January 24, 2017 Living Well 7 Easy Healthy Changes You Can Totally Make This Year Disclosure: I’m a sponsored Align Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure. Every January I get a serious jolt of motivation to make healthier decisions, but this year it started even earlier. Maybe it’s the realization that I turn 30 (what??!?!) this year that really kick started it, but this year’s healthy changes have lasted longer than any of my previous resolutions and I think I know why. Instead of making hard resolutions this year, like “workout 3x a week, don’t drink wine during the week or meditate everyday”, I made broad goals that give me flexibility and don’t leave me feeling like I’ve failed when I don’t get it just right. One of my goals was nourish, and to me that meant nourishing my body with healthy, nutrient-rich foods and getting plenty of rest to lead me to a more balanced and overall healthier everyday life. If your resolution or goal this year is to get healthy, good for you! It’s a wonderful goal, but it’s a broad one, and it can be tough to know where to start. So, here are a few simple healthy changes that you can actually make that don’t require you to complete crossfit-like workouts or restrict you from eating or doing things you love. In fact, they’re so easy, you can start today (or tomorrow, depending on when you’re reading this!) and I promise after a few days of practicing these easy healthy changes, you’ll notice a difference that’ll keep you motivated to continue making smart choices! 1. Always Eat Breakfast You’ve heard it before, but people who eat breakfast typically weigh less. Even if your goal isn’t weight loss, eating breakfast is a smart decision. Fueling your body and mind at the beginning of the day will help you stay focused and alert all morning and keep you from making poor decisions when you finally realize how hungry you really are. If you’re not used to eating breakfast, start small and try making protein smoothies, a banana with nut butter or a slice of avocado toast—they’re all small, light and super delicious! 2. Drink More Water This is one that I’ve always struggled with, but ever since our last trip to Denver, I’ve been on a water-drinking kick. I find that the easiest way to drink more water is to keep a water bottle on my desk. Make sure you pick one that holds at least 16oz. of water so you don’t have to refill it too often. 3. Add a Probiotic to your Diet I always suggest eating as healthy as you can all the time, but life is unpredictable. You can’t control every situation and plenty of times you’ll find yourself at a restaurant your friends picked out with no healthy options. Or maybe your job is crazy and stressful. Little disruptions like these can disrupt our gentle digestive systems’ natural balance of good bacteria. Adding a probiotic, like Align, can help maintain your digestive system’s natural balance*. I first learned about Align when I had first graduated and was trying to figure out what to do with my life (talk about stressful!). I started taking it then and have been taking it ever since. It’s one of those little things that’s become a necessary part of my wellness routine. Having Align as part of my routine helps promote and support a healthy digestive system.* Feel free to use this coupon code when ordering to save a few bucks! 4. Walk More Keep track of how many steps you take each day with a fitness tracker or with an app on your phone. The Health app that comes standard on iPhones has a step tracker built in. Just activate it and keep your phone on your during the day to keep track of how many steps you take. They recommend 5000 a day, and it’s always a fun mini challenge each day to get there! 5. Eat Your Veggies I probably sound like your mom, don’t I?! But in all seriousness, do you eat enough vegetables? We try to eat vegetables at every single meal. For breakfast, I’ll chop up peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach for a scramble. I’ll eat a veggie-packed salad with grilled chicken for lunch and for dinner, whatever we make, always has a side of vegetables—usually roasted or steamed. There are so many good nutrients in vegetables that your body relies on and if you’re not eating enough vegetables, you’re not getting them! If you’re worried that vegetables won’t keep you full, make sure to pick ones that are rich in fiber—those will keep you full longer. 6. Meatless Monday One of the easiest ways to make yourself eat more vegetables is to practice Meatless Monday. Taking meat out of your diet for one day and replacing it with whole grains and lots of veggies is one of the easiest ways to make healthier food decisions. Because it’s a Monday, you’ll kick off your week on a good note and be more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the week. 7. Turn off Tech In this day and age, it’s pretty much impossible to get away from technology all together. Especially if you work in a field that requires you to be online and on social media throughout the day (like me!). But, it’s so good for our bodies and minds to disconnect. Rob and I occasionally will do a “tech free night” where we don’t look at our phones, computers or turn on the TV, though we do allow music! We’ll cook dinner together, play cards and go to bed early and it always feels like a mini retreat. On other days, I try to limit my technology usage at night and avoid scrolling Instagram before I go to bed. What steps have you made to be healthier this year? Any healthy living tips you have to share?! I’d love to hear them! *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Align partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Align believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Align’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.