Thursday, December 26, 2013

Little Changes, Big Results

   People are not intrigued by the idea of giving up their favorite foods or lifestyles to be healthier. There is a very common misconception that healthy food tastes bad. It is not that healthy food is lacking in flavor or taste, just that a person who eats a lot of fats is used to the flavor enhancing qualities it brings to the table. Fats are hiding everywhere, making things sweeter and more savory, softer and more delicious... all while wreaking havoc on our bodies. You can't change your whole life in a day. But if you've come to terms with the idea that you need to make some changes, here are a few small ways to start.
   1. Swap white bread for whole wheat. When you look in the ingredients label, whole wheat should be the first ingredient. Wheat bread has come a long way, it's no longer all dry and cardboard-y. I personally prefer pepperidge farm soft wheat. It's softer than white bread, healthier, lower in calories, and provides some fiber. Plus, wheat bread doesn't get stuck to the roof of your mouth like white bread does :)
   2. Throw out the overly processed crap. Hot pockets, easy mac, tv dinners, ramen noodles, american cheese, margarine, etc. Get rid of this stuff! If it isn't in your home, you won't eat it. And I promise you, if you don't eat it for a few weeks, you will no longer want it. The cheese will start to taste over processed, and you will start to prefer your eggs with cooking spray instead of drenched in butter. Think outside of the box; put peanut butter on a whole grain waffle instead of butter and syrup. Use high quality ingredients, and your body will feel high quality.
   3. Swap out your energy drink and soda. Nothing good comes from either of those things. Need the caffeine? Drink a coffee (don't go overboard on syrup and milk!) or some tea with honey. Not only does coffee and tea have healthy benefits, they'll give you the caffeine you need and a lot less unnecessary calories. Diet soda isn't a better alternative; it's 0 calories because your body CANNOT absorb the chemicals and artificial ingredients they use so they literally pass right through you. In case you didn't realize that's not good for you, it's not. You can also add Mio or Crystal light to your water if you truly despise the way water tastes. I personally think it's refreshing. Keep a water bottle with you so you don't forget or it doesn't become inconvenient to drink throughout the day.
   4. No more skipping breakfast if you have been! It kick starts your metabolism for the day and you need some carbohydrates, fiber, and protein so you can avoid unnecessary snacking on high sugary snacks throughout the day.
   5. Plan your snacks and pack your lunch before you leave for the day. This will help you to avoid binge snacking or stopping by the vending machine or a drive thru. Always have nuts and/or dried fruit on hand for an easy and filling snack.

Fuel your body with things it can use. Putting junk in it will only lead to you feeling like absolute junk and performing like junk too. If you want to perform and feel your best, you have to give your body the best.

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