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Everyday healthy habits I try to do

Do you often feel frazzled and exhausted?

Do you suffer from brain fog?

Are you searching for some ideas for healthy habits to help calm you day?

Why not check out whether these habits help:-

 

everyday healthy habits

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Everyday healthy habits I try to do

I think we all know the importance of habits in our everyday lives.  Habits can effect whether we live healthy, happy lives or lives that are plagued with bad choices.  Some habits are so ingrained, often we don’t even realise we are doing them.   I’ve been working recently on establishing the healthy habits I think help me live a more balanced life.  I will then tackle the bad habits that I probably need to change – that’s a post for another day!

So, here are some of my everyday healthy habits:-

1. On waking

When I’m having my cup of tea in bed (see my school morning routine here) I prepare for the day ahead.  I usually mentally work out my to-do list for the day.  I then prioritise around 3 to 4  items that I know really need to be completed  – anything else that gets done is a bonus.

I also consider who I am likely to interact with during the day and decide how I will handle any discussions/meetings I may have with them.

I try to perceive whether there will be any difficulties with my to-do list and think about how best I can deal with them.  However, I try not to get too bogged down in negative thoughts about what could go wrong.  I prefer to focus mainly on positive outcomes.  My mum always says ” if you use positive problem solving to prepare for the worst – then hopefully it won’t happen!”.

2. Exercise habits

I’ll be perfectly honest and own up to the fact that I’m not good at prioritising exercise into my day.

I do try to find time first thing in the morning to walk the dog.  Dogs are great motivators to get us out!

If like me, you struggle with an exercise routine,  perhaps you could walk to work/school or anywhere on your commute?  The other option is to try and get out for a walk at lunch time.  (You can check out the benefits of walking as exercise here)

As much as possible I try to do a home work out of say Hiit or yoga as well.  I have signed up to regularly classes in the past and whilst these have helped, it’s inevitable that something crops up and I miss the class.  I then get frustrated that I have wasted money.  I suspect I will dip back into this form of exercise, as it does help keep me accountable but it’s difficult when you have kids.



3. Tackling the to-do list

Like most mums, I end up spending much of my time trying to multi task.  Research shows that this  is actually not a very effective use of our brains.

If I spend too long multi tasking, I begin to feel frustrated and anxious.  This is probably because I’m not really completing tasks sufficiently to cross them off my to-do list.

I’ve now started setting a timer on my phone and/or breaking my time down into blocks to allocate to certain tasks.  This really helps me to focus my mind on the job and stop procrastinating.  By the end of the task I usually feel more energised as I’ve actually completed something.  Also my brain doesn’t feel so scattered and confused.

Another tip, is to work out what time of the day you feel at your most energised and focused.  For me it is definitely the mornings when I’m fuelled with coffee! I know some people who love getting up super early (my husband) to get stuff done, whilst others prefer to work into the night (my brother).

4. Try to eat healthy and drink lots of water

I think we are all trying to do this habit, some are just better at it than others!.

I go by the 80:20 rule (eating healthy for 80% of the time, lapsing 20%)  and balance.  I try to eat healthy as much as possible.  To me this means eating lots of fruit and vegetables, trying to avoid overly processed foods and watching my portion sizes.  However, I’m not into banning sugar completely from my life, eliminating food groups or never eating fish and chips.   It’s important to find a healthy eating plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.

I’m also trying really hard to drink more water through the day.  I’ve noticed I have less brain fog when I achieve this habit.

Whilst it’s not technically an everyday habit, I do firmly believe in weekly meal planning.  By looking at my meal plan in the morning, I can take out the necessary meat or items from the freezer required for our evening meal.  Then, I don’t need to think about what we are going to eat until I come to prepare it that night.  This removes a huge amount of stress and extra planning from the day.



5. Do something kind or helpful for others

As a mother and a wife this kind of comes with the job description!  However, I do try to throw in a few other acts of kindness – maybe helping a relative or friend, or complimenting a complete stranger, opening the door for someone and smiling as much as possible!   Apparently, acts of kindness to others helps to improve our own feelings of self worth.

