I don’t know about you, but as the year comes to a close I start to get a little stressed about the resolutions I am “supposed” to make for the New Year. For many years my list has generally been the same. I could write it with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.
“Get organized. Lose weight. Save money. Stop rushing. Refrain from yelling at my kids. Find my passion. Brush my dog’s teeth every day.”
Does your list look anything like this?
A few years ago I was finally able to go with my gut and pursue my passion. I trained to be a holistic health coach and I now help women reclaim their mojo, get back into their skinny jeans and live a vibrant, healthy life! Pursuing my passion has been my greatest joy over the last three years. I would love to share some of my easiest, but highest impact tips with you.
I have discovered how to eat a LOT of real food and lose weight at the same time. I have also discovered that many non-foods related issues hold us back and actually deter us from living vibrantly. This does not have to be the case.
I want to share some really easy tips that have helped me to become more of who I thought I could be every New Year when I put my resolutions down on paper. Check them out and see if you can use them in your life!
CLICK HERE to grab a copy of Top Diet Mistakes and How to Fix Them!
Below are 8 easy tips that, if turned into habits, can help you be healthy and happy!
Clean and Organize the Kitchen
A clean, organized kitchen can jumpstart long-term weight loss and increase your overall sense of happiness and wellbeing.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. We use this room of the house more than any other room. Benefits of an organized kitchen are: less stress, more money, less food waste, easy meal preparation, eating less calories, healthy snacking, and peaceful meals, to name a few.
How do you feel when you walk into your kitchen? Are you enticed to make a beautiful meal or is your fight or flight response activated? Wanting to run screaming from your kitchen is your first clue that there is a problem. If you don’t feel the love, it is time for an overhaul.
Cluttered counters make it impossible to prepare a healthy meal where you need space to chop vegetables, among other things. A kitchen table piled high with stacks of paper or other items does not invite anyone to sit down and savor food? If your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are a jumble of food you don’t recognize or know what to do with, you just close the door and find something and somewhere else to eat. Right? Chaos and clutter encourage poor food choices.
On the other hand, cleared kitchen surfaces provide the physical and emotional space to prepare healthy recipes and enable you to enjoy meals in peace. A clean, organized space feels good and it helps you to feel healthy. A clean, organized kitchen encourages healthy habits.
In an organized kitchen, you can strategically place/store foods to encourage or discourage eating (think of the grocery store). If you place your healthy foods and snacks in the right place you are more likely to grab them when you need them. Likewise, if you place trigger foods in a hard-to-reach location, you are less likely to grab them when you want a snack. You may even forget they are in the house.
Organizing the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer will save you money and lessen food waste. No one wants to throw out food, right? Tossing food is like throwing out money. It feels wrong and it feels bad. Taking a kitchen inventory is the first important step enabling you to plan meals around what you already have. And meal planning and preparation saves time, money and calories.
A kitchen inventory can also help prevent you from purchasing items you already have. Don’t you hate bringing home something, like a bottle of ketchup, and realizing you already have three bottles but you are completely out of mayo? ARRRRR!
Take some time to clean and declutter the kitchen now. It is a huge mood booster! Inventory your kitchen and plan a few healthy meals using what you have in the house. See how many meals you can make out of the food you have before you buy more. Cha Ching!
I have to admit that the kitchen island is my Achilles heel. As hard as I try I cannot seem to keep it clear of paper clutter and other random items. I try to return the items to their rightful location every night but sometimes I don’t. But my refrigerator is always organized and my meal plan is always written out. Cut yourself some slack. It isn’t all or nothing!
Here are a few tools that might help you to get started with kitchen organization!
Dump Your Entire Brain
It seems that women are naturally list makers. I love me a good list. I especially love checking things OFF of the list. But sometimes I don’t write everything down and days go by and I begin to feel really anxious and distracted. I start to write lists in my head when I am falling asleep. Since I know this doesn’t work, I jump out of bed and write random thoughts down hoping I will be able to figure it out in the morning. Have you ever felt like that? Is your mind always churning? Are you having a hard time turning your brain off at night?
Keeping your entire to-do list in your head can be exhausting. Studies show that we can only remember a maximum of 7 items at a time. Our anxiety increases because we don’t want to forget something important, hence the churning.
