10 [seriously!] little changes

I watch Studio Five. Love it! Love that it has some kind of crafty thing on there every day. Love that they have cute little fashion updates, recipes, relationship advice. So much. Something for everyone. Lot’s of things for me! Darin and Brooke are adorable and hilarious! Friday, this caught my eye. And I thought, hey, I’m doing a lot of this already.

1) Do Five Minutes of Cardio

No excuses! Take five short minutes out of your busy day to rev up your energy and get your metabolism moving in a positive direction. Exercise can be overwhelming, so take it 5 minutes at a time. Seriously. Tell yourself: “I can do this! It’s just 5 minutes!” I won’t lie, this is supposed to get you to want to do more, and 9 times out of 10, it does just that! But if you only end up with 5 minutes of cardio, at least you did better than none. I did five minutes of cardio this morning! I ran around the commons for five whole minutes. Nearly killed me, but I made it! I already feel better about myself and my effort. I thought my knees wouldn’t last for five, but they did. I’m SO proud of my little [very] old knees! Tomorrow I’m going to do it again!

2) Try Salad Cups or Bags

Remember the Salad Shakers? What happened to them? They were actually very practical and need to come back! If you find yourself “too busy” to eat healthy, try throwing some greens, a handful of carrots, and any other veggies you have on hand into a large glass/cup or plastic bag. Drop a little dressing over the top, shake it and go! The cup is great if you have to eat in the car (I’m not a fan of chowing down in the car, but if it’s veggies, go for it!). The bag works great for lunches at work, etc. It literally takes 60 seconds to make a delicious salad that will fill you up for 250 calories verses a 2000-calorie meal from a fast-food drive through. Love this! I love tossing a bunch of veggies into a zip lock with a titch of Italian! Lasts all day long! I take radishes, mini carrots, slices of red and green pepper, sliced cucumber, chunks of cauliflower!

3) Eat at Home

Stopping for a snack at a bakery, drive-through, gas station or restaurant actually takes more time out of your day! If you are commuting, working late, or running kids around, don’t stop! Just keep driving and eat real food at home. If you must stop for gas and a snack, gas up at a grocery store and run in and grab some fruit or nuts — they’re right in front of the store, lower in calories, lower in unhealthy fats, and higher in nutrients than almost anything you can get in a convenience store. So true! [You do realize McDonalds doesn’t have a smidgen of real food, don’t you?]

4) Do 25 Pike Pushups

This is a strength exercise that works your whole body — legs, glutes, arms, and core. If you had to pick just “one” strength exercise to do, this is the one! Simply start in a pushup position, balancing on your toes. Walk your hands in, back (toward your feet), contract your abs super tight and push your hips up into a pike. Hold, then walk your hands out and drop down into a pushup. I can actually do about ten of these. But I can do 40 of the regular pushups! I need to get back to that! Starting today!

5) Eat heart-healthy fats

Don’t eat more fat, just swap the unhealthy fats [butter, margarine, baked goods] with plant-based healthy fats from foods like: almonds, walnuts, salad dressing, olive oil, tuna, avocado, or peanut butter. These healthy fats help fight heart disease, improve blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and can even help people relax, feel full and more satisfied with less food [like eating a big green salad with regular dressing to feel more satiated]. Gotta say, I’ve got this one down, 100%! Love, love, love all the healthy fats!

6) Eat Fruit First!

I swear! This makes so much sense. And it works every single time! If you crave sugar or get the afternoon munchies, eat a piece of fruit before you eat anything else! Give your body a chance to be satiated with the natural sugar found in nutrient-packed fruits. It may not feel like a chocolate bar at first, but after a few days, fruit can calm any sugar/snack craving. After my 21-day cleanse and purification I can sure attest to this! My cravings are gone! What cravings? Hubby cooked two dozen chocolate chip cookies Sunday night and nothing got to me. Not the smell, not the sight. Nothing. I was able to put them into a zip lock for his lunch and walk out of the room. Now that is a near miracle, you’ve got to know it! Snacks make you crave snacks!

7) Look up at Least One Food Item on calorieking.com I love this site!

If you want to eat smarter, you have to start building a data-bank of foods and calories. You don’t have to obsess and track every little thing you eat. Just look up one food item each day. Think about it – after 30 days, you’ll know a little more about 30 new foods. Once you know the nutrient (or lack thereof) value of your favorite foods, you’ll be able to better balance your choices – for the rest of your life. Of course this makes sense. How many times do we just mindlessly eat something, estimating it is only 125 calories and find out later it is 425! Yah, this all depends on self-responsibility! Hello! Educate yourself for better choices. [You do know I’m just talking to myself here, right?]

8) Drink a Glass of Water with Every Meal

Drinking water before you eat promotes a healthy metabolism, helps fill your stomach and helps you drink less of the other yukky stuff that may contain extra sugar, calories or artificial sweeteners. It’s a simple, easy-accessible-anywhere thing that makes a big difference in your health. Yay H2o!

9) Go to Bed “a Little” Bit Hungry

Try to go to bed with a small, but manageable level of hunger. Most of us need to lose a few pounds, and if you want to lose weight, what better time to bring on the pangs of hunger than while you sleep!  Just snooze right through those hunger pangs! Try not to eat after dinner, [cut all foods off at 7:00] then get a good night’s rest, wake up, and eat a healthy breakfast when your metabolism is more likely to utilize fuel more efficiently. I’m starting to be more comfortable with a little edge of hunger going on. Look, nobody’s starving around here! A little hunger is a good thing. It’s when the old body turns to the fat stores and makes a substantial withdrawal. That’s what we’re counting on, right!?!

10) Contract Your Abs While You Drive

This little tip works wonders! Pull your belly button in toward your spin and contract your abs as tight as you can, hold it for 5 seconds, then let it out and exhale for 5 seconds. You’ll strengthen your abs, get more oxygen and have fewer aches and pains. I just did this for 10 minutes while typing! I’m counting on it paying off big time! And, as many miles as I put on my car, I should have abs of steel in about a month! I mean, seriously, I’m right there anyway, sitting in the car, heading down the highway. Might as well do some hard core contractions while I’m at it!

If this seems like too much to do every day, do five. Then add another every day until you get up to all ten. Come on. Do it with me! I could use the company.