The food we ingest is vital for so many reasons and while some of these may be obvious, others can be a good reminder since they impact our daily lives. Food has the power to:
- Boost our energy (say hello to more productive workdays)
- Improve our concentration
- Good nutrition habits can help us sleep better (an issue many of us are struggling with lately)
- Nutritious foods can ward off diseases
- Fun fact- 90% of serotonin (the happiness hormone) is produced in the gut!
We know that staying active and eating more fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy lifestyle, but what are some practical things you can do this month, and incorporate more regularly into your routine over time?
1. HEALTHY SWAPS
- Recently at DAILY DOSE we did a Nutrition Challenge where we started the week with “Meatless Mondays,” a day where we focused on plant-based foods. Are you able to pick 1 or 2 days a week where you swap chicken or beef for things like lentils, beans, quinoa or tofu?
2. HEALTHY ADDS
- Perhaps you already eat healthily but still aren’t getting enough veggies or protein. Think about what you can add to enhance what you are already cooking up. For example, adding flax seeds or chia seeds to your oatmeal or smoothie for antioxidants and a protein boost, or adding a veggie to your pasta or pizza dish (think spinach, mushrooms, or sundried tomatoes).
3. AMP UP YOUR H20
- Some of us struggle with drinking the recommended amount of water each day. The goal is 1/2 your body weight in ounces, however, this should be increased if you are physically active or drink dehydrating beverages such as coffee and alcohol.
- How can you make water more exciting?
- Add fruit! Try different combinations like citrus: lemon/lime/clementine; antioxidant blend: blueberries, acai & cranberries, or “spa water”: cucumber and mint.
- Add essential oils. Essential oils are nature’s remedy and some are ingestible so you can add a drop of lemon or wild orange essential oils to your water. Even cinnamon (which has many digestive benefits) can be a great addition.
- It can be beneficial to fill water bottles/thermoses each night so you already have your water intake measured out for the next day.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The key to sticking with a new nutrition habit is to pick 1 or 2 things you feel are most manageable to you. Perhaps start with drinking 1 extra glass of water per day, or tracking how much water you are consuming daily (maybe it’s less than you think!) or track how often are you eating meat.
Also, know that having a day or two where you indulge in foods you love isn’t going to tip the scales. Give yourself the grace to make small changes that are realistic to stick with, but don’t feel too restraining. The brain can more easily implement changes they feel are insignificant so aim for eating 1 more veggie a day, or one day a week without meat, instead of stressing your body and mind with goals like “losing 20 pounds” or “working out every day” which we tend to neglect when we aren’t able to accomplish them.