5. Read something!

I’m a huge reading fan.  I usually read for about half an hour before I go to sleep.  I find this really helps to calm my mind.  I also snatch 10 minutes here and there in the day – having my morning cup of tea, waiting for appointments, waiting at school pick up etc.

There’s so much reading material available in the world, that no matter your interests I’m sure you will find something to read about.  Reading helps to relax the brain, spark creativity, teach new skills, inform and explain our life and world.



6. Enjoy moments of complete quiet

This one is especially important to me.  In a house with 4 boys I find I really need little pockets of pure quiet now and again to just recoup and regroup my mind.   It might just be 10 minutes whilst I put the washing on, but just that little escape from all the noise of life really helps to keep my brain calmer.

7.  I always try to find things in my day to be grateful for

For me this is mostly observing things in my environment that cheer me up –  something in nature that I’ve seen on my morning walk, the kids being funny, or the way the sunlight dances on the wall.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not some overly cheerful person.  When it’s cold and pouring with rain or there’s a problem to sort, I really struggle to find anything to be grateful for.  But it’s at these times that we need to focus on something to be grateful for to stop ourselves sliding into negativity.

 

A few other things I would like to do regularly but don’t always manage

Strenuous exercise

I really struggle to find time to fit in a good cardio or weight bearing exercise block.  I know I need to and it makes my body feel good when I do it but committing time to it is always a struggle for me.  It’s something I’m continually working on.

Review my day

I know it would be helpful (in the same way that I prepare for the day ahead) to review the end of my day.  Reflecting on what I have achieved, what’s been good about my day, would probably be a useful habit to implement.  However (I suspect like many of you) I just fall into bed exhausted and forget to complete this habit.

Have a regular bedtime

Wow – that sounds so old and boring doesn’t it!

But, I really do need my regular 7-8 hours of sleep, and science is now proving how important sleep is for all aspects of our lives such as weight loss and mental health.

I usually head to bed between 10-11 pm, have a read for half an hour and then hope to sleep through until the alarm goes off.  It doesn’t always work – why is it that we seem to wake at 4am?

Without proper sleep though I can struggle with my mood, feel lethargic and unproductive and stray from my healthy eating habits.

 

So, that’s it.  These are the everyday habits I try to include into my day.  I’d love to hear any suggestions about the habits you do each day that help you live a healthier life.  Comment below or hop over to my facebook page or Instagram page.

 

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and week ahead.

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up for my Newletter for regularly updates, news and views.

 

 

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This week’s meal plan and why love and rules can keep you healthy

this week's meal plan

 

Hello Everybody,

I hope your January went well.  How are your healthy goals/resolutions going?  You can still join the New Leaf Facebook 52 week healthy motivation camp if you feel you need a bit of free  support to keep you on track.  Every week you get a Monday challenge, weekly recipes and general tips and support in a private group.

Why love and rules can keep you healthy

When my kids were younger, I used to be rather strict with them around sweets.  They weren’t really allowed any until they were over 3 or 4 years and then only chocolate buttons.

As they got older and started school they were allowed more but not whenever they wanted.  I have always had a set day in the week for sweets (and still do, although it has become a little more flexible now they are older).   This rule has given them something to look forward to and sweets are a true treat because they are not an everyday habit.

As you can imagine though, there have been times, especially when they were younger, that tantrums have flared and cries of “it’s not fair – you don’t love me” have erupted when they were not allowed something.  My response to this has always been “it’s because I love you that I don’t want you to get bad teeth from eating too many sweets”.

My response has changed only slightly with my teenagers who think it’s “not fair” that they can’t have bucket loads of doughnuts/coke/pizzas etc.  Now its “because I love you I don’t want you to be ill from eating these foods”.

As adults, we need to apply the same principles to ourselves.  When we tell ourselves we ‘deserve’ that tub of ice-cream, chocolate bar, Dominoes pizza etc,  we need to pause and think.  Would I really let someone I love eat this when I know that over indulgence causes so many health problems?

Yes, it’s fine to have the odd treat – I believe in balance.  A little treat now and then is definitely in order, but it is very easy for treats to become everyday habits.  This is when our health and weight begin to suffer.

