I don't know about you, but I don't know very many people who are completely at peace with how healthy their lives are. Everyone has something they want to tweak or improve upon. However, when you are just getting started on the track to "getting healthy" or making healthy changes in your life, it can be confusing and overwhelming. Trying to figure out what to eat, when to eat it, and how to shop for what you are going to eat can be enough to make even the most savvy shoppers eat ramen for the whole week.
Health means different things to different people - for some, it's the absence of disease, for others it is improved athletic performance or a better quality of life. No matter what health means to you, these simple steps will help to get you started on your journey.
1. Ditch the processed food!
You knew I was going to say that, right? The easiest way to stop eating processed food is to stop buying it. Shop the perimeter of the store and only venture into the center aisles if you have a specific ingredient that you need (and no wandering when you get there)! The foods you buy/eat should have very short or no ingredient list (there's a saying: "real food doesn't have ingredients, it is ingredients.") and you should be able to pronounce everything on the list if it does have one. Side note: a friend of mine was recently surprised to learn that corn tortillas have a very short list of ingredients compared to their flour counterparts - corn, water, lime, salt.
2. Drink more water
Did you see this one coming too? I feel like a broken record sometimes! Unless you are an athlete who is working out for long periods or in extreme conditions, you probably don't need a sports drink to hydrate you. Sugary sports drinks are often just marketers trying to make you think you need something other than water to hydrate you. For the average person, water is just fine. You should aim for about half your body weight in ounces for water volume, but the best guide is your thirst - if you're thirsty, drink more. Even if you are an athlete, you don't always need sugary sports drinks (endurance athletes might, they need calories from their hydration), adding some salt to your water is often enough, and you can gauge how much you need based on what your taste buds tell you (if it tastes salty it's too much salt - try it!). There are also options to make your own sports drinks without the gross chemicals and processed ingredients.
3. Get more sleep
Most of us would actually be healthier if this is the only thing we changed about ourselves. Sleep is SO IMPORTANT! Aim for at least 8 hours, set a bedtime alarm, and stick to the plan! I'm one of those people that absolutely can't function if I don't get enough sleep, so I rarely have trouble making myself go to bed. However, I know not everyone is like that. Rather than spending those extra 15 minutes aimlessly scrolling on Facebook, put your phone down and go to sleep!
Remember this is about making your health and wellness a priority. Take these three steps towards being the best YOU possible!