Being healthier -and fitter- is one of the most common goals people have at the start of a new year.
The issue is that most start making radical changes to their lifestyle and diet and not adhering to their plans after a few months. Or weeks.
Those changes never really become part of their daily routine.
Let it not be you.
Start small. But consistent.
With these simple habits to create your healthiest version yet.
Motivation doesn’t last.
That’s why gyms are crowder on January than December.
What lasts is your commitment to what you said you were going to do. And doing it regardless of your mood.
The idea is that even the smallest of changes you implement become ingrained in your being.
Kinda brushing your teeth.
I would say my first advice is to be aware that you won’t see instant results. Although, these changes will a have tremendous impact in the quality of your life from the moment you practice them, reducing your sugar or cholesterol levels, dropping the pounds, regulating your emotions, clearing up your skin, and feeling content with your health is a process. A process.
It won’t happen overnight. And the sad part is that most quit when they most needed to remain strong and keep showing up.
That’s how results -lasting results – will be seen.
So, take the tea of patience and start reading some tips that can help you get on the right path.
Oh! And don’t be a perfectionist. Please. Don’t do them all at once. Just take a couple and master them. To the “brushing your teeth” type of level.
All right. Let’s begin.
FIND YOUR WHY
First of all, find your WHY.
Answer this question: Why are you doing this?
Is the benefit of being healthy worthier than the late night craving or the need to stay in bed when the alarm is reminding you to get your morning workout?
If you have a clear purpose, the goal will get more appealing and will be able to withstand the challenges of the months ahead: the cravings, the laziness, and the lack of motivation.
Write down your WHY on a sticky note or several. And place them on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, and your office. Remind yourself at every single chance of your goal for 2021.
WHAT YOU DON’T NEED
Before getting into the tips, let’s review what you don’t need.
Getting healthier can be an inexpensive process. Even more so than being out of shape and sick.
Before practicing Ayurveda, I used to eat LOTs of meat. I was on a bodybuilding diet, eating six meals a day, and each of them included a serving of animal protein. Besides getting sick, it cost me a huge amount of money to do grocery shopping every week. As it turned out, plant based foods are cheaper. I got healthier and saved money.
Besides meat, these are some things you DON’T need to get in the best shape of your life:
- Expensive supplements
- Gym membership
- Complex gym equipment
- Fancy outfits
- Cute water bottle
I’ll give you that those may help with motivation, but they are absolutely not necessary.
In fact, with the right diet you can get all nutrients you need from wholefoods, and with a complete home exercise routine you can get in your best shape!
BEST HABITS TO START IN 2021
FOCUS ON WHOLE FOODS – NO CALORIES
I encourage you to do this. Go to the store and buy most of your foods from the produce section. Fill your cart with vegetables and fruits. Choose the ones with the most vibrant colors and get excited to prepare them home.
Then, go to the cereals section and add some rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and beans.
Finally, get some olive oil and a few spices. I would recommend turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, and pepper.
And just focus on eating those gorgeous, full of Prana foods. Don’t count calories.
The point here is for you to get to like those foods rather than to stress on how much you are eating.
Yes! of course portion size is a big part of getting to the point you want in 2021, but by just making these changes you can be certain that your calories will anyways be cut in half.
You can perfect your serving size later in the year when eating whole foods has already become a habit.
COOK MORE AT HOME
A great way to be healthier is to get into the habit of cooking more at home.
It will then be up to you what ingredients you put into your body. Even in the best of restaurants, we don’t really know the list of all food items that go into a dish. This can make a huge difference in how you feel inside and look outside.
According to Ayurveda, eating freshly cooked foods is a vital part of maintaining a healthy digestive fire, and by having an optimal digestion, your body can better perform all its tasks.
However, it is also better to meal prep than to eat out. Even if that means that food is not entirely fresh.
MOVE A LITTLE MORE IN JANUARY!
If you don’t have a workout routine established, but want to stay away from the couch, then try this simple exercise workout calendar for the rest of January.
Print it and do it from your living room.
Ideally, do it in the morning, before breakfast. Otherwise choose a time that best works for your daily schedule and stick to it.
These are the 10 moves:
- Try them first without any weight / resistance bands.
- If an exercise calls for jumping and you don’t feel ready for it yet, do the same motion without the jump.
- The repetitions and sets for each week are on the left side. For example, for second week it is 2×12: Two sets of 12 reps each exercise.
- If it is an unilateral exercise, do the reps with each leg. For example, for reverse lunges, do 15 with the left leg and 15 with the right leg.
ADD 1-2 VEGAN MEALS PER WEEK
Meat, even if it is chicken breast, is not recommended in Ayurveda as a basis for our diet.
It should be avoided if rejuvenation, longevity, and clear mind are part of your goals.
Meat has a tamasic energy that brings dullness, heaviness, and clouds your mind.
Don’t stop altogether, but include 2-3 vegan or vegetarian meals a week. Google some recipes and try them home. There are so many plant-based foods that will make you feel satisfied and content without the need of adding a piece of meat to your plate. Like this tofu and mushroom scramble that honestly tastes like real eggs.
HAVE A TREAT MEAL
Eating healthy is the best. Once you get used to it and you eat something that doesn’t follow the “healthy” criteria, you feel it everywhere! Your stomach, your skin, even your emotions!
We are still human.
Have a day when you choose whatever foods you feel like having. I believe this has the power of not letting you feel deprived and restricted.
Especially if you are with friends and family, you can use this as a chance to commune with them and enjoy a nice meal with the people you love.
Now, once it is done, go back to your goals, whole foods, and home cooking.
GO TO BED EARLIER
Ayurveda recognizes that our biological clock depends on the rhythms of nature. That means, that it’s always a good idea to align your body to the cycle of dark and light of every day.
Your circadian rhythm functions properly when you go to bed early, preferably by 10 pm and wake up early, with the sunrise, ideally before 5 am.
Having a healthy body clock means:
- A better sleep and wake pattern
- Balanced hormones
- Regular and painless periods
- Healthy emotions
USE HEALTHIER HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS
The skin, the largest organ in the body, absorbs everything!
Make sure that you use eco-friendly products to avoid any harmful substances getting into your bloodstream and causing any allergic reactions or fostering the right environment for disease.
Read labels. The less ingredients, the better.
Monica Gisella xx