Health Hacks That You Can Start Now
1. Supplement What You Are Missing.
Look, in a perfect world we’d all eat a balanced diet and get all the nutrients we need. It doesn’t work that way in the real world though, not all the time. I know in my head that omega-3 fatty acids are vital to brain and cardiovascular health and that vitamin D is a rock star vitamin for strong bones and teeth.
Do I always feel like working out? Nope, but I do because it’s in my calendar just like doctor’s appointments and other non-negotiable things. When you make workouts a part of your daily routine, you get into the habit and lose the excuses.
3. Shake it up.
No not milkshakes – though I have been known to indulge from time to time, but protein shakes. Protein shakes are great post-workout to help rebuild muscle, plus they fill you up which will stop the post-workout snack cravings in their tracks. Protein shakes are convenient, quick, and good for you, which is more than can be said for the leftover Halloween candy sitting there tempting me after my workouts throughout November. The best part? Shakes are customizable, you can add added fiber or plenty fruits and veggies to get everything that you’re missing in one go.
Not on your diet, but on your prep time. When you’re strapped for time, you are more likely to make unhealthy choices. But by buying pre-cut veggies and pre-cooked chicken strips you can make a stir fry in the same amount of time that it takes to get takeout. Stir fries are one of my favorite meals to make when I don’t really feel like cooking because they take almost no time and even less thought – just throw everything together in a wok or large frying pan, add a sauce of your choice, and boom. Dinner is served.
5. Set a timer.
When you work on the computer like I do, it can be easy to get so absorbed in a project that you look up and three hours have gone by. To remind myself to move and stretch I set the alarm on my phone every half hour and when it goes off I save my work, get up, and move. Laps around the island in my new kitchen, squats, or even running up & downstairs are all activities I can do in short bursts of time when the timer goes off. I don’t always want to stop what I’m doing to move but I’m always happier after I have added some movement to my day.
6. Prepare in bulk.
As much as I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, there are some days when I’m just not feeling it. On those days I love to reach into the freezer and pull out a meal I’ve prepared already that just needs to be reheated for dinner to be ready. It doesn’t take any more time to cook 6 chicken breasts than it does 3, so why not cook extra and put it in the freezer for when one of ‘those days’ comes along? That way there’s always something healthy for my family to eat and I can just pretend that I slaved all day over a hot stove to prepare dinner.
Water is your friend and ally in the fight for better health. When you don’t get enough water, your metabolism is sluggish, your skin is duller, and you can get headaches that knock you flat. Keep a water bottle with you all the time and when your timer goes off to move, make sure you drink as well. If you think you’re hungry, take a big drink of water first, sometimes you’re not actually hungry – you’re simply thirsty.
Tip: Make your water more exciting by adding slices fruit or steep your favorite herbal tea.
8. I’ve saved my most popular healthy life hack for last.
There are over a million references to meal planning alone, and with good reason. I love to meal plan. I like knowing what I need to buy when I go grocery shopping and I love knowing what I’m making for dinner that night when I get up in the morning. Meal planning lets me take advantage of sales and helps me prepare nutritious meals for my family by sticking to a budget.