Last week at a group presentation, one of the attendees commented I was only suggesting foods and habits to quit. He asked, “wouldn’t there be a benefit to making a healthy addition?” I took a paused… and replied “brilliant!”
This group often frequented a local sandwich shop for a convenient lunch, but typically ate burgers, fried chicken or other fried foods – including very few vegetables. His idea was to eat a serving of vegetables, perhaps a salad, baby carrots or steamed broccoli before going out for lunch. So clever!
By making a healthy choice your mind will then be more likely to want to make more healthy choices.
This idea of adding a healthy habit reminds me of the Keystone habits, which include behaviors that lead to more good habits. For example, when someone makes sure to get 8 hours of sleep they are more likely to make time for exercise, be more productive and consume less junk food. By getting sufficient sleep, it causes a cascade effect of other healthy decisions for rest of the day.
Sometimes our minds operate on a reward system. Occasionally, when we exercise or drink a calorie-free beverage we decide we can splurge and eat or drink whatever because we’ve earned it.
Ideas for healthy additions:
1.Add some avo – Did you know ounce-for-ounce an avocado has more potassium than a banana? And an avocado has healthy monounsaturated fatty acids – these are good for the heart. Not to mention, they are very satisfying and fiberful (that’s a new word, I just made up) to keep us satiated longer. Why not add 1/2 of an avocado to your salad, sandwich or leftovers from the night before?
2. Do a smoothie – If you’ve been considering blending up a fruit and veggie smoothie in the morning now is the perfect time to start! Fresh produce is prolific at the farmers market and grocery stores right now.
3. Add 20 minutes of activity – We all have 20 minutes. Maybe it’s 20 minutes you’re looking at Pinterest or Facebook, maybe it’s 20 minutes of a TV show or playing a video game. Consider taking a short walk around the block when you get home from work before settling in for the evening. Or using 20 minutes of the lunch hour to do yoga or a short workout video – such as the Ultimate Fat Burn Workout w/ Denise Austin!
4. Incorporate meditation – Taking time each day – maybe 10-15 minutes to sit and be in the moment. You can find a mantra to repeat, watch the breath or observe the thoughts coming and going as if they are clouds overhead. Or spend time with the poem included in Today is the day!
Food for thought:
Sometimes being healthy feels like we have to deprive ourselves. By looking at it as an opportunity to add to or enhance your current lifestyle you can have the same results with a more positive outlook.
What’s your healthy addition this week?