8 Healthy Habits Healthy People Do Every Day

When it comes to living an overall healthy lifestyle, it's not about chugging down the latest juice trend, killing yourself at the gym for 2 hours or meditating to ocean waves in the warm weather breeze.   Living a healthy life is different for everyone and should be based on what works well for you and your lifestyle.  Really think about what makes YOU feel good and try incorporating healthy habits into your life to see if those habits can 1.  stick, 2.  replace a bad habit, and 3. actually make you feel better!

Regardless of your fitness and health goals, try incorporating some of these 8 healthy habits into your life:

1. Drink water like you f**** mean it.

A full water bottle should basically be attached to your body or in your bag at all times!  Staying hydrated keeps your body healthy all the way down to your cellular level and also helps keep you from overeating.  Sometimes, when you drink before you eat something, you might find that you were actually thirsty rather than hungry.  So drink up!

2. Mindful Eating.

This is sometimes easier said than done since we have so many distractions in our lives all the time.  As busy women, the term "mindful" eating is something we all need to do so that we are not distracted by friends talking, cell phones, computers, or any outside noises.  Try to really enjoy what you're eating whether it be a snack, smoothie or meal.  Be in the moment.

3. Take advantage of being outdoors when you can.

You know that expression, "Stop and smell the roses...", well....at least take a walk outside when the weather is nice.  Getting fresh air is so important for your mental health.  It helps to re-energize, bring on a positive mood and just get you moving, especially if you're cooped up in an office all day.

4. Keep it moving.

Getting in a workout before you start your work day is always great, but if you can't schedule it in during a time that works best for you.  Exercise helps to keep you focused, lose weight, tone and make you feel better overall.  If you miss a workout, at least try to walk as much as you can throughout the day, take breaks to get you out of the office chair and do some stretching.

5. Eat your greens.

We've all heard this a million times, but seriously, eat vegetables!  The benefits of eating vegetables are tremendous.  They are filling, low calorie and when prepared well, taste delicious! Throw some in your morning blender with some protein powder or steam, saute and add a few spices to give some extra flavor.

6. Treat yo'self with dark chocolate.

Ummmm, yeahhhhh.  Who doesn't love chocolate?!  Whether you snag a piece in the morning with your coffee or for an after dinner treat, nutritionists are on board with the dark chocolate. Just remember, portion control!  

7. Snoozing and naps.

Get your sleep on!  Not sleeping enough can seriously mess with your power to say no to the donut and completely throw off your hormones, which as you may know, affects your weight. Getting enough sleep on a daily basis is so important to your overall health and your efforts to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

8. I am grateful for....

You don't have to dive into deep meditation to do this (although some people swear by the benefits of meditation), but simply take a moment each day to reflect on what you're thankful for in your life.  Think about all the positive things or people you have in your life and focus on what makes you happy.  Being grateful will keep you grounded and help you to get through the downs of daily routines.

Balancing Cortisol for Weight Loss and Health: How too Much Cortisol can lead to Decreased Health and Increased Belly Fat

Some have called it the “master” of all hormones.  Others curse it for its ability to wreak havoc on our body’s fragile endocrine balance.  In spite of the mixed opinions one thing is certain: cortisol is a powerful hormone necessary for life.  But if its level is not optimal in your body, your health could suffer.

What is Cortisol?

The hormone cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands and is primarily responsible for regulating blood sugar, helping to metabolize fats, protein and carbohydrates and assisting in managing our stress response. We all have times of stress in our lives, and cortisol helps us to function during these times.

When the stress goes up, cortisol kicks in and delivers help.  We get a quick burst of energy, our memory sharpens, our immunity increases, and our sensitivity to pain decreases.  These are all important and natural functions of cortisol and ensure that we are able to weather the curve balls that life throws at us.

However, if the stress doesn’t let up, neither does the cortisol.  Unfortunately, what is healthy in small bursts becomes dangerous over the long term.  If you have persistent stress in your life, then you have cortisol levels that are out of balance:  your body makes so much cortisol that it detrimentally affects your health. This leads to adrenal fatigue.

When you have prolonged, high levels of cortisol in your bloodstream

·       you will crave foods that are high in carbs (like cake and cookies),

·       you will gain weight in your abdominal area (which increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes), and you will have trouble sleeping

Cortisol and the Circadian Rhythm

Our bodies produce different chemicals during the day and night that control our sleep, energy and mood.  The natural rhythm of this cycle is known as the Circadian Rhythm, and cortisol is a key player.

Under normal circumstances, your body produces cortisol in amounts largely determined by the clock.  Levels tend to be higher in morning—triggered by the emerging daylight--giving you a boost of energy to jumpstart your day.

As the day wears on, cortisol levels should drop, helping to prepare you for a good night’s sleep. Likewise, Melatonin (another hormone that affects your energy and sleep habits) levels should be lower in the morning but as the daylight fades, they should increase, helping you to begin relaxing and preparing for sleep. 

