Are your healthy New Year’s resolutions now a distant memory? Have you been enjoying far too many decadent meals and over-the-top desserts? Have a few weeks passed since you visited the gym? We understand. But, let’s make today the day we get back on track. Set a plan for the day and the coming week. Now is always the time to refocus your energies on your good health. Follow these three simple rules to get it done.
1. Meditate in the Morning
Start by focusing your mind on the day ahead. Ramaa Krishnan, founder of Full Bloomed Lotus, says daily meditation gives us greater freedom to make healthy choices and helps keep our lives on track.
“Everyday life gives us a fresh start with new day. Meditation is a time to clean the slate, to let go of the past and reenter the present,” Krishnan says. “I describe it as a time to sit back and discharge fear from our cells and charge them with faith, which is what it takes to claim back our health, physically and emotionally.”
Krishnan offers this simple meditation to start your day:
Sit in a comfortable place, taking care to make sure cell phones and other distractions are turned off. Start with a few slow deep breaths. Watch each breath rise and fall and enjoy the simple act of breathing. Although thoughts continue to occur, allow them to happen like snowflakes that we have no control over, and return to placing your attention on the act of breathing. In a few minutes, a quiet will descend, even as the thoughts continue their chatter. Rest in that quiet for as long as you can before you return to your day. Try one of Krishnan’s meditations here. You only need 10 minutes!
2. Think Before You Eat
Integrative nutritionist Carol Amendola D’Anca says you can get your eating back on track by becoming more mindful. Try to identify your own “trouble spots” (grabbing fast food, skipping lunch, overdoing it on office goodies—you probably know what yours are).
“The more ‘trouble spots’ you identify, the better equipped you are to avoid repeating the circumstances that sidetracked you.”
D’Anca points out two common trouble spots and solutions:
- Eating out usually means large portions and meals prepared with excessive salt, fat and sugar. Instead, spend time planning healthy alternatives and cooking at home. Cook once and eat twice by making extra for another meal.
- Getting caught in the pleasure trap by eating foods that cause the effect of quick and short lived satisfaction? Instead, stabilize your blood sugar by eliminating processed foods that have been colored, sugared and flavored artificially, which is just about anything with a label. Eating this way is very hard on the body. Vegetables have no label.
Here’s a healthy meal plan to kick start your progress today:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh berries
- Lunch: Quinoa strawberry and bok choy salad or lentils with steamed spinach and grape tomatoes
- Snacks: Small amounts of walnuts, berries, crackers (organic made with fresh seeds) and hummus. If you don’t need the “crunch” of crackers, then use fresh romaine leaves to scoop the hummus.
- Dinner: Salmon is a great protein source. Try this spicy version from SkinnnyTaste.
Here are some nutrition tips to get you through your first week:
- Continue to plan out your meals for a few days at a time and prepare as much as possible at home versus going out.
- Add a fermented kombucha tea to your diet each day, ensuring that you are keeping your gut microbes at a healthy level for optimal digestion.
- Crowd out processed foods and meat by adding more fruits and vegetables. Stick with berries for fruit and lightly sautéed peppers, onions and green vegetables.
- Comfort yourself at night or during the day with a mug of green tea.
3. Choose Exercise That Excites You
Craig Ramsay, an internationally recognized fitness and wellness expert, says to look at returning to healthful habits as a fun new start (not something to dread). His own humorous, high energy style has helped to motivate legions of fans to get moving.
“I ask people to get excited about getting back to it and enjoy the healthy challenge ahead,” Ramsey says. “First, get into an appropriate routine where you will be successful and stay motivated by the results you see and feel.”
The key to success? Ramsay says to start with an effective yet manageable exercise routine. Here’s a routine that is easy to start and maintain:
- Start with Ramsay’s treadmill workout today: “Set the incline to 2.0 at a speedy walk and after a two-minute warm up, move that incline up. Hold on to the treadmill front panel or grips when necessary or challenge yourself with no hands. Alternate the incline up and down every two minutes. Purposefully squeeze the glutes and feel your core work. Aim to do this for 30 minutes for at least five times in the week to jumpstart your body and keep your mind moving forward.”
- Ramsay suggests adding stretching at night using his book “Anatomy of Stretching.” “This will help you connect with your body [and] allow more freedom of movement, which will inspire more exercise,” he says.
- End your day by nurturing and honoring your mind and body with a warm bath with few drops of your favorite essential oils. Take a few minutes to plan tomorrow and the remainder of the week, and commit to staying on track for your mind, body and health.
Top photo: Bigstock
Get more tips with these articles:
- Men: Staying Healthy at 20, 30, 40, 50
- 7 Easy Ways to Live Longer
- Your Favorite Local Trainers Reveal Their Best Tips to Get Fit in 2015