A few months ago I was at lunch with a friend. As we were standing in line I muttered, “I think I’ll get a salad and the vegetable soup since I’m not sure if I’m getting any more vegetables today.” She looked at me kind of funny. I said, “what, don’t you think like that?” She rolled her eyes in a friendly way which indicated “of course not, only you would think like that.”
Here was the deal: I was headed home for the weekend knowing all too well I wouldn’t eat the healthiest. I figured if I could at least get three servings of vegetables in for lunch I’d have three servings of vegetables that day instead of one or even worse, none. This conversation got me thinking: am I the only person who thinks like that? I know the answer to that question is no, because I have some “crazy” wellness friends who do the same thing. Just because you’re not a wellness professional doesn’t mean you can’t think like one! Here are a few different ways to think healthier this year!
Dessert – Did you eat well today? Did you exercise? Did you order an appetizer? If your answers are yes, yes, and no, then a dessert might be a-ok. You might be confused as to why I chose a photo of me holding a doughnut for this post. Every now and then I would get a doughnut at the Farmers’ Market. Yes, I know they’re always on the “worst foods ever” list but I might have had four total between May and October. I also walk to the Farmers’ Market. I take those things into consideration when I indulge in a little treat here and there.
Vegetables – Per my example, try to get vegetables whenever you can. When Jana and I go to our conferences we’re always thinking about vegetables. Well not always but at least once a day one of us will say, “I really need some vegetables. Let’s find a restaurant where we can get good vegetables.” At then we’ll make a comment about how most people don’t pick restaurants based on vegetable availability and slightly poke fun at ourselves.
Alcohol – If I anticipate an event where I’d like to drink I will plan to drink for that event and cut back otherwise. If you know me you’re laughing because when I drink I have one or maybe two drinks at most and even then it’s far and few between. I think now that we’re past the holidays drinking in moderation will become much easier. Just remember, if you have plans for both nights on the weekend, maybe a happy hour during the workweek isn’t necessary or you limit what you drink at the happy hour. Calories from alcohol really add up and can sabotage the best weight loss intentions.
Fruit – If I’m headed on a long road trip I will always bring fruit along. That way when I stop at a gas station and am tempted by the peanut M&M’s or gummy worms I will think, “oh but I haven’t eaten that fruit I have in the car yet.” I’ve also adopted Michael Pollan’s food rule, “Don’t get your food where your car gets its fuel.”
Fitness – Do you foresee a busy week ahead? Do you think you’ll be pressed for time after work or won’t have the motivation necessary to complete a good workout? Exercise in the morning. If you just do it you won’t have the opportunity to procrastinate.
Eating Out – This is kind of atypical for me but today I am eating lunch and dinner out and tomorrow I’m meeting a friend for lunch. Normally I wouldn’t eat out this frequently but it just happens to be how my social calendar is laid out this weekend and I’m really looking forward to all three occasions. Because I know eating out can mean eating less healthy, I made it a priority to have a salad or soup for the lunches (hence more vegetables) so I can have a burger for dinner! Eating out can be just as healthy as eating in as long as you plan it to be that way!
Trendy Cleanses – I don’t know about you but I know a lot of people doing cleanses right now. Sugar-free, dairy-free, juicing, no carbs, high-protein, low-carbs, you name it I know someone doing it. In all honesty, eliminating entire food groups is tough and can’t be sustained unless you have intolerances or allergies, in which case they must be sustained. Ask those people how tough it is – it’s really difficult. I think I’m saving more thoughts on this for a later post. I recommend cutting back on the bad foods and occasionally indulging if you feel you can.
Stay tuned for more and think like a pro!