However, if you are under constant stress or if your adrenal glands are not functioning properly, your cortisol level may not drop off during the day. Instead, it may actually rise and stay at a dangerously high level.  By the time bedtime rolls around, you will not feel sleepy.  You will feel “tired but wired,” and be unable to relax and fall asleep.

Reset Your Circadian Clock

If you suspect that your natural, circadian rhythm is disrupted, don’t despair.  There are several things you can do to reset your clock so you can start sleeping better at night and waking up more refreshed in the morning.

Try the following tips:

·       Reduce stress.  Easier said than done, I know.  But many times our stress levels are correlated to our response to stressful situations. Learning how to cope with stress more effectively may be all it takes to balance your cortisol.

·       Be consistent.  Going to bed and getting at the same time each day will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Practice this habit to slowly coax your body into a schedule.

·       Use light wisely.  Since your circadian rhythm is partially controlled by light, darken your room well when you go to bed, and flood it with light when it is time to get up.  Try using a full spectrum light in the mornings.

·       Avoid naps.  If your circadian clock is off, you may find that you get very sleepy in the afternoon.  However, taking a nap may make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.  Try to resist naps.

·       Eat most of your calories early.  If you can eat the bulk of your daily calories earlier in the day as opposed to later in the day, you may find that you can recalibrate your circadian rhythms more easily.

Top 5 Breakfast Options When You're On The Go

Mornings can be a challenge for some but your choice for breakfast doesn't have to be!  Check out my top 5 favorite breakfast meals that take less than 5-minutes to prepare in the
morning and will start your day off on the right track....a healthy one!:

1) Eggs (any style) 

Perfect for low carb carb and high carb days. Eggs as your first meal is always our #1 recommendation.  If you are short on time, make some hard boiled eggs the night before so you can easily grab and go!

2) Plain Yogurt (add in your own mix ins)

Yogurt is a deliciously smooth option, just be sure to use plain greek yogurt that is high in protein and low in sugar. Siggi's is my favorite brand. For low carb days, I like adding some honey (for sweetness) and peanut butter or almond butter. For high carb days, I'll add honey and top it with fruit (usually blueberries and strawberries)

3) Protein Shake

Quick and easy. Just be sure to use a good, high quality protein like this one here!

I love adding in frozen fruit like berries or a banana for days that I'm working out and frozen vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower on other days.

4) Healthy Egg Muffin Cups (here's the recipe)

These are super easy to make and can be easily stored in the frig for a great grab and go breakfast option.

5) Overnight Protein Oats (here's the recipe)

This recipe is  a great option for your higher carb days. Plus, you can have them on hand for a few days, packed in glass jars or tubber ware.

 

7 Tips To Set You Up For Success

wellnesswarrior


 Create a motivating space to workout

If you don’t opt for our personal training sessions in Nyack and don’t want to join a gym, our warrior workouts are designed for at home gyms! Clear some space in your favorite corner and make a little sanctuary of your own.  Add candles, inspirational quotes, and anything that will motivate you to get moving.

 Dress to Impress

When you look good, you feel good!  And that goes for your workout clothes too. Buy some new tanks (or shop our warrior wellness ones!) and leggings that will make you feel awesome about yourself!  That extra boost of confidence will make you work harder.  Every time you reach a goal, don’t reward yourself with food, but with fun new workout apparel to add to your collection. 

 Write it down

Studies show that writing down your goals, feelings, daily workouts and food you eat during your new wellness journey can double your success rate! Not only will we be keeping you accountable each day and providing weekly tasks to incorporate into your lives, but having a journal to reflect on how you feel mentally and physically throughout this journey is key.

 Music gets you moving

Music makes the world go round and will definitely get you more motivated to workout.  Create a playlist or pop on your favorite Pandora artist to keep you going.  I’m all about Shakira on the Latin Pop station….because damn girl….your hips don’t lie!

 Schedule in your workouts

Getting up early to workout is a great way to boost your metabolism right from the beginning of your day, but if you’re not an early riser, schedule in your workouts during the day as if they were important business meetings.  This will create the habit of working out either daily or at least 2 to 3 times per week if you’re just starting out.  Make sure you always take the time out of your day to exercise!  It will boost your mood and send you all the good endorphins to make you happy.

 Drink H2O, Always

One of the best things you can do to stay focused and energize is to hydrate! Carry around a water bottle with you wherever you go and make sure you drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  It will also fill you up and curve your appetite between meals and snacks.  

 Clean out your kitchen

Get rid of old, expired things, and make room for healthy, fresh ingredients!  Schedule in your shopping days so that you can fill your kitchen up with whole, unprocessed foods.  Remember to read labels of everything you buy, but stick to choosing lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit and healthy carbohydrates and fats