Last week I was sifting through some old files and I found a google doc where I kept a list of my favorite healthy habits—a post I was planning to publish someday, maybe? Even though it was a couple years old, the list of habits held true. These are the simple things that have helped me—and still help me—achieve my healthy living goals. Some are obvious and some are just a personal preference type thing, but regardless, I thought you might find a few worthwhile!
Drink 1 Large Glass of Water First Thing in the Morning
The body is probably a little dehydrated after a whole night of sleep so right when I get out of bed in the morning, before I eat anything or drink one of my fifteen trillion cups of coffee, I guzzle a big glass of water. It’s the first healthy decision I make every day, and it makes me feel so good knowing I’m starting my day in a positive way. Daniel does the same thing, except he sticks his face right in the sink and drinks directly from the faucet. It drives me a little nuts but at least he is hydrated!
Cut Out Processed Foods
If you have a hard time sticking to any diet, go with just one simple rule: No More Processed Foods. Processed food is just plain inferior to real whole foods. Try to cut out as much of the crap as you can. A good first step is trying to only eat things where you know and can pronounce all of the ingredients. If nothing else, it makes choices so much easier.
Every Meal = Half Vegetables
Learning to love vegetable is one of the best things you can do for your health. They are tasty, filling, and healthy! Fill a plate with half vegetables and fill in the rest with whatever you want.
Journal What You Eat
This really helps keep me in check. Tracking and measuring was integral for me to stop overeating.
Stay on Top of Self Care
Be aware of how much sleep you need, pay attention to times when you know you’re prone to getting overwhelmed/overstimulated, and treat yourself carefully. Always be sure to make time for rest and fun.
Keep It Simple
So many times in my life, I’ve overwhelmed myself with thinking I should spice things up–new foods, new menus, new recipes! I was always convincing myself I was the most boring person alive because I liked the same two, maybe three breakfasts day-in and day-out, when everyone else seemed to have really exciting avocado toast and smoothie bowls. But whenever I’d force myself to add variety, it not only felt less satisfying to me, but I struggled to reel in the endless toppings and extras.
But Keep It Simple doesn’t just apply to the variety of what you eat; it also applies to how you choose to eat: simple. You don’t have to prepare intricate or exotic recipes for every meal. Find the healthy, affordable, available food that you life and eat that most of the time. Adjust the variety based on personal preference.
Don’t Bring Junk into the House
I am my mother’s daughter, and I like to have snacks that guests will like if they stop by. It’s easy to rationalize putting the cookies in the shopping cart by saying, “What if someone comes over?” even though a guest hasn’t stopped by unannounced in the last year. If it’s in the house, I will eat it eventually. So don’t bring unhealthy food into your house unless you want to eat it.
Eat on a Schedule
I do really well with a schedule. I like to eat my meals around the same time and I find that it helps me manage my hunger much better and avoid snacking.
Cook in Bulk
I find it easiest to stick to a healthy meal plan if I prepare things in advance. So cook big batches of veggie chili or soup, or tofu veggie stir fry, and put the bulk of it in containers in the fridge or freezer. I like to divide things into meal-sized containers so I just heat things up when it’s mealtime. This saves time and money.