With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to get on track if you’ve been allowing those healthy habits to slide. Sure, it may be tempting to keep your behaviors status quo between now and 2018, I get it. By getting on board with a little ‘pre-holiday tune-up’, you will feel better and look better while enjoying the festivities of the season. The added bonus is that on January 1st, you can pat yourself on the back because your healthy lifestyle changes (not resolutions) are already in action. Check out my tips!
#1 – Cook (More) and Eat at Home
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The reality is that many of us struggle here because meal planning skills don’t come naturally. Without a plan you’re left with a random assortment of ingredients with which to create a meal. When that fails, placing a call or online order for whatever food can arrive fastest is your fall back. We’ve all been there. Start small by planning two, maybe three, meals per week and add on from there. And by planning, I mean decide what you’re cooking for the week and purchase the ingredients. Use a tool like My Happy Plates to make planning even easier. Once you see how much time and money you can save, all while doing the right thing for your health, you’ll be hooked.
#2 – Do the Meal Prep Thing
On Sundays it’s likely your social media feeds are sprinkled with images of full pots of soup, slow cookers filled with shredded chicken, and reusable containers of chopped veggies. And we get it, seeing what your friends are cooking up can be a little daunting if you’re just starting out.
But let’s be real here…your meal prep efforts certainly don’t have to be Instagram-worthy to be effective. Once you have mapped out your week’s meals, go a step further to determine what small prep steps can be done in advance to spare time later. Heck, even cook a batch and eat leftovers on Monday and Tuesday if you want!
#3 – Be Snack Savvy
Snacks are good for you and yes, I mean it! Nutrient-rich snacks (not chips and pretzels!) like unsalted nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, whole grain crackers and some grab-n-go bars provide fuel that powers you through the day, primes your muscles for exercise, nourishes your brain to be better focused and tames those oh-so unattractive hanger-induced mood swings. In case you haven’t heard the mash-up word of ‘hanger’ before, it’s when you’re so hungry that you get angry! My best advice—avoid it at all costs. Keep portable snacks with you at work, when traveling and more to master this habit.
So whether you choose one or all three of these habits to work on, you are sure to be rewarded. Think of them as an early holiday gift to yourself and your body.
And don’t worry, you can thank me later!