Recently inspired by a recent post on xoJane.com, I decided to create a post solely dedicated to beginning a healthy lifestyle.
It can be really overwhelming to embark on the journey to Healthville. There are so many books, videos, magazines, and everything in between with tips and tricks. It’s hard to know the trash from the treasure.That’s when I, Holly J, come to the rescue.
I’m not a certified expert, but I’ve been in the health and fitness game since I was 17. I’ve lost weight the unhealthy way (over exercise, starvation, diet pills, etc) and I’ve done it the healthy way (the right amount of exercise, proper nutrition, and good old fashion patience).Basically, I’ve done it all, and I think I owe it to my readers to share the things I’ve learned.
Things to Know Before you Begin
♥ Change doesn’t happen immediately. You have to be committed to becoming healthy. It will take time. Some days will be easy; other days challenging. No matter what, DON’T GIVE UP!
♥ Research. As stated before, there are many resources for health and fitness info. You don’t have to read them all, but read a few. Fitness magazines are great places to learn new workouts and recipes. Books, like The China Study, and Skinny Bitch, will help teach you more about food, where it comes from, and the way it works in the body.
♥ Make concrete goals. If it’s to lose weight, great! If it’s to become more flexible or run a 5k, even better! Write your goals down and check your list often to ensure you’re doing what you can to meet your desired destination.
♥ Every body is different. Don’t worry about what the girl next to you on the treadmill is doing, or what diet your co-worker is on. What works for someone else may not work for you. Focus on yourself and have faith you’ll get to where you need.
♥ Don’t take the easy way out! I know it’s tempting to skip meals, try fad diets and pills, and do a number of unhealthy stuff. I won’t lie, some of those things might work-but only in the short run! Leaning on unhealthy behaviors to get to where you want tends to backfire, sending you spiraling down to step one. In short, reach your goals the healthy way.
Ok, now that I’ve said all this, let us talk about food. You’re going to need the proper fuel to live a healthy life. You want to avoid excess sugar, unhealthy fat, and processed shit. It’s bad for your skin, digestive system, waistline, and pretty much everything important. Try to eat whole foods. You know, fruits, veggies, healthy protein, healthy fat, and natural sugar.
Healthy shopping can be a bit much if you don’t know what to buy. Here are some of my recommendations. The list below is what I refer to as staples. These items should always be in your home.
Fruits and Vegetables
These are so important!!! They have essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and pretty much everything your bod needs to be right and tight. There are many fruits and veggies, but for the sake of keeping it simple, buy some dark green lettuce, avocado, broccoli, spinach or kale, string beans, apples, pears, bananas, and sweet potatoes.
I will not go into how horrible dairy milk is right now. Just know you’re better off using milk from coconuts, hemp, or nuts. I love almond milk by Silk. The unsweetened kind only has 35 calories per cup!!
Mixed Nuts/Dried Fruits
These foods can be caloric, but they are filled with natural sugar and healthy fat. A handful of raw almonds gives a good does of protein, fiber, and healthy fat that will make your skin, hair and nails the business! A sprinkling of raisins make oatmeal or yogurt pop. Add to your list raw almonds, raisins, cranberries, and whatever you like. Just keep your serving to half-to-a-full hand.
Of all the grainy carbs, oatmeal is my fav. It’s filling, filled with fiber, and can lower bad cholesterol. Cook or microwave with water, add a little soy cream or milk for creaminess. Top with honey or agave, raw nuts and fresh fruit.
Like dairy milk, I spurn dairy yogurt. If you must have it, go for the Greek kind, like from the brand Fage. It’s low in fat and sugar, high in protein, and really thick and creamy. If you’re ready to ditch the dairy, I highly recommend Greek Style coconut yogurt from Soy Delicious. It’s so good, you’ll pass out from happiness.
Hummus and Healthy Chips
Hummus comes from chickpeas, provides protein, and is totally good for you. If you need chips, go for the healthy kind. I like rice chips from Rice Works. They are gluten free, delicious, and will not make you all bloated and puffy the way regular potato chips do.
Carbs get a really bad wrap, but rice is good for you. Stick to the brown, wild, or black types. That way you get some fiber, which nixes the constipation factor that generally comes from white rice.
Beans provide protein, fiber, and really beef up any meal-minus the beef. If you don’t want to cook them, get chickpeas or black beans in a can, rinse them off, and place them on garden salad. It will add extra flavor, protein, and help you feel satisfied.
Other things you need to have:
♥ Spices, to flavor tofu, oatmeal, anything really. What should you buy to begin with? Salt, pepper, Turmeric, curry, Cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, and flavored extracts (they taste great in oatmeal and yogurt).
♥ Firm tofu, because when in doubt it only takes a few minutes to make scramble tofu. Break it up and place it in a heated pan with onions and veggies. YUM!
♥ Protein powder. Use it to make your smoothies powerful. Here is my favorite brand.
Now that you know what to eat, here is the skinny about exercise. Aim to sweat 30-60 minutes 5-6 days a week. If you have a gym membership, USE IT. Hit the treadmill, weight room, or take a class. Even swimming will burn mad calories. If you don’t have a gym, utilize bike riding, power walking outside, or running the stairs in your apartment. Fitness DVD’s can work too. I’m old school, so I like Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford, but you can totally take the Jillian Micheal’s root or try something else. Even Youtube has great exercise videos.
There you have it Newbies!! I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.