The sun is shining; bulbs are blooming, and spring is finally in the air! Before you know it, the unofficial start to summer will be here, and you’ll want to look -- and, more importantly, feel -- your best as you soak up the sun, err, Vitamin D.
Lucky for us, Global Health and Fitness Month just happens to fall in the month we all want to get a little bit healthier (or, maybe even slimmer) before strutting our stuff on white sandy beaches Memorial Day Weekend. (Can you feel the sunshine, yet?!)
To get ready for outdoor festivals, bikinis and #RoséEveryDay. Here are 50 ways you can adopt a healthier lifestyle today:
1. Replace refined, white carbs for complex carbohydrates -- aka, whole grains.
2. Drink more water, plain water -- not Vitamin Water, not maple water, not artichoke water, not water mixed with juice.
3. Replace one snack daily with fruit or vegetables.
4. Cut your portions down by one quarter.
5. Eat something (Dare I say, anything?) before lunch.
7. Choose tomato sauce and ketchup without added sugar.
8. Eat whole foods instead of liquids. An orange provides more nutrients than orange juice.
9. Try Spiralizing one night per week.
10. Or, just try cooking one more night each week.
11. Pack your lunch when you prepare dinner.
12. Keep a water bottle on your desk as a reminder to sip -- and, within an arm's reach.
13. Enjoy your cup of coffee if you drink it.
14. Try reducing or even eliminating the amount of sugar you add to your morning cup o’ joe, especially if you use artificial sweeteners.
15. Begin to reduce the amount of diet soda you consume.
16. Use a smaller plate, snacking dish and glass.
17. Try going meat-free one day per week.
18. Choose wild fish over farm-raised.
19. Rinse any canned beans or vegetables you use.
20. Try unsalted nuts and seeds over salted varieties.
21. Use measuring cups one day this week to see how much you are eating.
22. Replace butter with olive oil when cooking and use those measuring spoons.
23. Make your own salad dressing.
24. Bake your favorite fried food. Sweet potatoes never tasted so good.
25. Add a side salad to every meal you eat out, and ask for the dressing on the side. But, always eat the dressing.
26. Always have something to take home when dining outside of your home.
27. Lay out your exercise clothes the night before.
28. Soothe your soul and body with hot water and lemon first thing in the morning and at the end of a meal. Or, try tea.
29. Swap dark chocolate for milk.
30. Take Fido for an evening stroll.
31. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to do some sun salutations before hopping in the shower.
32. Use protein-packed quinoa instead of brown rice to accompany your stir fry tonight.
33. Pack your exercise clothes in your work bag or car.
34. Use fresh fruit instead of jam on your PB&J tomorrow morning.
35. Fill the candy dish on your desk with paperclips instead of candy.
36. Or, just move the candy dish inside a desk drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.
37. Eat on a plate that color contrasts with your food (i.e. spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce on a blue plate).
38. Clear your kitchen counter from food, except for produce.
39. Replace the salt in your salt shaker with a no-salt spice blend.
40. Put down your fork in-between bites.
41. Serve food from the stove, not the table.
42. Avoid multitasking while eating.
43. Use opaque storage containers for snacks.
44. When snacking, leave all wrappers visible until snacking is complete. This includes nut shells, edamame pods and candy wrappers.
45. Use commercials as a time to get in some extra strength training: push ups, crunches, squats and planks should consume your commercial time.
46. Only keep one can/bottle of a beverage other than water or milk in the fridge at a time.
47. Start each meal with a glass of water.
49. Get in a bedtime routine. Slowly start moving your bedtime earlier, so you reach eight full hours of shut-eye.
50. Divide your snacks into 100-calorie packs as soon as you get home from the supermarket.
Note: Portions of this article were originally published on http://CitNutritionally.com.