With March being National Nutrition Month we’re sharing five health tips — tips that are realistic, sustainable, and easy to follow even — or especially — during hectic and busy times.
We’ve teamed up with Pack Health, an organization that provides one-on-one health coaching and concierge support to individuals living with a recent health diagnosis or chronic condition. This post is the beginning of a series focusing on healthy eating and wellness.
1. Keep it out of the house.
Studies show that we only have a limited amount of willpower, and that willpower reduces significantly as the day wears on. So when we come home after work, hungry and tired, one of the first things we want to do is eat. And if the cookies on the kitchen counter are the first thing we see, of course we’re going to be tempted to eat them! While it’s more than okay to have sweet treats on occasion, they are so much more enjoyable when we choose them rather than them choosing us. So keep those too-tempting treats out of the house and instead go out and treat yourself when an insatiable craving strikes.
2. Make meal prep your friend.
There’s a lot of wisdom in the expression: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Studies show that we have more success when we create systems rather than focusing on a specific goal. And that is why taking an hour or so on the weekend (my favorite time is Sunday) to make a couple meals that will carry you through the week is well worth the time. No longer is there temptation to get fast food for lunch or takeout for dinner, because the meal’s already made for you. I love using this handy meal-planning tool from Pack Health as a guide.
3. Move your own way (and make sure to fuel yourself properly).
Physical activity is fundamental, but oftentimes we’ll start an exercise regimen only to give it up after a few weeks. Make sure to choose the kind of exercise that gets you jazzed, be it Zumba, power walking, or tossing around a frisbee. To make sure you’re powered up for fitness, eat a high-protein meal a few hours before you exercise and have your water bottle handy all day long. Eating earlier allows that food to fuel you more effectively. It also means you’ll be ready to enjoy your next healthy meal when you finish your workout.
4. Make time for things that matter.
Let’s face it: there are only so many hours in a day, with much of those hours at the office, kids’ soccer tournaments and ballet recitals, chores, and a little time leftover for ourselves. As a holistic health coach, I am a strong advocate for making time to take care of yourself where and when you can, not only physically but emotionally as well. When we’re stressed or in a rush it’s hard not to make unhealthy choices and scarf things down.
Delegating tasks takes the burden off so we have more time to give to ourselves, and in turn to others. Grocery delivery has fast become my favorite task to outsource because it saves hours fighting traffic and crowds that I can use on things that are more important — and necessary — to me and the people in my life.
5. Swap it up.
I’ll be the first to admit it: I love food. And as a passionate eater with an adventurous palate, I love trying different restaurants and cuisines. But when I’m at home I try to eat very healthily. Still, as someone with a sweet tooth, I often crave something sweet after dinner. Instead of keeping candy around, I’ve found satisfying swaps to sate my sweet tooth.
For example, instead of keeping ice cream in the freezer, I make banana ice cream instead. Or, if I’m craving something salty, I make stove-top popcorn seasoned with garlic salt and coconut oil. I’ve grown to love the challenge of finding a healthy swap that’s also satisfying.
What are your favorite go-to healthy tips? Comment below!
Sarah Woehler is the content marketing and social media manager for Shipt. She’s also a certified holistic health coach and writer. Check out her blog at www.cluckyblog.com.