This is a sponsored post- all opinions are honest and my own as always.
I recently read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, and I became completely absorbed while reading the concepts he introduced. I had been constantly setting goals, focusing solely on the outcome. Drink 8 cups of water every day! Well, I usually started out the week nailing it, then failing it by the end. When you change your habits, though, you can better influence the outcome by focusing on daily improvement. Here are some healthier habits you can develop, and some swaps that I have found to increase my chances of success.
I had a habit of running out of steam and shoving things in my mouth just to get enough energy to get through the day. I learned, though, that when I stocked my home with healthier snacks that were ready immediately, I avoided the empty calories that chips, pretzels, and similar snacks contained. I needed protein instead of a bunch of carbs, so found Atkins Almond Butter Bars to keep at my house. I love automating orders of items that work for me so they are always on hand. You can find these on Amazon.com and subscribe.
Unhealthy Stress Management
I will be honest, on occasion, I would pour myself a glass of wine during a stressful time. NOT the best solution, and so many reach for booze when the going gets tough. I have cut way down on my alcohol consumption, and have noticed numerous health benefits. The thing is, when you quit one habit, you need to replace it with another. Chewing gum could be one, breathing techniques could be another. Calmposure is an all-natural and side-effect-free supplement that helps combat stress by blocking stress hormone receptors in the body. It is used just for situational stress and is non-habit forming.
By the time lunch hits, I can get lazy and just snack instead of sitting down for an actual meal. I realized that I was consuming a lot of extra calories this way, and wasn’t getting the nutrients my body needed. I started eating rice bowls every day for lunch, creating a habit of eating the same thing so I didn’t even have to think about it. There is such a thing as decision fatigue, so the fewer decisions you have to make, the less fatigued you get. I boil Success Brown Rice the night before as I am making dinner since I am at the stove anyway, and use it the next day to make lunch. I usually go Mediterranean, adding diced cucumbers, bell peppers, lime juice, feta cheese, and grilled chicken or shrimp leftovers.
Ohhhh. This is a toughie for me. In the mornings, I despise packing my children’s lunches. I got into the habit of waiting until the last minute, then I shoved whatever randomness was available in the pantry into their lunchboxes. This equaled stressful mornings for me, and not very wonderful nutrition for my kids. Finally, I realized that my habits were affecting my kids, and I made a few small tweaks. I figured out exactly what my children liked that was easy and healthy, then set up a subscription-based upon how many lunches/month I packed. In the book Atomic Habits, Clear speaks about automating habits- total game-changer. One brand my kids love is GoGo squeeZ, and they have over 24 flavors. They don’t contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives, so I can feel good about everything they make. From smoothies to puddings to fruit sauces, my kids love them all. I also started packing lunches the night before, and it has made our mornings much less stressful.
My biggest issue with staying hydrated is trying to remember to carry a water bottle with me, and then trying to find a place to fill it up. I have attempted toting along the massive gallon bottle everywhere, but it was completely impractical so that failed. I also tried stashing water bottles everywhere but never filled them back up. Fail. Astrea water bottles filter out contaminants regularly found in tap water, so you are able to fill your bottle at ANY tap. Bathroom sink? Yep. Elementary school drinking fountain? Yep. So instead of carrying around a massive water bottle, or trying to remember to keep all of my regular-sized ones filled, I carry a normal-sized bottle everywhere and fill it…well, anywhere!
I remember my doctor once telling me that it took two years for your body to fully rebuild the healthy bacteria in your gut that is destroyed when you take antibiotics. No clue if that is true, but from what I have found in search is that it does take some time, and probiotics can help the process. I started taking a probiotic daily, and have noticed a definite change in my digestive health. It is tough to know which one to take, though. Genunie Health probiotics are all-natural, science-based supplements, and they come in six different formulas tailored to individual needs. The most difficult thing is to remember to take them! In Atomic Habits, pairing is discussed as a way to adopt a habit. To do this, you pair the desired habit with the one you already do. For example, I keep my probiotics near my coffee maker. When I make coffee in the morning, I take my supplements as I wait for the coffee to brew.
Cheers to making small changes in our habits that can amount to big outcomes!