Friday, February 24, 2012

my healthy habits

Being healthy doesn't have to be difficult. Establishing some easy habits such as the following 10 I have suggested will make a big difference in your overall health and quality of life. xo.

1. Green tea. According to Harvard Women's Health Watch, green tea has enormous antioxidant properties that studies show help reduce the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. A few cups a day are all you need to reap these benefits. Tazo Zen Green Tea is my favorite.

2. Ingredient substitutions. Many delicious foods from cream-based pasta sauces to cakes contain an unhealthy amount of fat. Eliminate calories and fat content with simple ingredient subsitutions that have minimal effect on flavor but a positive effect on the waistline. Read my healthy ingredient substitutions post here.

3. Water. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. [i.e. a 130 lb person should drink 65 ounces of water a day.] H20 is important for a healthy immune system as well as cleansing toxins from your body. I love those big double walled 20oz. tumblers that can be found virtually everywhere these days--3 of these babies a day keeps me hydrated and healthy.

4. Eat in more, dine out less. By cooking at home, you will not only save money but also get to eat fresh foods and know exactly what ingredients are going into your food. I love Skinny Taste for delicious, lightened up recipes.

5. Exercise. Cardio and strength training 3-5 times per week are essential to a healthy toned body. You don't need to be a marathon runner; a 30 minute brisk uphill walk or jog will get that heart rate up. Simple yoga or pilates routines are great for building muscle strength and maintaining good posture! Don't forget to switch up your routine every few weeks to keep from getting bored or plateauing. Here are some of my favorite YouTube fitness gurus with free workout vids:

6. Fiber. Not only does fiber take longer to digest, which increases the feeling of fullness and thus curbs appetite, but it is also can absorb extra calories during digestion. I like to add fiber powder to my morning smoothies. Berries, dark leafy greens [i.e. kale], and whole grains are a few excellent sources of fiber.

7. Skip the artificial sweeteners. It's better to use natural sweeteners than the chemical-ridden stuff, plain and simple. Skip the Splenda and Sweet n Low and replace it with natural honey, maple syrup, stevia, Sugar in the Raw, or agave. Check the ingredient labels and make sure there aren't any extra hidden chemicals. Look at Trader Joe's, Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc. for natural and organic sweeteners.

8. Farmers Market. Buy local, buy organic. Foods at farmers markets tend to be free of chemicals and pesticides, which is the best for your body!

9. Eat more veggies, period. Broccoli, green beans, peas, asparagus, and edamame are my faves. As someone who used to despise veggies [I was a picky eater growing up], if I can do it you can, too! Start by incorporting veggies in your pasta. You can hardly taste broccoli and peas when they are mixed in with your spaghetti.

10. Taking the stairs is another easy thing to incorporate if you live or work in a building with multiple floors. I'm not saying you need to climb 80 flights if you work in a high-rise, but a few floors will get your heart rate up which burns a few extra cals. Every little bit helps!

What are your favorite healthy habits?

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