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Over the past week I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys regarding how I plan to be adventurous in the way I go about getting healthier (and hopefully getting my family healthier in the process), and I have to say it’s not going to SOUND all that adventurous at first. But here’s the thing: we’ve fallen into routines that include very comfortable eating and exercise habits, and when I find something that’s comfortable I hold on for dear life.
The afternoon cookie after working out? Like a moth to a flame, y’all, moth to a flame.
What makes these changes adventurous is that they are outside of my norm right now. It’s me having to learn a whole new way to cook and enjoy food, to be disciplined in the way that I eat and work out, and taking chances on new foods as I wave goodbye to my old standbys. I can’t give diet or exercise advice, so I hope that if you are considering making changes you talk to your doctor first and foremost, but I want to share the changes I’m making as I figure them out.
- Cutting out most simple carbohydrates. This isn’t another way of saying low-carb or paleo or whatever; it’s a way for me to nip my snacking and portion size habits right in the bud. I loooooooooooove pasta and bread and sugar so much I can’t even stand it. The problem is that I love it so much that I can’t ever seem to STOP eating when a normal portion size has been had. I also have a family history on both sides of diabetes, and with my gestational diabetes when I was pregnant I have become even more predisposed to developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. I don’t know if that will happen, but if I can do anything to keep it from happening then I want to.
- Eating more protein and a LOT more veggies. This is basically where I’m having to get creative these days because honestly I’d rather have a piece of cake than a sweet potato or handful of celery. I think we all would, right? But creating meals and snacks around a portion of protein and unlimited veggies has been my saving grace so far. With protein I’m also having to relearn what a good portion size is; however, one of my absolute favorites is the egg. It’s a great portion control game (1 egg = 1 portion), and with Great Day Farms hard-boiled eggs I can also have one to go!
- Creating time to work out. My biggest problem, of all time, always, is finding enough time for all the things. So I finally bit the bullet and started waking up at 5 to workout so that I could capitalize on nap time later in the day for writing and recipe development. I know it seems simple, but that one basic move has already made a huge difference in the way my day goes. I can spend more time with Wes, more time with Nate, and can truly get some alone time in the mornings to exercise. Lately I’ve been running and/or walking and doing a mix of yoga and Tone It Up workouts. Love it so far!
- Drinking water. I know I’m going to get emails on this saying that I’m doing something wrong, but I’ve been drinking about a gallon of water a day. I KNOW that’s about twice what the recommended daily intake is, but it’s not hard for me and honestly I am not drinking more water than I was originally anyway. Now I just measure it to make sure I’m getting enough! I love it too – water has never been a hard sell for me. It’s so refreshing, and drinking about a gallon works for me based on my size, energy output and cravings.
- Calculating portion sizes. This is a simple thing that’s made a big difference. I figure out how many servings a recipe should be. When it’s time to eat, I plate 2 servings (for myself and Nate, 3 if Wes is eating what we’re eating) and then I put the other two (or however many) away IMMEDIATELY. This keeps the temptation to go back for seconds at a minimum and also makes it easier to do leftovers the next day!
I’d love to hear what some of your tips and tricks are for getting healthier this year. I think it’s so important to make changes that are for the long-term, not just to reach short-term goals. And you know what? Thanks to the fine folks over at Great Day Farms ONE of you can get free eggs for an entire year! That’s right – a YEAR! That means you get quality and healthy protein-packed meals for 365 days. What’s not to love, right?
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