What do you struggle with most in terms of your health? Is it fitting in exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables or passing on the dessert? This week we challenge you to spend 20 minute each day working on one issue that you find the most difficult to overcome when it comes to your health. For example:
– If you struggle with getting in adequate exercise, your goal is to walk, jog, do a few strength moves in your hotel room or at home etc. that adds up to 20 minutes.
– If your biggest struggle is eating more fruits and vegetables you might want to take the extra time at the store to choose healthy eats and 2 days this week take the extra 10-15 minutes it takes to cut up veggies and fruit to bring on your trip, to run errands or simply to have at home to snack on before dinner.
– If you struggle with portion control, bag up 1/2 your meal before you even start eating or put about 1/2-2/3 the amount of the food you usually eat on your plate and wait 15 – 20 minutes before you go back for seconds. This will give your body time to digest and your brain to register if you are full or not. Also, try to pick foods that are high in water content, dense in nutrients and fiber and low in calories such as fruits, vegetables and legumes and have everything else as a side.
– If you struggle with constant and unconscious snacking first focus on eating well rounded nutrient dense meals. When your body receives all the micro- nutrients it needs such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals as well as macro-nutrients (sufficient carbohydrates, protein and fat) you will find cravings go by the way side. Often problems arise because we are addicted to many of the ingredients in the foods we crave…sugar, salt and fat and our overall micro-nutrient intake is not sufficient. So, if you focus on nutrient dense foods such as berries and rich colored vegetables and leafy greens along with whole grains and legumes you will find your cravings start to diminish. Furthermore, if you do not bring snacks with you (or allow them in the house) other than healthy single serving snacks such as fruit (Oranges, pears, apples, peaches etc.), snack bags you fill with pumpkin seeds, raisins and walnuts (or any other mix you like), or cut up carrots and celery to dip in salsa or guacamole. The key is to focus on your overall nutrient intake and only allow whole foods as a snack (skipping the processed foods).
– If you struggle with bypassing the calorie laden dessert or candy bars in the airport or at the office, take 20 – 40 minutes one night to prepare a healthy desert from our website to have on hand, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth while also getting in nutrition. Also, focus on eating a well rounded breakfast and lunch that is nutrient dense helping to keep you satisfied and not wanting more.
– If you struggle with always being on the move, maxing out your to-do list and never having time to yourself to decompress, skip one thing on your list that can wait (I know it can feel like everything is important on that list, but you will be more productive if you give yourself a little “me” time) and take a 10-20 minute break (or wake up 10-20 minutes earlier or set the book down or turn the tv off 10-20 minutes earlier at night) to meditate, take a nap or just sit and be present as you people watch. Even taking a few deep breaths and connecting to your breath when you feel overwhelmed can do wonders to improve your mood and relieve anxiety.