Start the year off by choosing to improve your health as one of your goals. When you focus on being mentally strong, physically active, and consuming nutritious foods, you’ve created a can’t-lose lineup. A strong mind, body, and soul is a powerful combination equipping you for anything coming your way personally and professionally. This is an amazing gift to give yourself for this year…and you deserve it.
Chances are you have developed a few bad habits you’d rather release and replace but you may not be sure how to get started. It takes mindful awareness to stop a habit from taking over on a mental, emotional, or physical level. It may even take talking with a coach or counselor to break the bad habits which have been holding you in place like quicksand. The key is to surround yourself with supportive people who can aid you in keeping your eyes on the goal and will be encouraging you along this journey.
These are lifestyle changes by choice and intention. You may think breaking an unhealthy habit is difficult but it is actually simple when you’re using repetition to keep you on track.
Attitude Adjustment Time
Being mindful with your eating and nutrition in-take makes eating healthy easier to accomplish. Consider this: how frequently do you eat while doing something else? It could be eating while working on the computer when you take a working lunch or snacking while surfing the Internet. Both are common examples of multi-tasking which leads to less than optimal health. Another example is watching television after dinner until bedtime which allows for quite a few hours of mindless snacking. Yes, hours! The mindlessness comes when you’re in the zone of paying no attention to what’s happening. Your focus is on everything else instead of what you’re tasting, smelling, or experiencing for the food you’re consuming. If these examples describe you it’s time for a mindful attitude adjustment.
Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment. Mindfulness is practiced across all aspects of your being—mind, body, and soul as you move through your day. Applying mindfulness to your eating is showing kindness to yourself and not beating yourself up when, not if because it will happen, you have a lapse. There will be times when you shovel food into your mouth without much thought to what it tastes like or which ingredients make up the taste on your tongue. Recognizing this ahead of time allows you to prepare and shrug off any lapse so you can get back on track and keep going.
Too often the sedentary lifestyle has crept into your day-to-day and the fix is movement. Sunshine, fresh air, and being outside even 15 minutes daily can make a positive impact on your well-being. A simple shift from using the elevator to taking the stairs adds more movement. When running errands on the weekend park your vehicle a few spaces away from the door to build in extra steps. Instead of sitting during a phone call, stand. Perhaps even step in place while you talk or use your computer from a standing desk. Think ahead to what you pack for lunch and consider choosing a food which is portable so you can take a walking lunch break. There are numerous ways to add movement to your day so challenge yourself to be creative and try varying things.
Sure, you can get a gym membership or go running but to start, keep it simple. Any of these move actions mentioned can be a starting point to build upon. Then choose your favorites, commit, and keep them going.
Being a Good Food Detective
There are numerous words being tossed around the foods we eat such as healthy, organic, natural, vegan, and plant-based but what does it actually mean? According to Plant Pure Nation, eating a 100% whole foods plant-based diet is defined as consuming foods derived from plants including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits while avoiding processed foods. Eating a vegan diet rejects eating animal products like eggs, dairy and fish (in service of ethical rights and sustaining the environment) and processed foods—including oil, white flour, and refined sugar. Someone living a plant-based lifestyle makes this decision for their health—to prevent chronic illness and disease or reverse chronic illness and disease. And my own motivation for change was for my improved wellness.
Follow these five steps towards mindful eating:
- Pause to read the food labels.
- Seek foods as close to natural as possible with the least amount of preservatives.
- Be aware of nutritionally enhanced foods. Look for the foods that are minimally processed.
- Choose fresh and shop in season for fruits and vegetables.
- Surround yourself with other like-minded people who will support you in your food choices.
Here’s to finding new balance in your day-to-day activities and knowing the good choices you’re making will serve you—mind, body, and soul.
About Diane Randall
Diane Randall, MA, CHC is a Whole Living Consultant, author, podcast show host, college instructor, and professional speaker. Her book, Jumpstart Your Life: Find Your Motivation and Change Your Life One Step at a Time, teaches how to take discomfort and reshape it into something transformative and is available on Amazon. Diane is energized, committed, and passionate about leading wellness conversations around life balance, self-care, plant-based nutrition, and whole life wellness. Her joy is when men and women adapt health and wellness methods that reduce stress and bring harmonious balance to their lives. She excels at equipping high-level professionals with workable wellness advice and strategies to fit their demanding lifestyles. For more information visit her website at www.DianeRandallConsults.com.