Change starts from within. This saying is by no means unheard of — many, however, fail to enact the positive life changes needed to reach their health goals. This quick guide is designed to help Haka Life Warriors like you take control of their diet and their health, once and for all.
Overhaul your grocery shopping list
Eating healthier starts with what you have to choose from. If you open the refrigerator or the cupboard to heavily-processed, high-salt foods and a minimal amount of fresh veggies and fruits, it goes without saying that the meal which results isn’t going to be a healthy one.
While grocery shopping, do your best to stick to the perimeter of the store. By this, we mean minimizing what you purchase from the middle aisles. This will help to keep you away from the salted snacks, canned goods, and frozen meals that often get in the way of fresh, home-cooked options.
When writing your grocery list, start first with what you want to grab from these departments:
- Produce. Of course, the more fresh fruits and veggies you’re eating, the better.
- Deli and meat market. Buying fresh, never-frozen options from the deli, cheese, and meat departments makes it easier to incorporate meals heavy on what you’ve also purchased from the produce department.
Here are a few more quick tips to keep you eating healthier throughout the day.
Eating more fiber in the morning helps you stay full until at least lunchtime. Yogurts, egg sandwiches, veggies, and cereals like FiberOne and Raison Bran contain more fiber than many other breakfast options.
During the day, healthy snacks — such as carrots and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, and non-buttered popcorn — help you remain full without having to settle for quick, fried options or the office vending machine. Packing lunch for work is rather commonplace across a variety of industries, but bringing your own snacks from home is an added hack to avoid unnecessary temptations.
Avoid eating your heaviest meal of the day at dinner time. While dinner is an important meal, it is important that your body has time to settle and digest before you go to sleep. Eating at least three hours before bedtime can help prevent heartburn and insomnia, according to Very Well Health.
Always keep greens and your favorite salad dressing handy
Last month, we broke down the science of why you should eat 500 calories of vegetables each day (article here). Here’s a little hack we like to use to keep that habit going when the temptation to splurge is just too much: whip up a quick salad of greens and veggies.
Now, you’re thinking, “Eating a salad doesn’t get rid of the craving for junk food!”
That’s correct. But it CAN cut back on the amount of junk food you eat. Try adding the salad on the side, or tossing salty snacks into the salad. Here’s a scenario: You get home from work late. The last thing you feel like doing is prepping and cooking a meal, and so, even though you had planned on having a healthy and light dinner, you end up opening the freezer and tossing some taquitos or chicken nuggets in the microwave or toaster oven.
Spoiler alert: You’re still on track! The meal hasn’t gone completely sideways on you yet.
While the greasy stuff is heating up, you grab some spring mix along with a carrot, tomato, and whatever else you have in the crisper drawer of your fridge. You slice up the veggies and toss them in some miso dressing. Once the chicken nuggets are ready, you cut them in half and mix them right in with the salad.
Not only are you getting your greens, but it also only takes half the amount of nuggets to fill you up than if you’d only opened the fridge to grab your favorite dipping sauce. And, your taste buds get the salty satisfaction they craved. This is the Hake Life way — a true warrior has the ability to improvise and compromise with themself without completely giving in.
Avoid anything that seems too refined
Refined bread is not healthy. Plain and simple. By sticking to whole grains, you avoid the rapid blood sugar spikes that come with refined carbohydrates. Because your body breaks these carbs down so quickly, it’s as though your body doesn’t have time to properly prepare for their ingestion and circulation.
The same is true of refined sugars. Your body breaks them down very quickly, often spiking blood sugar and insulin to unhealthy levels.
Enjoy the scenic route
Here, we’re not just talking about pausing to gaze at the birds and the trees (although that is highly encouraged, too). One of the key elements of the Haka Life Warrior way is this: go for a walk.
Going for regular walks helps you maintain weight, for one thing. It can also help your body manage blood pressure levels and can lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Not to mention, that being outside in does wonder for your mood and can even help to reduce stress.
Add an Omega-3 supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health and wellbeing. And because the human body cannot produce them itself, we must get omega-3s from outside places like fish and olive oil. The thing is, many of us don’t eat enough omega-3 rich foods, and as a result, can suffer from increased joint pain and inflammation, as well as reduced cognitive performance and cardiovascular health.
An omega-3 supplement such as GLX3 can ensure you get the proper amounts of omega-3s each day. Proper omega-3 levels can also help you keep anxiety under control, an important issue to address in a modern society ripe with 24-hour news cycles and social media-induced stress.
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