5 Nutritious Habits that Support a Healthy, Happy Lifestyle
Back to basics! here are 5 habits that I keep in mind every day to keep a healthy happy lifestyle!
1. Continuous water intake
Your top priority when moving towards a healthy lifestyle should be achieving optimal hydration levels. It is not just about getting a few glasses in a day – you should be focusing on having around 500ml every hour or two, consistently throughout the day. Cutting out other forms of high caloric fluids will come more naturally when you begin to focus on proper hydration. Here are a few benefits that occur when you start hydrating appropriately:
Increased energy and fatigue relief
Promotes weight loss
Flushes out toxins
Improves immune system
Helps to maintain regularity
Tip: keep a glass or bottle of water by your bed – as soon as you wake up have a glass or two!
2. Count colours – not calories!
Stick to consuming as many natural foods as possible. We have been nourishing ourselves with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, whole grains and meats for thousands of years. Not all calories are equal – body prefers to breakdown what it knows. Building your plate with greens, reds and yellows will support a nutrient dense meal that will fuel the body better for workouts, muscle recovery and promote weight loss. When you begin to consume foods without labels there is no reason to count calories!
Tip: support local grocery stores and farmers markets for the freshest produce! I choose local over organic every time.
3. Get enough protein
At one time/meal your body can absorb and use 30g protein for muscle growth. Anything more is simple extra calories. If you are looking to increase muscle aim to 30g protein at each meal and in between snacks. If you are looking to maintain consuming around 20g-25g protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner will support healthy lean tissue! Remember that protein is not only found in animal products. Beans, lentils, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds all contain good amounts of protein.
Tip: 4oz animal meat is 30g protein! Be mindful the next time you are at a steakhouse – keep the extra ounces for leftovers!
4. Careful with the type of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are needed abundantly – however the type of carbohydrates you consume and the timing of consumption is detrimental to the outcome of your overall health. Stick to the complex carbohydrates:
Starchy vegetables (sweet potato, parsnips, corn, potato)
Beans and lentils
Ideally the timing of carbohydrates will be mostly around training and activity. The body uses the energy from carbs (glycogen) when engaging in activity. Sticking to low carb intake during times of inactivity will support weight loss or maintenance and improve energy levels.
Tip: avoid simple carbohydrates and sugars as much as possible – I like to refer to them at dead foods as they do not provide much nutritional value at all!
5. Healthy fats are your friends
You need a healthy consumption of fat every day to maintain cell structure and the overall health of your body. Healthy fats will help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, preventing over eating and may help reduce cravings supporting weight loss and healthy weight maintenance! Here are the types of fats you should always be consuming:
Fruit oils (olive, avocado, coconut, grapeseed)
Nuts and Seeds
Tip: If and when consuming dairy stick to the full fat options. When you take away the fat, you take away a lot of flavour that is most likely replaced with sugars and chemicals. Stay away from the trans fats – they have been found to be the main cause of blocked arteries.
**Focus on the consistency of your health choices not perfection**