If you’re anything like us, you are reeling from the holiday season and longing for laid-back summer days! Between work, errands, carpools, getting the kids ready for school, cooking dinner, going to holiday parties and hosting them, and more (ahh!), life can definitely feel a bit jam-packed. With all of these to dos, healthy habits can begin to fall by the wayside in favor of convenience–fast food can replace home cooked meals and exercise often makes way for the television. As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we use several tactics to help our clients (and ourselves!) stay on track.
Follow these tips to keep your life simple and healthy:
Drink up: People often mistake thirst for hunger, prompting them to overeat. Keep seltzer, iced green tea or water with lime in the fridge. The next time you want a nosh between meals, drink a glass first and see what happens.
Sneak in exercise: If it feels like too much of a task to get to the gym each day, sneak in exercise wherever you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or push your kids on the swings for an arm workout. Even if you walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, it counts. Just get moving! We always say—“Walk out your front door for 10 minutes and then come back home—right there you just got 20 minutes of activity!” (Just bundle yourself up, but the cool fresh air feels nice!)
Simplify, simplify, simplify: Mornings tend to be hectic, so we get excited when we can eliminate something from our routine. We often run out the door and then realize we forgot our vitamins and have to race back in to get them. That’s why we love Vitamints. They’re a vitamin and mint in one that can be taken anytime, anywhere even without food or water; it’s easy to just pop them in your bag or car and go. We like the Immune, Energy and Multi for Women varieties. www.Vitamints.com.
Bite into some energy: You might be tempted by a sugary candy bar from the office vending machine to perk you up, but a healthy, balanced snack will keep you on your toes much longer. Make sure your snack has a quality, high-fiber carbohydrate, like fresh fruit, oatmeal or whole-grain crispbread, for long lasting energy and a lean protein, such as a hardboiled egg or Greek yogurt, to help you feel satisfied. The two will work together to keep your energy up and your desire to visit the snack machine down.
Prep your breakfast at night: If it seems all too often that you hurry out the door without breakfast, simply prep it at night. Measure your cereal into a bowl so you can just add milk in the morning, or prepare your oatmeal in the evening so all you have to do is heat it up in the morning. Time savers like these can actually help prevent you from gaining weight; by not skipping breakfast you won’t overeat later in the day when you’re feeling ravenous. Hello Skinny Jeans!
Try one of our favorite breakfasts—we prep it the night before:
Makes 1 serving
- 4 Tablespoons whole grain oats (For a heartier meal, double the oats to ½ cup)
- Several tablespoons skim milk
- Several berries or ½ small apple, chopped, or orange, sectioned and sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried cranberries or raisins
- 6 ounces non-fat plain or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 4 slivered almonds
- Dash cinnamon—or more if you like!
At night, put the oats in a bowl and cover with just enough milk to soak the oats. Place almonds, raisins and chopped fruit in a separate bowl. (If you are using an apple, you may want to squeeze lemon over it to prevent it from browning. We like to grate the apple rather than chop it so its’ sweetness gets spread through every bite.)
In the morning: Dump the bowl of fruit into the oats and stir in the yogurt and cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
Sleep tight: Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism down and negatively affects your immune system. When you’re busy that’s the last thing you need. Set yourself a bedtime that’s eight hours before you have to wake up and start getting ready for bed 30 minutes prior to that. The last step is tough, but don’t bring your phone or computer to bed with you. Instead, pick up a book to help you relax and drift off to sleep.
The Nutrition Twins work with Vitamints to help people to stay healthy and get their nutrients even when they are busy.