Take charge of your health

By getting your ducks in a row

Right about now you might feel like 2016 is either looking a lot like 2015 or you might feel like you are off to a good start. There is nothing right or wrong about either. The only mindful thing to do is to focus on HOW to take charge of your health and what you need in order to do so.

Here are 13 daily habits to help you on your way.

As always, pick one at a time to work on. We are not looking for an overhaul of you, we are looking for the transformation that happens when you are in the process. Getting healthy is not a destination, it is an accumulation of conscious choices and mindful habits that all add up to how you feel everyday.

1. Have breakfast every morning.

To keep blood sugar steady throughout the day, make it a habit to eat something nourishing in the morning. And no, a cup of coffee doesn’t count.
If you tend not to be super hungry in the a.m., try making a green smoothie or something easy that you can bring along with you to work, like oatmeal (I recommend these delicious breakfast recipes you can make in a jar).

2. Drink more water.

We tend to forget how important water is for our daily well-being and overall health. That’s why I recommend making it a habit to drink pure, clean water throughout the day.
To do so, start by actually planning water breaks at points during the day (since we tend to forget our intentions when they’re not scheduled in). You should also start your day with a big glass upon waking up.

3. Eat something green every day.

Adding green veggies, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, or dark, leafy greens to your daily diet helps keep your digestive system healthy and your meals more nutritionally nourishing.

4. Choose whole, real food.

To promote satiety, we need fiber, fat, and good protein from whole foods. The complexity in real and whole foods also provides higher nutritional value, which adds up to feeling full and nourished, eating less, and losing weight without feeling like you’re on a diet.

5. Schedule time for every meal.

Time is a luxury, and real, sit-down meals tend to be one of the first things we skip when we’re busy or under stress. But we need to remember that mealtimes are the perfect moments to get relief throughout the day. So block out time for each meal, every day.

6. Chew more.

One way to naturally practice more mindful eating: Treat every meal as if it’s an expensive gourmet dinner. As you chew, mentally add a dose of appreciation for those who were involved in getting your food on your plate, from farmer to cook.

7. Get eight hours of sleep.

There’s nothing that kills your good intentions faster than being tired. Good sleep helps manage stress and positively influences your food choices, so make restorative rest an essential habit for health and weight loss in 2016.

8. Move every day.

Any movement counts. If you can’t get to do your preferred workout class or fit in your usual jog, then make an effort to take the stairs whenever possible, fit in an afternoon walk, or even just dance around.

9. Take five seconds to breathe.

Simply pausing before acting or making a food choice helps us reflect, so we can change our otherwise automatic habits. It helps you get out of stress mode and make a rational, healthy decision.

10. Schedule time for self-care.

We tend to not give ourselves enough self-care, because we don’t plan it and the opportunity never appears. Put yourself on your own schedule, whether it’s simply time to read a book or take a relaxing bath, every day.

11. Notice your stress eating triggers.

The way to develop coping skills is to know when you need them the most. Take time to learn about your emotional triggers so you can support yourself in those moments. If not, you’ll continue to fall prey to stress eating.

12. Let yourself make mistakes.

When you judge yourself, you get stuck doing things you would otherwise not do, like stress eat. Instead, allow yourself to make mistakes and learn what works for you (or what doesn’t).

13. Tell yourself something positive every day.

Our automatic thoughts and behaviors are hardwired to look at the negative—that can have a lot of power over us. Instead, make it a habit to tell yourself something positive about your progress at least once per day.
Focus on what you’re doing right instead of on what’s not working. We can only move forward if we look, and think, forward.

This article was published on MindBodyGreen 

If you would like to know more about how you can find your food-style, get mindful about living nourished, and get the tools to actually change your habits for a sustainable approach to getting healthy and losing weight, check out my 9-step online program.