Making big changes to diet and lifestyle can be daunting and overwhelming for many of us. Especially if positive results aren’t seen physically or felt mentally/emotionally soon afterward. Last week, I shared 6 extremely simple changes our family has made in order to be healthier. Today, I want to share 6 MORE Amazingly Simple Changes For Better Health.
Shake It Off
My husband and I have been enjoying a shake for breakfast every morning. I used to struggle with making time to eat a good breakfast and often I would just not have anything to eat, which is NOT a healthy habit to get into nor was it a good thing to model to my children! Breakfast was always the most difficult meal of the day for me to enjoy because as soon as I was up, I’d get busy with work and homeschooling the kids. I didn’t want to make the time to spend 15-20 minutes preparing breakfast for myself.
The best solution to my dilemma was making a quick and easy breakfast shake. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and even less time to consume it. Now, that’s my kind of breakfast! We use coconut or almond milk, meal replacement powder, hemp seeds and frozen berries. Our new home has a yellow plum tree and this was our first season for those plums – talk about being over-run by fruit! I froze (and froze, and froze, and froze some more) many of those plums and we use them for our shakes – delicious!
Breakfast shakes are a very easy thing to add to your day – especially if you are like me and tend to skip breakfast:(
Say Yes To Temptations
Those treats are so tempting, aren’t they? I have never been one to restrict treats completely. Where’s the fun in that? However, I do say that I can enjoy them a few times per week. Doing this helps me to have self-control and I become very picky about the treats I choose.
Well, I am already picky. I want to make those calories count!
For example, there is a huge donut and coffee chain here in Canada. Everyone seems to rave about the donuts and coffee…but not me. They used to be very good, but not anymore. I think we all just get used to enjoying mediocrity instead of holding out for the best. Perhaps we tend to do this with many things in life, hey? So, I do not waste my treat calories there. I’d much rather by one donut for myself at a little coffee shop here in town (they have donut Fridays) where they make their own creative flavored donuts from scratch that very morning. OHHH…they taste so much better!
OR…I just make my own donuts. Even the kids agree, my donuts taste way better than that massive chain’s frozen-then-fried donuts.
Therefore, if you are going to enjoy a treat, make sure it is an absolutely delicious one. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t ‘waste’ those calories with less than satisfactory goodies. A scrumptious treat will fulfill that craving much better than a dry, flavorless, empty confection will. It is time to get fussy with the treats instead of ruling them out completely.
Bring On The Fat!
We LOVE coconut oil. Well…I LOVE anything coconut – I am enjoying coconut chips as I type this post! We have incorporated coconut oil into a lot of our cooking. I love the bit of coconut flavor it brings to dishes. Rice is exceptionally delicious with coconut oil. And popcorn – oh, yum! Pop your popcorn using coconut oil. I’ve also enjoyed the oil in a hot cup of coffee and hot chocolate. It is so delicious AND healthy!
Wait! I’ve heard that some people don’t actually like coconut. How crazy is that? Well, the good news is that you can buy coconut oil with the flavor of coconut removed (that’s insane!). I know this because my husband bought it by mistake. And I wasn’t too happy with him 😉 There are other good fats to try out – avocado, extra virgin olive oil (there is a bit of a craze with flavored oils and balsamic vinegar around here)…
Now this switch is so simple. I wish we had done it sooner than we did. We used to have iced tea for lunch AND for dinner. We switched our lunch iced tea for water. It was such an easy change to make and the kids never grumbled about it. The kids will have apple juice or orange juice for breakfast, water for lunch and throughout the day and iced tea for dinner. Once a week, they can have some pop. I am not a huge pop drinker myself, so this switch wasn’t hard for me.
If you want to switch up the water a bit, add some lemon and/or lime slices to it. We have a large jug in our fridge with a spout for easy pouring. We slice up one lemon and put the slices in with the water. It is refreshing and the kids love to drink it. Plus there are the extra health benefits from the lemon!! I’ve also tried cucumber and lemon infused water – YUM!
Be A Sweetheart
When I was a teenager, I would drink a lot of diet Coke. I liked the taste of it. It must have been my teen brain not functioning properly as I hate the taste of it now. If you do any scientific research on Google 😆 you would easily be able to find information explaining how bad aspartame is for you. Therefore, if you’re going to have sugar, use regular sugar instead of the aspartame poisoned sweeteners. YUCK!
If you like sweeteners like stevia, go for that. I personally do not enjoy the taste of it, either. So I am sticking with regular, old sugar, brown sugar or honey for my tea and baking.
One last change I’d like to share with you is enjoying more salads! I really like the mixed greens or spring mix of lettuce. We put a huge bowl of greens on the table with smaller dishes of veggies like tomatoes, green onion, mushrooms, grated carrot, peas, celery, etc. This way, the kids get to ‘decorate’ their own salads and put the veggies of their choosing on as toppings.
I find the popular brand name of dressings bland, so we choose locally made dressings that have a lot more flavor. Another option is making your own using flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There are so many flavors out there that you can have fun mixing your own.
My last post in my health series will be next week when I share the things I have done that have helped me lose weight…and the things I tried that didn’t.
To catch up on previous posts in my health series, see the list below.
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