After setting a few New Year’s resolutions for 2018, have they seemed to fizzle now that February is hitting? Perhaps not, but if so, and you are ready to tackle a new mindset, consider “spring cleaning” your intake, activity, and thought patterns. This doesn’t mean diet, move more, and think less! What I mean is…make a change you’ve never made before. Take a risk, and remember that if what you have been doing worked, you would have reached your goal! As a dietitian, I always like to tell my clients, ‘if dieting worked, we would all be thin’ or ‘continuing to do things on repeat is insanity.’ Here are some tips on how to just simply feel better, live longer, and reduce stress which for me is so much more important than fitting into trends, body image, and filling my personal plate beyond full.
Tips for the Body:
- Eat breakfast each morning. I know there is a fasting movement right – it’s not a good thing! Eat like a king at breakfast. This gets your metabolism started, brain function going, and muscles moving! (Much better than choosing to wait to eat!).
- Drink water each day. Start the morning with a big glass of water. You don’t need to add lemon, or any other “cleansing” product. Just drink water. And all day long. Your body will cleanse your system naturally through the kidneys and liver!
- Eat whole. No, not the whole 30 or natural, or organic, or clean. Just eat real food without eliminating or restricting a food group. Carbohydrates from the Earth (yes, this means whole grains and dairy too!), Fat from the Earth, and Protein from the Earth…did I mention it’s from the Earth?!
- Stay seasonal. As spring approaches, fill your grocery basket with season favorites from the produce department! In Wisconsin right now, watch for horseradish, sprouts, mushrooms, rapini, and salsify….
- Try a new food each day. Something like rapini or salsify! Sometimes giving your body something new can make a huge difference physically and mentally. When we get caught up in routines, nothing will change – remember: nothing changes if nothing changes.
- Cook more. Grill more. I know it gets hard: work, gym, kids, cleaning, cooking, etc. etc. The list goes on, right?! But really, play with food so much more! Food that you create tastes much better!
- Keep your plate colorful. This isn’t a dieting tip…this is truth…have lots of fruits and veggies WITH your protein and carbohydrate foods. Sometimes people tell me how they ate ¾ of a plate of veggies and a 1/8 cup grain/protein. That’s not balanced! Be colorful but smart.
- Have desserts. It’s time to get over this notion that we can’t have sugar. Our bodies function on sugar – that was proven years ago. Those not eating sugar are at a serious disadvantage. Give yourself guilty pleasures and savor every bite.
- Sleep. Too often we try to take on the world, and what goes first? The hours during the night. Remember, we will go crazy without enough sleep and those pesky stress hormones will build.
- Stop over-exercising. I bet you assumed I’d tell you to move more? Nowadays, people are over-exercising. As you age, activity is important, but believe it or not, intensity can lower. Stress hormones will build in your body if you are over doing it. Consult with a professional because most of us are in denial about how much we do!
Tips for the Mind:
- Stop worrying. Easier said than done. But it’s true. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to that worry so much about food, exercise, body, and then everything else in life. Stress hormones are awful – stop worrying so much.
- Stop over–thinking. Often times when people are trying something new or set a goal they can’t really see, they start to seek reassurance from others. Don’t overthink eating – it’s simple…Listen to your body.
- Kick the rules. Letting that negative tape play all day in your brain will run you batty. Stop the rules and controlled eating. Be mindful, be intuitive.
- Love your vesselas it is. I know it’s hard; totally get it. But really, it’s time to get over having fat in your arms, butt, and tummy. So does the rest of the world. It’s not worth the demise of your mind and eventually body.
- Recognize health at every size. Similar to #4…just because you are the weight you are does not mean you are not “healthy.” Many studies have proven that limiting alcohol, eating fruits and veggies, exercising 3x a week, and not smoking create a beautiful environment within the body regardless of weight.
- Be confident. And fake it til you make it! Too many men and women lack confidence. Start to build confidence with one easy change – wear clothes that fit and look good on. If you aren’t sure ask your boldest friend!
- Smile more. I probably have said this in other blogs, but it’s true. Just smile so much more and your mind and body will change. I promise it works.
- Remember how lucky you are. Just turn on the world news and you will get my point.
- Surround yourself with likeminded people. Why do so many people surround themselves with people that make they feel like scum on a shoe? End those chapters and move on. It will be an instant boost.
- Moderation and balance. Still the only two things that work for the mind and body. Have you ever tried it? Many people are afraid of this concept because it’s not a diet or something they can grab onto. Just experiment with me and you will see stark changes.
So there they are. All the tips I created to spring clean your mind and body. I know many of them might be out of the norm, or against what you hear from other bloggers, friends/family, and the media. I promise you from my own experiences battling mind and body struggles and as a professional in the field of food and exercise, this is the way to go. Happy spring cleaning!
Blog author: Annie Weiss, MS RD; ultra-endurance athlete and dietitian living and training in Milwaukee, WI. She is a sponsored athlete/ambassador for Pjur Active, lululemon, Swiftwick Socks, Altra Running, OrangeMud, Fluid Nutrition, SPOT, Bigger Than The Trail, and First Endurance. Follow her training/racing on Twitter & Instagram: ani_weiss and Facebook: Ani Weiss.