Sometimes I forget how many small changes I’ve made over the past few years. As I read the Eat-Clean Diet, I realize I’ve already developed most of the healthy habits suggested in the book. The target audience for the book is your average couch potato, but that’s not me. I don’t need motivation to get up and move around, I’m already working out six days a week. It feels good to know I’m on the right track.
I’ve cut out a lot of habits over the past few years and replaced them with new ones. I don’t drink processed drinks. I drink water all day long, and I’ve replaced coffee with herbal tea. I never leave the house without a piece of fruit or granola bar in my purse, and I stay away from fast food places. I bring my lunch to work everyday, and try to limit dining out to three times a month.
These habits didn’t form over night. I didn’t quit processed drinks cold turkey. In fact, I drank diet soda for a long time because I simply didn’t know the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. I used Splenda religiously, and I bought products that said they were made with Splenda and assumed them to be healthy.
If you want to change your life, you need to accept that it won’t happen right away. Baby steps! Start with one healthy habit and stick with it. When it actually becomes a habit, start another. You may find that your new healthy habits will push out your unhealthy ones. If you start drinking more water, you won’t be ravenous for food when a coworker comes around with a plate of cookies. If you stop relying on Starbucks for your morning caffeine, you won’t be tempted to pick up that treat along with it.
Here are some healthy habits I’ve picked up along the way that I recommend:
Eat breakfast every morning. No excuses!
Take vitamins. I recently started a Women’s Daily that has calcium and vitamin D, then I learned that vitamin D helps with the “winter blues.” It works!
Bring your lunch to work (use leftovers from dinner!) and pack plenty of snacks for the day as well.
Boil some eggs to use on salads or as a snack on it’s own. If you have time to watch The Office, you have time to hard boil eggs.
Keep a jar of almonds on your desk to snack on instead of dipping into the office candy bowl.
Bring water with you everywhere you go. Drink it.
Instead of spending your lunch hour sitting on your butt, go for a walk.
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Messing up your sleep schedule can make you feel sluggish and irritable.
Track your good days on a calendar like this one.
Plan your meals for the week on sunday, make a grocery list, go to the store, and only buy what’s on the list.
Pick a mantra. When I’m tempted to buy something that’s not on my grocery list I tell myself “you don’t need that” because I don’t…so why buy it? Same goes for donuts at the coffee shop, etc.
The most important one: Educate yourself. I would have never known to do all these things if I’d never picked up a fitness magazine or a clean eating book. It’s important to immerse yourself in the world of fitness to enlighten and motivate yourself in order to reach your goals.