I hope you enjoyed last week’s Part 2: Mindful Tasks for a Better You of my #SelfImprovementMonth four-part series this month. This week the big topic is improving your nutrition. The purpose: to get you thinking about what you’re eating, to start taking note on how you feel, and to ask yourself what small changes you can make to improve to feel your best.
Nutrition is one of those things that is sadly overlooked. However, 80% of how you look and feel falls on the shoulders of what you put into your body. That’s right… that means that you literally cannot out-exercise a bad “diet.” It’s just unfortunately not going to work – especially if you’re at your mid-30’s and beyond. So, now if you’re thinking, “Well, crap, that sucks,” don’t lose hope – read on…
For Self Improvement Month to actually be true to its name, I want you to consider a few little shifts in your nutritional habits. Don’t worry, were not talking an overhaul, (you know that’s not my style). I really just want to help you identify some limiting factors in your nutrition that if some tweaks were made here and there, could help you improve your health, make you feel better, and increase your energy.
Your food choices encompass much of your overall nutrition. But, a good place to start when you’re looking to improve them is to ask, “When I’m hungry or making a meal, do I go to the pantry or the fridge?” If you answered pantry more often than not, than you are most likely eating many processed foods. But, this is something you can easily tweak.
Starting today, swap your food. Eat one less processed food than you did yesterday. Aim for a food with no more than a handful of ingredients. Some ideas could include:
Swap your bowl of Cheez-Its for a bowl of carrots with hummus
Swap your bag of crunchy chips for a crispy apple
Swap your white spaghetti noodles for brown rice noodles
Just pick one swap that seems totally doable, and do that for one week. Not a big deal, right? It’s just one tiny change. Each week, swap out one additional processed food for a less-processed choice and start to notice how you feel. What signals is your body giving you as you remove more and more processed foods?
When I decided seven years ago to change my nutrition to live a long and healthy life, I didn’t drink an ounce of water. Zilch. Zero. Nada. I started my day with sugary orange juice, drank more glasses of milk in a day than any adult needs, and never missed my pick-me-up Diet Coke in the afternoon, (which often accompanied a dose of Excedrin Migraine to try to get rid of my massive headaches).
Besides my sugar-filled lifestyle, I now realize that part of my headache issue was probably because I was totally dehydrated. It happens to one of my daughters now, too. Most of the time she has a headache and I ask her how much water she had that day, she answers with little to none.
So to tweak your possible dehydration and avoid drinking your calories, aim to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. My biggest recommendation is to avoid the plastic water bottles and have a reusable water bottle that is 24-32oz. near you at all times. I’ll share two easy methods you can use to improve your water intake.
Set a daily goal for yourself to double the amount of water you are currently drinking. So if you get 8oz., go for 16 oz. for this week. Don’t forget, water can include unsweetened teas, sparkling water, or water with a Stevia-based flavor enhancer, too.
Make a goal to drink a full glass of water or maybe a half glass of water (depending on where you’re currently at) at each meal. Aim to drink the water before “earning” a different beverage.
Many busy moms I talk to are just trying to “get by” and use their go-to meals to do so. I’m totally guilty of this, too. They are good to get a dinner on the table, let alone something that is healthy or new.
But if you are feeling stuck in your weight loss efforts, and especially if you feel like you already eat fairly healthy, there is most likely a hormonal imbalance going on that could be connected to a nutritional deficit or food intolerance.
Make a tweak to this limiting factor by changing things up. If you’ve always had a protein bar for breakfast rushing out the door, grab a Greek yogurt instead. If the only vegetables your family has seen for weeks is a can of green beans or a baked potato, serve up a salad or do a quick sauté’ of zucchini noodles with mushrooms and peppers instead one night. Just start by switching up one of your norms or “go-to’s” and see if your body starts “talking” back. You may be missing some key nutrients, and by including different foods will start to make you feel better.
So, here’s the deal…. There are loads of limiting factors that keep us stuck in our fat-loss efforts. But, a healthy lifestyle is the journey of chiseling away at each one, little by little.
Stop the diets, detoxes and juice cleansing. I’m not saying they aren’t going to give you results, but they’re really just a short-term solution. Stop following a specific day-to-day plan downloaded from the World Wide Web that tells you what is good for your body. Only YOU have the ability to be the expert of your own body.
Good nutrition for your body, means foods that allow it to heal, repair and feel its best. Just listen to your body. It is giving you signals on what it likes and doesn’t like, and it really wants to live a full life. Are you tuned in and willing to make a change?
Any further questions about kicking some nutritional butt, always feel free to reach out!
“Nutrition isn’t just about eating. It’s about learning to live.“ – Patricia Compton
Let’s get FIRED UPP,
P.S. Are you ready to make some small changes to become the best version of you?? Don’t forget, because I want as many women as possible to jump on the self-improvement train, I am offering a SEPTEMBER SPECIAL for the Fit, Fueled & Fired Upp Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint all month long! Quick and guided workouts (as in under 30 minutes), nutrition, mindset, stress and sleep help are all included! You’ll get full access to my app in this 14-week self-guided, online coaching program for less than $25/week. I will show you how to implement a healthy lifestyle step-by-step and hopefully drop a pant size or two while doing so. Are you in??