20 tips for a healthier life
During the past couple of weeks I've read a couple of blog posts or read in a magazine about making end of summer resolutions. You don't have to wait till the end of the year to decide what you want to do better or if you want to learn a new language or play an instrument. Holidays often give us time to think what we want to make better in our lives, and for me it's all been about improving my health for the past year.
I've never been particularly unhealthy, but I'd always seen healthier choices as a compromise and as somewhat of a radical change, but over time I've been slowly making small changes that have made me not only healthier but actually enjoy the results and the process, and as a consequence I've stuck to them.
Overall I think the most important thing is to change the way you think. In the past I've wanted to get healthier to be slimmer, which would make me feel happier about my body and in turn about myself. I used to think that healthy is the same as slim and lean.
Now I see my health as something different, as the absence of illness. I want my body to be strong. When you are young it is difficult to see this as something important, but not only can illness strike at any point in your life, but you will also reap the benefits of the changes you make now in the future.
Start your day with a good breakfast. I tend to alternate between bircher muesli and avocado on toast and have porridge as well in the winter. Play with the toppings and you will add variety.
Stop counting the calories in your food. Nothing good ever comes from it.
Eat as much unprocessed as you can. I find that since I have eaten less processed foods I get fuller and eat less quantity, and my body gets more nutrients from what I eat.
Stop eating fat free products. A full fat greek yoghurt with a bit of honey is way heathier than a runny fat free version that will make you hungry 5 minutes after you finish it.
Make your own snacks: raw brownies, granola bars... there are so many easy recipes and you will know exactly what goes into them. This is a super easy way to avoid processed foods.
Eat more fruit and veg. Add some berries to your porridge, a side of salad, some sweet potato chips... Do it slowly and you will find yourself craving the green stuff, I promise you!
Enjoy food and indulge every now and then, but make it the exception, not the norm.
Move! This doesn't mean you have to go to the gym 3-5 times a week. A daily walk or quick run, a dance class... there are lots of fun options out there!
Make plans with friends, stay connected.
Develop a morning and evening routine. It'll help you gear up for the day ahead and unwind in the evenings.
Look forward, not backward. Try not to get too bogged down by the past and look ahead. There may be so much good stuff coming your way.
Eat at the table. You will eat slower and enjoy the taste of it so much more.
Use your car less and instead use your bycicle or your own feet as your mean of transport more often.
Try to not use your computer or digital devices for an hour before you go to bed.
Look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate all the good things about your face, your body... Tell yourself out loud.
Do your thing and don't care if they like it. Don't compare yourself to others.
Listen to your stomach and eat when you are hungry, not when you're bored.
Do yoga. Do it often and it will change your life.
Sleep. It's when your body resets itself, when it processes everything that's happened the day before.
Travel, whether it is near or far. If you can, go far, but if time and budget are problems, do smaller trips.