I’m constantly asked about the foods I eat, how I make them and how I find the “time” to cook. The first thing I say is, you need to MAKE time! I have family, friends and coworkers that complain about not having time, their kids always keep them busy, no one else will cook, etc. If you can find time to watch you favorite TV show then you can make time to cook. If you can find time to go get your nails done, then you can make time to cook. If you can spend hours on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc., then you can MAKE time to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s about making the time… If you are not going to push yourself to eat better and exercise, then you won’t have success. Stop wasting time on things you know are not important and that are keeping you from success.
Let’s face it. Americans are lazy as hell. We would rather pop a pill or eat a magic food that will claim quick results in weight loss. That’s not how it works people! YOU need to MAKE the time and COMMIT yourself to live a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you.
1) Start of small
Count how many sodas you drink a day. If you know for a fact that you drink 3 sodas a day then cut it down to one a day. After that, cut out soda. If you have a bad habit of buying a high calorie, high sugar and high fat double chocolate, caramel mocha frap or some other crazy drink at Starbucks, then cut it down! Buy a skinny mocha frap. Try that for a week then buy a regular coffee. Instead of adding artificial sweetener, use sugar in the raw. After that, use honey instead of sugar. Altering the creamer can help as well. Almond milk and soy milk can help reduce the amount of sugar you want in the drink. Some of those milks already contain natural sugars.
You have a bad habit of buying a burger with fries during lunch while you are at work. The next time you order, ask to sub the bread for a lettuce wrap. Then, ask if they have sweet potato fries instead of regular fries.
Instead of the fries, try eating an apple or a banana. Instead of a full serving of mayo, ask for light mayo. It’s the little things…
You don’t drink enough water or don’t drink any AT ALL! Yes, it’s crazy that people would rather drink a soda or sweet tea when they are dying of thirst instead of drinking a nice cold glass of water. That is not healthy at all. Buy a infuser water bottle like the one pictured below. You can find it on Amazon for $9.99 and free shipping with Amazon Prime. You can also find them at dollar stores, Walmart, Target and even your local grocery store.
Fill the bottle with your favorite fruits. Add lime, lemon or mint. Add ice-cold water. The natural flavoring of the fruit will add natural sweetener. This is also great during those hot summer days. You can carry this anywhere! Once you are done drinking the water you can eat the fruit.
Challenge yourself! Start by drinking two water bottles a day, which is only 24 oz. Add another 16 ounces the next day. Buy a larger reusable water bottle like the one pictures below and fill it up! I purchased this Cool Gear 75 oz water bottle with a freezable core for $7.99 at my local grocery store (HEB). Drink the entire bottle in one day. Add some lemon, cucumber or mint to your water to enhance the flavor and freshness.
Pay close attention to your daily and weekly routine. Find a day where you know you like to sit on your butt on the couch and watch TV. Maybe you like to sit at your computer (like I’m doing right now) and spend more than 30 minutes glued to the screen. Maybe you like to just sit and stare at your phone watching YouTube videos. Maybe your kids are outside playing in the yard (like most kids should be doing) and you have some time to yourself. Find at least 30 minutes to an hour to food prep. You don’t have to prep for the entire week. My favorite days to prep are Sunday afternoons or evenings and Wednesday evenings. Start with prepping breakfast. You can get prepare bowls of oatmeal or a bowl of scrambles eggs, bacon and spinach with a side of 1 slice of multi-grain bread or fruit. Try that for three days and see how you feel. You might notice an increase in energy or metabolism.
Next, prep some snacks.
Take some Ziploc snack bags or small containers and fill one serving of mixed dry nuts such as almonds or pecans. You can even try trail mix. Fresh fruit is also great. The high fiber fruits can be very filling and hold you over till your next meal. Try prepping two snacks a day for three days then add more days each week.
Next, prep your lunches!!!! A great amount of people tend to eat whatever foods that are available in their work lounge or foods that are easy to access, such as fast foods. Start by prepping three days a week. Make something simple. Maybe a turkey sandwich with a side of veggie chips and fruit or a serving of greek yogurt. Some simple meals can be prepared with a rotisserie chicken. Make a salad and add some chicken on top. Use some of the left over chicken and make chicken tacos with whole grain or corn tortillas. Try making a chicken salad with olive oil mayo, mustard, sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, pieces of boiled egg and minced pickles or relish. Add that to a salad or a sandwich.
Have your kids help you prep!! They can think of new ways to pack their own snacks and lunches for school. Be creative with them! Come up with a lunch menu of healthy foods and snacks that you both enjoy. Maybe post the menu on the fridge. Have them write up the menu then. They can practice their reading and writing skills while they’re at it!! Encouraging your kids to be healthy will also motivate you to make better choices. A lot of their choices are based on yours. They are watching you. Kids are like sponges. Remember that!
There are so many simple ways we can alter our daily routines to make healthier choices. It takes just one meal, snack or drink to make a difference. Never tell yourself that you do not have time. Never tell yourself that you can’t do it. YOU CAN! Find a friend or relative to help you prep. Challenge a coworker to see who can stick to it the longest. Cheer each other on!! Sometimes we work better in teams than alone. There is always a way.
Try some of these tips out. Let me know what choices you made and if you noticed any differences. Share this with a friend, family member or coworker. Let me know about their results.
Stay healthy my friends!