5 Healthy Changes to Make in the New Year

How is your 2020 going so far?!

Are you recovered from your holiday extravaganzas yet? I have a bad habit of saying, “I’ll do that when I’m off for the holidays,” to about about 700 things, and then quickly realizing that my expectations are unrealistic… Mostly I caught up on sleep! Two things I am VERY excited to have accomplished, though, are launching my Holistic Nutrition counseling practice, and starting my email list. Thanks for being a part of my journey!

My Tips for a Healthier YOU in 2020!

1. Stay hydrated. Hydration doesn’t just come from drinking water, but also from fresh fruits and vegetables and water-based beverages like seltzer, tea and yes, even coffee! Water intake recommendations can vary greatly from person to person based on their nutritional needs, age, and exercise, but as a general guideline, shoot for half your body weight in ounces each day. That means if you weigh 180lbs, you should aim to drink about 90oz of water/day. Staying hydrated cushions your brain and nerves, lubricates your joints, boosts skin health, regulates body temperature and blood pressure, and flushes waste. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to support your overall health!
   This has been my fav water bottle to carry for years. It’s 40oz – if I can drink two a day, I’m feeling great: https://www.kleankanteen.com/products/classic-water-bottle-40oz?variant=1605355075

2. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep can be a challenge. Experts are saying, though, that the amount of sleep you get is only one factor; as with most things, consistency here is key. When you go to sleep and wake up at different times throughout the week, you literally become jet-lagged. Your body may be getting up on Monday morning thinking you’ve crossed time zones since Saturday night! Shoot for that 7-hour a night minimum, but also aim to rise and shine around the same time every day. 
   I’m the type of nerd who likes to track her sleep cycle… This is the app I use: https://www.sleepcycle.com/

3. Practice gratitude. Such an easy little habit… I started this about ten months ago and it was life-changing. (I know that sounds dramatic, but I mean it!) When you wake up and make a list of the good things in your life, the blessings you have, and the people who support you, it’s easier to take some of the difficult parts of your day a little more lightly. It takes two minutes to do and I don’t think you’ll regret the shift in your mindset when you make this a routine. Any notebook will work, but Amazon has some guided ones that are fun.

4. Swap refined grains for whole grains. Quick background info – A grain is made up of three parts: the germ, where vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats are stored; the endosperm, or starchy carbohydrate part, that is used for energy; and the bran, or fibrous outer layers. Refined grains or “white carbs” strip the bran and the germ and only leave the endosperm. That’s why our bodies look at them like a simple sugar, and why the “carbs are bad” label gets slapped on! Whole grains, on the other hand, use all the parts of the grain and have been shown to reduce inflammation, prevent Heart Disease, regulate blood sugar, improve digestion, and boost energy.
You don’t need to “give up carbs.” I consider myself to be on a HIGH carb diet! I’m just careful about where those carbs come from: vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Some of my favorites are quinoa and barley, but I also eat breads, pastas, wraps, etc… Look for that 100% whole grains!

5.Try Meatless Mondays. There are so, so many reasons to make this choice… Choosing to not eat meat one day a week means you WILL choose to fill your plate with other nutrient-packed foods like whole grains, beans, legumes, and vegetables. It means you’ll reduce your cholesterol and saturated fat intake. You’ll learn about and explore new foods. You’ll also reduce the impact you make on the environment. 
   You can go to https://www.meatlessmonday.com/ to learn a lot more and get some awesome plant-based recipes to send you on your way!

What do you think? Do any of these changes inspire you? I’d love to hear from you!

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