A total brain dump helps me to relieve this type of anxiety. Here are tips to help you give it a try:
- Type or write down every single item that is in your head with no thought to categorizing or organizing them.
- Can you delete anything from the list?
- Can you delegate anything on the list?
- Categorize the remaining items (like errands, appointments, phone calls, grocery lists, projects, etc.)
- Further categorize errands in a logical manner so you are not driving back and forth all over town.
- Schedule some of the items on your actual calendar. Try to set time aside to do like items.
- Be sure to note additional details where necessary (for example, if you need to drop off books at the library, make a note to put the books in your car. If you need to go grocery shopping, make a note to bring your list, coupons, and reusable bags.)
Drink A Tall Glass of Water
If you feel hungry before you think you should, or you feel tired and a little strung out from coffee – you just might be thirsty. Grab the largest glass you can find and fill it with water.
If you have a lemon, squeeze half of it into the water (don’t just throw in a slice). The lemon actually makes the water alkaline, aiding digestion and helping to reduce inflammation. Lemon water does a body good!
Brush and Floss your Teeth
This is a tip I use all of the time. When I am having a bad eating day (and we all have them), I take a break to brush and floss my teeth. This is the catalyst I need to turn my eating around. It certainly can’t hurt. Did you know that flossing is one step in preventing heart disease?
I know it sounds weird, but studies have shown that gum disease is related to serious conditions like heart disease and even diabetes. Do you need more incentive to floss? It works for me!
Chew More and You Could Lose More
I find the subject of digestion fascinating. I have been doing a lot of research on how aiding digestion can help with losing weight. Check it out!
A study conducted at the School of Public Health at Harbin Medical University in China concluded that people consumed 12 percent fewer calories when they chewed food 40 times versus when they chewed it just 15 times. The subjects who took 40 chews also produced less of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin and produced more of the appetite-suppressing hormone cholecystokinin.
Digestion actually begins in your mouth. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin the process of breaking down your food. So the more time the enzymes get to coat the food in your mouth (by chewing more), the better your digestion.
When you swallow after only a few chews and send down large pieces, it takes a lot more energy for the food to break down in your stomach. And many times, the stomach cannot finish the process and larger, undigested particles get sent to the intestines. Here, bacteria break down the larger pieces, fermenting and putrefying them. It is what it sounds like. This process causes gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, etc. When you chew food 30-40 times you reduce the likelihood that large pieces will make it to the intestines to putrefy (yuk!).
To get into the habit of chewing food thoroughly, try putting your utensils down between bites and concentrate on chewing 30 to 50 times, or until the food turns to liquid.
Isn’t this fascinating? Just by chewing longer we can actually lose more weight!
Eat Within a 12-Hour Window
This tip is just so easy there is no reason not to try it. Studies have shown that eating within a 12-hour window and fasting for 12 hours (like 7 pm to 7 am) can be the difference between whether fat is burned or stored. Restricting eating hours can also help fight diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Since it is ridiculously easy, why not give it a try?
Eat Soup for Dinner
Let’s get back to digestion for a second. Our digestion slows down throughout the day. It is easier to digest cooked food than it is to digest raw food. So the perfect dinner would be cooked vegetables and protein. This makes a bowl of soup the PERFECT evening meal. Slurp a steaming bowl of soup for dinner when you are trying to lose weight. And then stop eating for the night (tip #6).
Great soups are generally low in calories and high in nutrition. Soups containing lots of vegetables and lean protein like beans, lentils and/or chicken are ideal. Soup is a high volume food so you get full without actually taking in a whole lot of calories (as long as you are eating the right soup). The right soup is a broth-based soup (not cheese or cream based) with lots of vegetables, beans and/or lean protein.
Enjoy Life – Participate in Pleasurable Activities
Participate in activities that make you feel good! Need I say more?
My healthy-eating, mojo-reclaiming, skinny jean-wearing, vibrant living philosophy is very simple: You can eat loads of real food and never have to count calories to become the healthiest version of yourself.
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And CLICK HERE for a copy of Top Diet Mistakes and How to Fix Them!