your favor. For many – the more we restrict the more we want it and when we do cave – we cave hard and it’s tough to get back on track.

7. Eat if you are hungry!

You’re eating better, maybe you’ve added in exercise and sometimes you just never feel full! Well you know what. EAT! The key is making good, whole food choices. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want – just avoid grabbing the bag of chips or M&Ms

Go ahead now – make your shopping list , reorganize your pantry and get yourself in a healthy mindset.

Looking for more guidance, suggestions, motivation to get started? Someone to tell your why to, to help keep you accountable? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.

with health and happiness – April 😘

Simple ways to balance your immune system

Simple ways to balance your immune system

Earlier this week my family and I got news that my second grader would be able to go back to school (almost) full time starting in April (should we choose, which we are). He is super excited for a taste of normalcy and we’re happy to have him go back. While he does go to school a couple hours a day at the moment, these will be longer days and larger class sizes. He may even have to switch teachers, so a whole new group of kids he’ll be interacting with. That got my brain going about what can we start doing now to make sure his immune system is solid and so is the rest of ours in the family. More and more things will be opening up , so now is the time. I did a live on Insta last night on this very topic and would now like to share with you all!

Brief note about your immune system

Before I start off I want to talk quickly about the immune system itself. Now, most people that get sick ASSUME their immune system is not working. That if they had a healthy immune system they would not be getting sick at all, well, that’s not exactly the case. Our immune system needs to be strong to FIGHT whatever foreign comes into our body. If it’s fighting, then it’s working! So those symptoms you are feeling is a sign that your immune system is responding. Having it in balance is what will keep it fighting and could also shorten the length of your illness.

Okay, enough about that – let’s get to the good stuff.

1. Choose the right fruits and veggies

Yes, we all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet, but what are the ones that are most beneficial? Below is a list of that will help ensure your cells are functioning properly and protect them. This aids in a balanced immune system. So, add these to your shopping list:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Citrus (careful though of canker sores!)
  • Dark leafy greens (unless your doctor has otherwise advised)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic (anti-viral properties)

2. Do not avoid healthy fats

“Fat” is a scary word. Sometimes we see even the healthy ones as “the devil”, but they really do play an important role for your body. Add these to your list:

  • Fish high in Omegas – think Salmon, tuna and makerol
  • Avocado
  • Raw nuts
  • Raw nut butters

3. Stay hydrated

It has been shown that water helps deliver nutrients to your cells to keep them healthy. Water also has the ability to help remove toxins from your body – keeping your immune system in check. And something new I learned? Being propery hydrated may improve your quality of sleep! Which brings us to number 4.

4. Get those Zzzzzs

Sleep can do so much for us, yet so many of us lack in this area. Our lives are constantly on overdrive, but if we burn ourselves out – it’s not going to help us one little bit. Yeah, maybe we got the bedroom repainted and shower tile installed all by ourselves pulling all – nighters between work, school, kids…..but not that doesn’t necessarily lead to better health. (Although, that could be argued). Do your best to stay with a consistent sleep schedule and if quality is sleep is what getting you down – there are things you can do for that as well. I’ll save that for another day.

5. Say goodbye to refined sugar and processed foods

Now, I’m not saying you have to eliminate because sometimes that’s just not realistic. Hell, it’s not like I do. But I aware of how much my family and i were consuming and cut back. These items do not provide you with the necessary nutrients that you need to fight off all the yucky things floating around in the world. This can also help with the quality sleep I talked about above.

6. Manage your stress BEST YOU CAN

This I know is a given and you’ve heard it a million times over, but what I want you to take away from this is the part where I say “as best you can.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I read about stress they make it sound so darn easy to get a handle on it. Just do this and this and that and voila! No more stress. I’m pretty sure we all know what we need to do, but again – completely reducing stress is not realistic, nor is it easy. That’s why I say do the best you can. And if you find yourself stressed…..don’t stress about being stressed; it’s okay!

7. Get moving

Another given and I know you all know this is important. So be like Nike and “Just Do It.” It doesn’t have to be crazy like running 5 miles a day or grunting and lifting like a mad person. Just do SOMETHING.

8. Add supplements

I recently wrote about why adding supplements into your diet is a good idea. Knowing what your body needs and why and then having an easy , consistent way to get those things in, is crucial. Don’t guess, don’t assume. Want help getting started? Click here.

If you put all these things together you’re likely to have a more balanced immune system. Simple things we can do that we probably already know, but always a nice reminder. Just like this one…. be sure to wash your hands!

Be happy and healthy!😘 April