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, creating resolutions and 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 seven years of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, power-walking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 21 simple wellness tips to jump start your 2021 New Year and beyond.
Do you notice your clothes tighter during the holiday season? While statistics show that people gain on average less than two-pounds, the psychological toll of the stress and chaos of the season can cause us to overeat and feel blah. Making simple healthy substitutions to your holiday traditions can improve how you feel, both mind and body, throughout the season and beyond. So, enjoy the festivities whether they are at home or not…and try out our 20 healthy holiday substitutions that can easily fit into your busy life.
Can you imagine eliminating your morning “pretty coffee” filled with sugar and creamed toppings? What about cheese, desserts or fried everything? So many times people tell me they can’t stop their favorite foods, so they don’t even think about committing to a newish lifestyle. I get it. That was me. I obsessed over cheese plates, craved creamy frostings and longed for bulky pastas. I had been drinking tons of diet soda for almost two decades, so only remembered life being bloated. But that all changed when I started eating clean. And trust me, you can take small steps and get there, too.
I love to be loved. I enjoy the positive attention, outpouring of notes and thoughtful acts of kindness dedicated to me especially on my birthday. In my 20’s, I started a new tradition: I’d be calorie conscious most days of the year, but my birthday marked the one day to eat gluttonously without guilt. Now that I’m super focused on overall wellness, I’d rather not go that route, so I’ve found substitutions. Since I’m a sweet tooth, here are my five new favorite go-to-dessert-like treats. Syrups, agave, coconut sugar, honey, stevia, white flours and all the other various sugar words are still a “sometimes food,” as we say in our house.
Figuring out a new-normal isn’t easy. Like any new habit, it takes time and small steps to make progress in every area of life – even the pantry. After my stage IV cancer diagnosis, life never returned to the way it was…however, I figured out my new normal and have embraced it living a great quality of life. As a recovering junk-a-holic, my pantry used to be filled with meals like Chef-Boy-R-Dee ravioli, ramen noodles and high-sodium canned chili. The past six years I’ve maintained a plant-based diet focusing mainly on fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. So, the past few weeks living in quarantine with less access to fresh foods challenged me to find new healthy pantry items that could keep me full and healthy. Here is what’s in my pantry now and read below about how you can access your own free healthy pantry checklist.
My favorite fruit and veggies as a kid were green apple Jolly Ranchers and the infamous steakhouse bloomin’ (fried) onion. As I grew older, I walked away from candy and fried foods, thinking I was eating healthy with my bag of Baked Lays and fruit infused frozen yogurts. It wasn’t until my wake up call with stage IV disease that everything in my diet changed. Truth be told, it wasn’t just my diet that shifted, it was my mindset about the food we eat and how nutrient dense food was important for my survival.