5 Easy Dietary Switches You Can Make Today
With the New Year underway, you may have made some resolutions or goals for 2018. But are you really going to stick to them? If you haven’t read my previous post called Power Hour, stop and go read that first. If your resolution includes living a healthier lifestyle, read on!
I wanted to share with you 5 easy dietary switches you can make today.
1. Add seeds to your diet! By simply adding a tablespoon or two to your baking dishes (think pancakes, muffins, casseroles even), your smoothies, salads or pasta, you’ll be adding important nutrients, the minerals and vitamins your body craves, to your diet. Seeds like ground flaxseeds, chia or hemp seeds can improve your health. These seeds contain protein, calcium and fiber.
2. Switch out your dairy. Besides causing inflammation and mucus in the body, there are many other problems it causes with global warming and the treatment of cows. (I’m assuming you’ve heard this by now, but if not, go watch Cowspiracy, Earthlings, or Forks Over Knives, or read John Robbins’ “No Happy Cows“.) There are so many great alternative milks, coffee creamers and yogurts out there now, so have fun experimenting with which one your family prefers. I’ve recently been into cashew milk, but also love hemp milk.
3. Drink smarter. If you still drink soda (aka pop), please try to wean yourself starting immediately. A great way to start is by incorporating more flavored sparkling mineral waters into your diet, as they provide the carbonation, but none of the sugary chemicals. Or try throwing some lemon slices into your fresh water, along with cucumber, mint or any other flavors you like. Keep a big jug with you so there are no excuses. Empty calories in juice, soda and Starbucks are so last year!
4. Take a meditation break. While this is not a dietary change, this can be life-changing. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to, or try one of the many free apps that guide you through a meditation or mindfulness exercise. Meditation can destress you, while rejuvenating your spirit, giving you energy to get through your day feeling great! Many of you know I’m an elementary teacher, and at our school we have Thankful Thursdays where a student gets on the intercom system at a random time during the day. He or she will force us (yes, force because usually we’re fully engaged in something) to stop and be quiet, then think about someone or something we’re truly grateful for in that moment. It’s something I look forward to weekly!
5. Add more fiber! Fiber is the magic ingredient to a healthy diet. It fills you up, while maintaining your bowel health. Fiber is cool because it can grab ahold of the yucky stuff in your intestinal track and eliminate it, leaving you feeling less bloated. A fiber-rich diet can even lower cholesterol levels. So how do you add more of it to your diet? By simply incorporating more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to the foods you may be already eating, you can increase your fiber intake easily. An example could be throwing a handful of greens into your fruit smoothie, or adding fresh baby spinach into your lasagna dish, or by switching out your white carbs with brown (think breads, pastas and rice). You could also replace meat with legumes in many recipes!
So there you have it! By making 5 simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can immediately start to feel better from the inside out. But don’t go at it alone! Be sure to share this post with your family and friends. When we’re healthy, we’re happy! Leave me a comment below telling me which change you’re most excited to start today.