I’m going to put this out there: being healthy and fit isn’t necessarily easy… to start. It seems daunting. There is a lot of crazy information out there – running is good for you, running is bad for you, healthy fats, unhealthy fats – the list of contradictions goes on and on.
Once you take a step back and realize that there is no cookie-cutter formula to living a healthy lifestyle, it gets easier. Do I try to eat lots of vegetables, get enough exercise and not over do it on the wine? Yes. Do I sometimes have ice cream for an appetizer, pizza for dinner and half a bottle of wine for dessert? Yes. Life is all about balance. If I did the latter more than once a month or so, I would no longer fit into my clothes or be able to casually accidentally run 18 miles (a story for a different day). Here are some tips on how I’m able to stay healthy but still enjoy life with my healthy lifestyle hacks!
“Wow Cassie, really? Prepare? That’s a healthy lifestyle hack?” It is! People comment that I am “so good” because I always pack a healthy breakfast, lunch (typically a salad) and snacks. Is it something that happens magically? No. I spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen one day a week or so preparing my breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the week. I’ll also make things like energy bites, banana and fig chocolate chip muffins and granola to have before or after my runs.
I use some easy tools you’re probably already using to plan my meals. I read a lot of blogs (obviously) so if I see a recipe I want to try and it looks pretty easy, I pin it or save it on Bloglovin’. That way, if I’m at the store and have no clue what to make, I can get on my phone, look up some ideas, and know exactly what I need to buy.
- Stock Up
It’s a lot easier to prepare and eat healthy meals quickly if you already have a full fridge and pantry. I do all the grocery shopping at the Pisone household. I’ve always enjoyed grocery shopping in some kind of sick way, probably because I love food, so even though sometimes it’s a hassle and time consuming, it’s worth it. Things I always have on hand include house-roasted deli meat (NOT the processed crap, ew), yogurt, fruit, spinach, eggs, almond or soy milk… you can make a meal out of those things pretty quickly.
- Do What’s Easy For You
Even though Beyonce has the same number of hours in a day as I do, I struggle to fit everything in. (Confession: Probably because I have poor time management skills.) I don’t want to take the extra 30 minutes of my day to drive to the gym and back, do weights there, go to a spin class, whatever. I swear by the Nike Training Club App for strength workouts and even though I do love running – I love it even more because I can do it anywhere. I’m at my favorite trail in five minutes or if I’m short on time, I can run around my neighborhood (but I hate cars so I usually only do this if it’s dark/snowy). Some people might not be able to workout at home (I’m blessed with good motivation) so if it isn’t for you – head to the gym! Just know what’s easiest for you.
- Make Healthy Substitutions
Sometimes, a healthy lifestyle hack is all about substitutions. I used to drink coffee with tons of cream and sugar in. Now I’ll drink hot coffee black or put vanilla soy milk in my iced coffee if I want a little flavor and sweetness. Plus, the added sweetness never hurt anyone!
Be sure to read food labels at the store – sugar is hiding in everything. You can easily sweeten your own Greek yogurt with a little honey, fruit jam or maple syrup and save a ton of sugar calories.
If you’re eating out, ask if you can swap the fries for a salad or even a starchy carb like rice for more vegetables. No one ever regretted eating a salad! (Okay, maybe they did, but their waistline didn’t!)
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What are your healthy lifestyle hacks?
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.