Eating healthy: the number one thing on everyone’s to do list and perhaps the last thing to actually get checked off. As someone who has struggled with their body image, creating a healthier lifestyle for myself has always been in the front of mind. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I started making small changes here and there and began to notice a difference in how I felt about myself and how I looked. Here are my tried and true hacks for living a healthier lifestyle.
*I would like to preface this post by saying that I am not a nutritionist, doctor or physical trainer. I am sharing simple switches that I have made in my life and found successful. Also, this post contains affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small commission if you click on any affiliate link.*
Make as Much as You Can
Perservatives, artificial sweeteners and coloring agents, MSG, you know, the bad stuff. Those ingredients and plenty of other harmful ones are in many of the pre-made, convenience foods that are available at grocery stores, especially in the freezer section. Some of these items have a low amount of calories, but they contain many harmful ingredients (i.e. diet sodas). Since the side effects of long-term consumption of these ingredients is relatively unknown, I try to make as much of these items at home. By making them at home, I am able to control what goes in them and alter them for my own personal tastes. Some of my favorite things to make at home are: salsa, pizza dough and breadsticks. Over time, you’ll also see that your wallet will be thanking you.
Skip the Soda With Your Alcohol
Alcohol isn’t exactly good for you, although I have read some interesting studies about potential benefits. That being said, if you’re going to drink alcohol and mix it with something, skip the flavored alcohols, soda and pre-made mixes. All of those items have incredible amounts of sugar in them and are making your mildly unhealthy beverage into a cesspool of sugar. If you’re not a fan of alcohol on the rocks, try mixing your booze with a carbonated water like La Croix or a fruit juice that you squeeze yourself. I started a new series in which I share my favorite 3-ingredient drinks – check out my recipe for a traditional daiquiri for inspiration.
Walk, Don’t Drive
I walk everywhere possible. I’m lucky in that I live in a college town where it is easy to do so. That being said, if you live in any area that is less pedestrian friendly, there are ways to amp up your physical activity. Take a lap around the grocery store (or any store for that matter) before you actually start shopping. Park your car in the spot farthest away from the building entrance. And, of course, take the stairs over an escalator or elevator when possible. Even doing a thorough job when completing housework can serve as mild physical activity on those busy week nights.
Drink Out of a Straw
Once a week, my mom tells me just how hard it is to drink water. I used to be the same way until I got a water bottle that had a straw. It seems silly and like it shouldn’t create a huge difference, but trust me, it does. At least once a day when I’m scrolling through Twitter or Facebook on my computer, I’m resting my chin on my water bottle with the straw in my mouth. Yes, it’s weird, I understand that, but I fill up my giant water bottle at least three times every day. If you need something with flavor, I love adding slices of lime or strawberry to my water. Makes it go down a little easier some days. I have a water bottle similar to this one, but nowadays every brand is making them!