“Change causes Crisis, and Crisis causes Change”
Change is hard, it usually always causes some kind of crisis in our lives. Changing our lifestyle to have better health is no exception.
We didn’t get fat and unhealthy overnight, so why do we think we can slim down and get healthy so quickly?
Most of these ideas come from what is put in front of us on Television, the internet, advertising etc.
It’s just not true, and most of it will cost you a lot of money to find that out, or worse yet, more time wasted on your Healthy Lifestyle journey, some might even make your health worse or do other damage to your body.
We are the 120 Day Lifestyle Exchange! So, let’s look at this and help you make some of those exchanges.
First and foremost, go slow! Rome wasn’t built in a day, we didn’t get unhealthy in a day, don’t think you need to change everything in a day!
What happens when we do? We usually feel deprived, and deprivation will lead to failure.
Think about your “Why”. Why do you want to get healthy? Why is it a priority to you? What is something unhealthy that you could give up today and not feel deprived?
Maybe you have your coffee in the morning with 2 sugar? Try cutting that back to 1 for the next week, then maybe a ½ tsp the next week, and black the week after. If you are anything like me (I drink a lot of coffee) and you have 3 cups a day, that exchange could cut your sugar intake down by over 250g of sugar in a week! That’s about a cup of sugar exchanged!
I have never taken sugar in my coffee, but I do like cream. I’ve eliminated a lot of hidden sugar by switching to heavy cream. Yes there is more fats in it and we will get to those dreaded fats in an upcoming post.
Do you grab a quick muffin on the way out the door in the morning? Or maybe buy one with your coffee for the drive to work? Exchange that muffin with a healthier version (homemade) or grab a couple pieces of fruit. They really are natures fast food! You can eat a banana and/or an apple on the go just as easily as a muffin and you won’t have a lap full of crumbs when you get to work.
We now have wonderful, healthy breakfasts. We take the time to make overnight oats, that we put into jars that we can grab and go in the mornings. There are ALL kinds of great recipes for these on Pinterest (just watch that you aren’t putting extra sugar into them! Maple syrup is still sugar) We get up a few minutes (yes only 5-10 minutes earlier) and make a smoothie... If we have time to drink it at home great, if not we put it in a to go cup (reusable of course) and can drink it on our way to work or when we get there.
Snacking throughout the day and evening can be a big pitfall, we don’t even realize how much we eat snacking! Cut up an apple, some carrots and celery, a few rice crackers and hummus and take them with you, or have them easily ready and available at home.
If you are a parent of young kids, or a “grazer” you likely don’t even realize how much you consume. I know how busy it can be and lots of time as a parent, you don’t actually sit down to eat properly, so you take that last bite of little Susie’s grilled cheese sandwich, or you give the kids a cookie for snack and grab one or two yourself to get you through. It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’re starving getting supper started so maybe you have a couple crackers. Those licks, bits, bites and sips add up throughout the day! Sit down, take 5 minutes to eat something nutritious. Have a salad made up and in the fridge, that you can put some into a bowl and eat.
Yes there is some time and effort required to make some of these exchanges. YOU are worth the time and the effort! We got fatter and unhealthier because of our lack of effort and the ease of buying “Fast” prepared food.
Buy a big bag of carrots, celery stalks or whatever you like and can afford. Wash them, peel them if necessary, cut them up and put them in a Ziploc bag or container in the fridge so they are ready to go... Cut up some apples, or oranges put them into a bag (take the air out) and voila they’re ready to eat. It’s melon season right now, cut them up into cubes and snack on them. All kinds of berries are fresh and delicious snacks and currently in season.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be organic. Do what you can afford!
Lots of people have fresh garden vegetables ready right now, most gardeners plant WAY too much for their own use. Do you have a friend or co-worker with a garden? Ask them if they have any extras if they would be willing to share? Or does your neighbor have a raspberry patch? Do they use them all? Ask if you can pick them if they appear to not be using them.
Eat them fresh, or if you get enough, wash them and put them in freezer bags and freeze them for later use.
There are so many exchanges we can make to living a healthier lifestyle, but they aren’t all just food. We need to be healthy in mind, body and soul.
Exchange 10 minutes a day of TV or computer time for meditation, there are some great free apps out there that can lead you through the process until you are ready to do it on your own.
Exchange 30 minutes of TV or screen time 3 times a week (more if you like) and go for a walk, play a game of hoops, swim, anything you enjoy. If you can only do 5-10 minutes to start that is fine, just start somewhere. Think positive, especially about yourself.
If you generally sit and watch TV in the evening or play on the computer and snack? Find something to do with your hands. Get a hobby that keeps your hands busy (not a game controller) knit, play with a soft ball, play solitaire even if you’re by yourself. Cut up your vegetables for the next few days, get a big salad prepared. Snack on those wonderful veggies you just cut up.
Make an exchange today, then make another and another. Before you know it, you will be eating much healthier and feeling much better. Possibly lost weight or inches. You will realize how good you feel, and you won’t want to go back to living the way you were.
Give us a shout, email us or visit our Facebook page, tell us what you exchanged this week and how that is going. Or ask a question if you need help with an exchange that you would like to make and need some ideas. We would love to hear from you.
Follow us on:
Mark & Shelly
Join me on my journey into minimalism and healthy living.