Well, it's officially WINTER in New England. 2016 has greeted us with a bitter cold hug. Regardless, the new year is a time for new goals, fresh starts, re-found ambition and (usually) a desire to be the best version of yourself! I love Rhode Island - all the bike paths, local parks (Colt State is my FAVE.) and scenic routes that make staying healthy fun and beautiful. Sadly, one step outside in this weather and the decision to 'get up and get out' quickly flies out the window. I mean, isn't it easier to stay inside and cozy up on the couch with a comfy quilt and a mug of peppermint hot cocoa or apple cinnamon tea? Being healthy isn't always easy... but if health and happiness are important to you, then look no further:
My Top 5 Tips To Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet:
- Ditch the diet. A truly healthy diet is a balanced diet. I stress that a LOT on my blog. I know from experience that extremes DO NOT work. Nope, the key to lasting success is sustainability. Forget low-carb diets, fat-free plans, processed shakes, and restrictive regimens. Instead, choose balance. Make realistic goals and focus more on eating whole, nourishing foods, just like nature intended! Some of my favorite superfoods this time of year? Sweet and juicy pomegranate seeds, crunchy carrots, and satisfying spaghetti squash.
- Stock up on healthy foods. To quote Errick McAdams, "If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food." And, according to Benjamin Franklin, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Preparation is essential to a healthy life, so be sure you have options available. Think about it, you come home from work exhausted and the last thing you want to do is cook... so what do you do? Order takeout. No no no! Stay ahead of yourself and load up on the basics. Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up a large part of your diet. Of course, I love Whole Foods, but that can get pricey pretty quick. For some more economical choices, I head to Trader Joe's and Aldi's on Bald Hill Road (both in Warwick). You would not believe the deals they offer on fresh produce at Aldi's!
- Eat breakfast. Mom was right, breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. A balanced brekkie starts your day on a healthy, nourishing note. Make sure to include some filling protein, healthy carbs and satiating healthy fat. And don't forget some fresh fruit! My fave AM meals? A slice of gluten free toast with peanut butter topped with fresh fruit like bananas, kiwi or blackberries. Or warm, wonderful oatmeal with crisp apples, raisins, and cinnamon. How about a protein-packed egg with fresh spinach and mushrooms? Quick, easy, and oh-so-satisfying!
- Be active. Okay, we've already established that we may not want to go out for a walk or a run (my usual form of activity), but that doesn't mean we can't stay fit! There are some awesome local gyms here in R.I. Think 426 Fitness in Warren, Planet Fitness in Warwick, or Boston Sports Club and Synrgy in Providence. And if the gym isn't your thing, there are plenty of cute local yoga and Pilates studios to try. Be sure to check Groupon for some great deals! Or, if you're feeling a little 'young at heart' check out LAUNCH on Bald Hill Road (literally, it's just a bunch of trampolines--one of my fave ways to stay fit AND have tons of fun!)
- Treat yourself. Life's about balance... and who can say "no" to chocolate?! Don't forget to balance your healthy lifestyle with a bit of tasty enjoyment. Remember, this isn't about extremes. You can satisfy your sweet tooth in a totally healthy way. Check out my recipes for healthy cookies, single serving mug cake and coconut banana cocoa treats! A healthy life is a happy one and a happy life includes chocolate... and coffee... and brunch... and dinner out with friends! Looking for some sweet treats but sticking to a vegan or gluten free diet... checkout Wildflour Cafe and Bakery in Pawtucket (Their chocolate cake is AMAZING)!!
These are my Top 5 Tips to Staying Healthy in Rhode Island. What about you? How do YOU plan to make this your healthiest year yet? Be sure to check out my blog Hello Healthy Eating and follow me on Instagram.
Photo Credits: All photos are courtesy of Cailee August and Hello Healthy Eating.