Nooo! Please don’t leave us Summer! I absolutely love the warm sunshine, long days, and tan lines.
But, I will admit I also enjoy pumpkin flavored anything, the mild fall weather for running (it doesn’t get any better), and the vibrant colors landscaping Mother Nature. I suppose I will loosen my tight fisted grip on the summer days for the many joys autumn brings.
I can’t believe so many are headed back to school! Many of the children here in the UK start back to school today, and my friends in the US are all enjoying the final summer holiday, Labor Day! In celebration of back to school and the final days of an Indian Summer, I would love to share with you some non-negotiable habitudes to adopt this new school year. Whether you are a busy parent of school aged kids, a teacher, a student yourself, (or are like me where back to school doesn’t affect you too much!), fall always brings a sense of beginnings, and that is a good time for any person to refocus!
There is SO much information available to us regarding what we should and shouldn’t be doing for our health, wellness, weight, and overall fitness. From maca powder to wheat grass, or prebiotics to probiotics; I get lost figuring out what I should be doing. Krill oil, flax seed oil, fish oil, coconut oil, oil swishing, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, carb free, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, interval training, weight training, no training, Crossfit, Yogalitaes, Barre, plyometrics, core work, stretching, sleep, relax, meditate, green juice, vitamins, supplements… ahhh! I want to be healthy, fit, strong, happy, and well. Do I really have to do all of these things?!
Unfortunately, I do not have a definite answer for you. I can however say as someone who is constantly reading about the latest super food or fitness trend, it is all very exciting, interesting, and even enticing. However, I believe that if we each create some non-negotiables for ourselves; a list of healthy habits that are part of our lifestyle for the long haul- done day after day, week after week, month after month, and yes-year after year, we will be far more successful in weight loss, health, fitness, strength, happiness and overall wellness.
Healthy lean people who maintain their weight for the long haul are not people who diet. They do not have a deadline to which they are trying to lose weight, but rather they make do-able healthy choices everyday. I encourage each of us to adopt the following non-negotiable habitudes into our lifestyle, and trust the process that the good choices we are making every day are indeed paying off!
1. Water is the #1 beverage of choice!
If you are still drinking soda, sports drinks, juice, sugar laden teas or powder mixes you add water to, it is time to quit! Be lean, be healthy, drink your water all day every day! Here is some more information on why this is so important!
2. Eat your vegetables!
I am not talking about the cream corn in the can either. Make sure you are eating tons of veggies throughout the week. I like to make sure I eat some dark leafy greens everyday, and then I try to think about eating a variety of color. Haven’t had any orange in a few days? Pack some carrots in your lunch or bake up a sweet potato for dinner. A great way to ensure that you are getting plenty of fruits and veggies is to make a green smoothie or juice! Pick some fresh veggies that you enjoy and go for it!
You have heard it before, but I will say it again. We as a culture sit way too much. One way to combat this death trap is to get up and move more. We just have to do it. Commit to it. Increase your steps by walking to the stores, walk in the morning, lunch time, and have an after dinner stroll. Park father away in the lots, get a dog, join or start a walking group at the office. Try setting an alarm on your phone to go off every hour. When it goes off, get up and move about the house, the neighborhood, or the office for a few minutes. Walking will not only get us off our butts and moving more, but it lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can cause increased hunger and increased fat storage! Relaxing activities such as lesiure walking is the perfect compliment to high intensity workouts and optimal fat burning efficiency. Don’t consider walking your daily workout per-say, but do make it part of your every day life. This is a non-negotiable.
Print off this chart and hang it somewhere you see it often! Non-negotiable!
4. Value sleep.
Getting in a routine sleep schedule is a must. Sleeping is optimal time for fat burning, healing, restoring, and recovering. Record your favorite shows and watch them on the weekends-don’t stay up late staring at screens sacrificing your beauty sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and at a time that will allow you to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you wake up frequently, toss and turn, get up frequently to use the bathroom, snore, or wake up feeling tired, you need to go talk to your doctor. Don’t consider these habits normal, and know that there are many natural remedies and self care tips that can be used to get you into a better routine before you have to turn to medications. Follow the advice of your trusted physician and get the sleep your body needs to be the lean, healthy, productive machine it was meant to be! Learn more about sleep habitudes here!
5. Eat protein.
Protein wards off hunger and cravings, keeps the blood sugar stable, strengthens the immune system, and encourages proper hormones and enzyme production. Try to eat a lean protein at every meal. Have protein snacks within your reach when hunger strikes, and be sure to check out this post on why eating protein is another non-negotiable for a lean, healthy, happy body!
Here are some great protein snacks we love:
Jen’s Sunbutter Protein Muffins
Quiona Protein Bars
We could go nuts trying to keep up with every new health trend that comes our way. But, if we do a few things consistently, you can bet we will be on the steady path to looking and feeling our best. Try a new thing here and there, but make sure you are investing in your non-negotiable habitudes 25 hours a day, 8 days a week! (You get my point!)
What are some of your non-negotiable habitudes?