So, remember to love yourself but be strict.  Maybe have a set day for treats or a set number of treats per week.

You’re not being mean, unfair or depriving yourself.  You’re actually showing yourself love and respect.

This week’s meal plan:-

  • Pork and vegetable stir fry with rice
  • Italian meatballs and tagliatelle
  • Roast tomato and mozzarella quiche and salad
  • Satay chicken and rice
  • Baked fish fillets, new potatoes and salad
  • Pork steaks, ratatouille and Jacket potatoes

 

Have a super week everyone.

Don’t forget to sign up for the free New Leaf newsletter for healthy tips and ideas direct to your inbox.  Just click HERE

 

Signature from Janine x

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This week’s meal plan and how to make your January health goals work

this week's meal plan

 

Hello Everybody and Happy New Year,

I hope you all enjoyed seeing in 2018 and are feeling refreshed and ready for a wonderful year ahead.

How to make your January healthy goals work

No doubt many of you have made the usual New Year resolutions/goals to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise more.  Did you make the same resolutions last year?  Did you stick to them?

By February, we’ve all usually forgotten or given up.  So what can you do this year to make your goals work better?

To make goals and resolutions work, you need to think differently.

Firstly, be kind to yourself.  Don’t focus on the negatives of your body or life.  Instead focus on what you currently love about yourself, your life or your body (there will be something!).

Then you need to focus on your WHY.

Why do you want to get fit or exercise more?  Don’t follow along with the usual January goals just because society dictates it at this time of year.

Think about what difference you want these resolutions/goals to have on YOUR life.

Do you want to be fitter so that you can chase your children around the garden?

Do you want to be fitter so that you can walk to a local landmark without getting out of breath?

Do you want to be fitter so you can enjoy time with your partner doing the same activities?

Many of the above questions will also apply to weight loss.  Make sure you want to lose weight to make your general health better and not to fit social expectations or  stereotypes of how you should look.

When you’ve established YOUR WHY, write it down and pin it somewhere prominent in your home.  When you’re having a bad day struggling to stick to your new habits, it will remind you why you’re trying to do this.

Next

Focus on ADDING to your life – not taking away.

I know when I did my 30 days without coffee challenge it was so hard taking away my morning treat of a cup of coffee.  When I replaced it with a chai latte, the challenge became much easier. (30 days without coffee challenge)

Instead of telling yourself off for eating too much or eating “bad foods”, think “how can I eat to improve my health – which foods will nourish my body”.

Don’t start by restricting your diet and eating less.  Begin by thinking of ways to add more healthy foods to your diet – more fruit, more vegetables and drink more water.

As you add more healthy foods, they will fill you up and  push out the desires for the less healthy foods.

Cover half your dinner plate with vegetables or salad to make the portions of less healthy foods smaller.

Once you’ve begun to swap over for more healthy foods, then you may need to check your portion sizes.  Sometimes too much of a good thing can still expand your waistline.

If you’re trying to do more exercise – take it one step at a time.  Just put on some gear first.  Once you’ve got your work-out clothes on, you’ll probably feel more inspired to do something.

Then, tell yourself you’re just going to do 10 minutes (it could be brisk walking, skipping, HIIT, anything).  Something, no matter how small is better than nothing.  Again, I think you will be surprised that once you start, you end up doing more than just 10 minutes.

Remember – don’t get caught up in the Perfection excuse.  Making Progress is far better than not bothering because you think you won’t be good enough.

Finally, remember to tell yourself that  your body is your home (or temple!).  Look after it, treat it well – it’s the only one you have.

This week’s meal plan:-

  • Cajun Salmon, parsley butter and salad
  • Spanish Chicken rice dish
  • Chilli con Carne with a vegetable salsa
  • Lamb burgers with peppers and feta and coleslaw salad
  • Moroccan meatballs and rice
  • Quiche and salad
  • Seafood Linguine

I hope you all have a super week.

 

Why not join the free New Leaf ’52 week Healthy Motivation Group’ over on Facebook, and get regular inspiration, tips, advice and recipes to help keep your January goals flowing right through the year.

 

 

Signature from Janine x

 

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