In a world full of fad diets, fitness crazes and shitloads of different information when it comes to health and fitness, it can be hard to know where to start. I've tried many different strategies to be more healthy just so I could say that I was healthy, without realising that I wasn't actually happy with what I was doing. I've tried many things, from strict clean eating to meal plans, starving myself to overexercising - I didn't enjoy any of them.
Taking those first steps to creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your family is actually easier than you think. If you start to do things consistently and really love the feel when you find a form of exercise you enjoy and loving the food that you eat that nourishes you, it becomes a lifestyle, rather than a "challenge" that lasts a few weeks, a few days or sometimes, a few hours.
I myself am a very habitual person, so when I started to tweak little things that I was doing so that I could feel better emotionally, physically and mentally, I made sure that it wasn't anything too extreme, instead I implemented things that I had learnt through experience and what worked for me and my family.
Here are my top 5 tips that I wanted to share with you to create a healthier lifestyle that you LOVE!
1. Find a form of exercise that you ENJOY!
Try a group fitness class, one-on-one PT, boot camp, spin class or boxing - TRY THEM ALL! It is important to find a way to move your body that you look forward to each day. A good trainer could change your life and motivate you to do things you never thought possible, or if gyms aren't for you, get outdoors! If you love what you're doing, it will never feel like a chore.
2. Kick Start Your Day
Before you have brekky, start your day with a warm glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar OR a warm glass of lemon water. This will start your digestive system and get your body ready for the day! Your first go of apple cider vinegar may taste a little gnarly, but it will do WONDERS for you - like regulate your morning poop or irradiate that bloating that has been giving you the shits for weeks!
3. Healthy Food CAN Taste AMAZING!
Gone are the days when we had no idea that clean eating could taste delicious. With a few pantry staples up your sleeve, you're already on your way to a delicious and nourishing meal. Things like coconut milk/cream, herbs + spices, stock, almond meal and coconut oil are just a few things that I always have in my pantry because when combined with your favourite meats and vegetables, they honestly cook up a killer dish.
Stick to the outsides of a supermarket (where you find meat, fruits + vegetables) or head to your local markets on the weekend to save some money - plus it's fun for the kids to choose produce that are different colours!
10 MINUTES IS ALL YOU NEED to begin your journey to mindfulness. If it means getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning or turning the box off at night so you can focus on yourself and your mindset, then bloody do it. As a parent, I can understand how sometimes we're a bit time poor, but I won't bullshit to you one bit - it's about MAKING time. Find a guided meditation that gels with you and do it consistently.
Sources: Headspace, Melissa Ambrosini, Smiling Mind + YouTube are just a few to start with!
5. Do NOT Guilt Yourself
One habit I've noticed with many people is that if they give into a chocolate bar or a glass of wine, whatever they enjoy, they'll guilt themselves over it and either overexercise or stave themselves to compensate - they'll also drive themselves fucking nuts because they did it. A balanced lifestyle is all about enjoying every moment and if you eat that chocolate, who gives a fuck, it's about one meal at a time and you'll go mentally insane if you don't ease yourself off sugar or gluten or whatever it may be. Take it ONE STEP AT A TIME and if you find it too hard to avoid, find a clean way to make your favourite treat or meal.
Find what works for you - not for someone else. Restricting yourself entirely and going cold turkey won't do you any favours, so start with small steps, enjoy life and enjoy the way that you live it!