When we talk about the five healthy habits – sleeping, eating, breathing, moving and hydrating – we often show clients how they can make small changes right now, that will serve them in the future.
So, let’s take a look at what you’re putting into your body, and what you can do today that will have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing as you get older.
We always say, getting older doesn’t automatically mean having to slow down, or just accept aches, pains and dodgy joints. Think about what you want your life to look like in the future – five, ten, twenty, forty years from now. Do you see yourself kicking big career goals, or having the energy to run around with the kids? Would you like to take up a hobby or sport that you’ve always wanted to try but have felt too ‘blah’ to give it a go?
One of the most important things we can do right now to make sure that those goals are attainable, is to take a good look a what and how we’re eating.
A lot of people don’t even realize how badly they eat! Most people think that they eat really well, but symptomatically, in other words, if you look at that person’s symptom picture, and looking at the way that they look, the way that they feel and the way that they react, that will then tell you how healthily they’re actually eating.
And chances are that they’re not actually eating as effectively as they could be for their body and for the things that they expect to get done in their day.
When it comes to eating well, it’s not about counting calories. We tend to get caught up on calories when we want to be “healthy” and honestly, I don’t believe that calories are as important as understanding the carbohydrates, the fats and the protein content of your food, and making sure you’re getting enough fibre, enough water, minerals and vitamins that you can get from what’s a fresh fruit and veggies.
And if you are a busy person, and you hate cooking, there are easy ways for you to navigate that without compromising on eating well.
When you understand the basics of eating well, you’ll have a better idea of how to mix your carbohydrates, fats and proteins together to optimize the way that you fee.
You don’t have to avoid going out!
Once you have that foundational knowledge, it’s much easier to make good decisions. So, if you want to go out and have dinner or lunch with friends, you’ll know how to make better decisions.
If you’re heading out for breakfast or brunch, here are some easy tips to help you have fun while staying true to your health goals.
Choose lighter, healthier options – if you’re having an omelette, ask if you can swap the toast for either gluten-free bread or maybe some extra mushrooms and spinach in the omelette.
Instead of bread or pastry, ask for a side of homemade relish for extra flavour.
Try to avoid the menu items that are loaded with heavy cream, sugar or carbs and opt for eggs which are a great source of protein with a side of veggies.
Be smart during the silly season
We’re hitting that that homestretch of the year, and too often, people will say things like, “I’ll just let my healthy eating go for a night,”, but the problem is, you end up doing that every time you go out, so you undo all the healthy choices you’ve been making.
With food and alcohol consumption at parties and events, it’s super important to stay conscious of those patterns, and to stick to eating healthier options.
If you want a lot out of your body, if you have high expectations of yourself, if you’re the kind of person who has energy to do the things that they love, who has body confidence and feels energized all day, going to an event and eating all the wrong foods or going overboard with the alcohol is a complete conflict to that belief. So, making crappy choices just because you’re going out, isn’t aligning with the goals you’ve set yourself.
That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy those things in moderation, but if it’s a Saturday night, and you’re out with friends and they’re all planning to have a big night, maybe reframe what a big night means to you.
Tips for surviving ‘big’ nights out:
Ask yourself, “do I have stuff I need to do the next day? Do I want to get out and about and have fun? Or do I want to lie in bed all day feeling crappy because I had a big night?
Avoid getting caught up in that peer pressure. Just because your friends want to overindulge, doesn’t mean you have to as well. You can still have an awesome night without writing yourself off.
Set clear boundaries for yourself and make a plan. Think about what you will drink and do some research to see if that’s the best choice. Go for lighter, less sugary drinks, set yourself a drink limit and stick to your healthy eating goals.
Remember, having fun doesn’t mean you have to derail all your hard work!