I’ve always loved eating out. I have such fond memories devouring meatballs and spaghetti off the children’s menu at east coast diners. As I grew older, my family celebrated honorable report cards, choir concerts, dance recitals and mini-milestones at what I thought were fine-dining establishments: Mandarin Yen or Shakey’s Pizza. Even in high school, after football games, we congregated at Davanni’s, Carbonni’s, Perkins or my all-time favorite, Taco Bell. Whatever happy (often made up) non-traditional holiday we celebrated was at a restaurant. Truth be told, my mom was a fine cook, we just enjoyed the hassle free, family or friend focused meal. My mother also cooked healthy dinners, so dining out included gorging on cheesy pizzas, fried rice dishes and creamy pastas. I know better now that eating out doesn’t mean I have to let go of all inhibitions and start “my diet tomorrow.” While it’s tempting to overdo it, I’ve learned a few tips to keep my diet clean while enjoying a night out for travel, on business or just for fun.
Happy New Year. We’re excited to launch the Pretty Wellness Small Steps 2018 Challenge. Each day, our team will share wellness tips and thoughts to help inspire you to make a few healthy changes this year. As always, our content is aimed to assist you to find ways to add healthy habits to your life easily.
Do you use the New Year as an annual health seminar with yourself? In the past, I would host my own personal white board session, brainstorming all the ways I wanted to better myself in the coming year. These included exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more high-brow literature, analyzing business trade publications weekly and drinking less soda. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. According to Forbes, Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I clearly was in the 92%. So now, after a year of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, powerwalking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 18 simple wellness tips. Hopefully, these will make it easy for you to pick an easily-attainable goal so you can take small steps toward better health and overall wellness.
We all have vices. Mine used to be sugar…and cheese…and diet soda…and creamy alcoholic drinks and the list continued on and on. However, when I first started researching healing and disease prevention modalities, I quit eating ALL this crud and haven’t looked back. I also prioritized fitness or simply being active and played with mindfulness techniques. The one area, call it my vice, that I have not given up has been drinking wine.
I’m a juice junkie and obsessed with green smoothies, but I wasn’t always this way. As a former work-aholic, I spent years consuming energy drinks, cups of caffeine and carb-loaded meals. I thought these would bring me energy. I was right, just the wrong kind. You can feel a BIG difference between an immediate energy spike from a sugar-laden coffee vs. the mind-clearing, sustainable energy that wholesome foods provide. One of the BEST choices I made when I changed my lifestyle was to eat and drink more plants. And when I speak or write about taking small steps toward better health, my recommendation for everyone is to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet, which is easy when you start incorporating homemade juices and smoothies.
When people say that chocolate is healthy, they unfortunately don’t mean the sugar-filled Belgium truffle or bakery fudge bite. The true gold mine of health in regards to chocolate is cacao. Cacao nibs are raw dark chocolate cocoa beans that were dehydrated and crushed without further processing. Filled with tons of antioxidants and magnesium, unsweetened cacao nibs are perfect to add to shakes, smoothie bowls and yogurt parfait. Even though my sweet tooth has lessened now that I eat clean, I still enjoy the sweet taste of cacao. In my quest to find healthy treats, this healthy fudge recipe has easily fooled my dessert-loving friends, and kids think it’s a decadent and sugary snack.