Oh consistency. Such a difficult balancing act. I’ve realized can consistently do four or five activities on a regular basis. The Saturday Short List has obviously not been one of them!
This month I’m very happy to say that I joined the gym (finally!) and I’ve been going to Pilates and/or yoga twice each week, plus using the cardio machines once/week. Even with this exercise, keeping my body healthy while at a desk job is a challenge…plus, anyone who’s eaten a meal with me knows ‘diet’ isn’t in my vocabulary. So, I try to eat healthy meals and snacks 75% of the time and try to not be limited when a good food opportunity presents itself.
This week I’m sharing my top five health tips of the month:
- Drink water. I heard somewhere that once you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. In the summer months I drink water all the time, but this winter (if we can call it that), I haven’t been drinking enough. Working out is also reminding me to bring my water bottle. The other water-related tip I have is to hydrate before going out for drinks. If I’m not thirsty I’ll have a beer or a glass of wine and be done with it, but if I go somewhere needing hydration, I’m much more likely to have a second drink.
- Make smoothies. This is the easiest breakfast to have because I can drink it on my commute. We’ve been making a simple combination lately that holds me over until lunch: banana, cup of plain or vanilla yogurt, 8-10 frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, splash of water. Makes two smoothies. Here’s a recipe for a mango berry smoothie (image above) from a while back.
- Eat beans & sprouts. What a great coincidence that I wanted to include more whole grains and beans in my 2012 Food Goals and then I was given Crescent Dragonwagon’s cookbook Bean By Bean. Cooked chickpeas and sprouted mung beans are two of my favorite portable and nutritious snacks. I buy both in bulk (very inexpensive) and soak overnight. To cook the chickpeas: bring them to a boil, turn down to medium, and cook until very slightly soft. Drain, rinse in cold water, season (I use salt, pepper, lemon juice). It was difficult to find a good tutorial for sprouted mung beans, so I’ll put something together in the near future. I’ve also been eating lentils and rice for lunch – super inexpensive, filling, and healthy.
- Don’t deprive yourself. I had a chocolate milkshake from Tasty Burger Saturday night after Sweet Caroline’s. It was so good. After I thoroughly enjoyed it with no guilt, I decided I wouldn’t have ice cream for a week. Seems like a fair compromise and I was still able to enjoy something that probably provided 50% of my daily saturated fat.
- Eat throughout the day. I am a snacker. While candy and chips are easy, a little extra planning can prepare you to eat throughout the day. Easy-t0-eat fruit, nuts, an avocado, and sticks of carrots or other veggies are all good to have on hand. Lately I’ve been drinking water with chia seeds, which is not technically a snack, but the chia seeds give texture that makes me feel like I’m eating something.
What are your healthy tips?