This blog post was sponsored by Coca-Cola but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Health Goals — Start Smart in 2016
The end of 2015 was a bit bumpy for me. In November I had a little health scare. My right hand and arm kept going numb. I googled it and thought I might be having a stroke. Upon further consideration of potential Dr. Google diagnosis I concluded it was more likely that I was having issues with my neck. I made an appointment with my chiropractor and he reassured me that what I was experiencing was definitely not life threatening. Still, it scared me enough to take a closer look my lifestyle and make some healthy changes for the new year, not just for me, but for our family.
In December I got a Misfit Activity Tracker. That was a huge wakeup call to how little I actually exercise. Working from home as a blogger I knew I wasn’t super active but since I always feel busy I didn’t give it too much thought. WOW, what an oversight! After wearing it for a couple of weeks I was averaging less than two miles a day — some days less than a mile. Granted, it was Christmas break, we were relaxing a lot and part of the time I was sick but those numbers were still astonishing to me. I knew I had do something about it. I want to be healthy for my kids and have the energy to keep up with them.
These are the goals I set for myself. Yes, some of them are a bit vague but knowing myself, I didn’t want to set myself up for failure and I’m less likely to quit when I have a little bit of wiggle room. I know I can build on these as I go:
- Less sugar
- More veggies
- More water
- MOVE more by making a conscious effort — hit 1000 Misfit points per day (equivalent of walking 1.5 hours, running 30 minute or swimming 45 minutes.
My metabolism has always been very efficient. I’ve never had to watch what I eat to maintain a healthy weight. I’ve been known to eat pie for breakfast and all sorts of other junk throughout the day without much care. As I get older, I know this is going to catch up to me and since diabetes runs in my family it really is in my best interest to make healthier choices despite not having weight issues. I also tend to reward myself with sweets, another thing am vowing to become more conscious of and correcting.
An important part of living a healthy lifestyle is carefully selecting what you consume. I like to eat and don’t want to feel like I’m depriving myself. I’ve discovered several ways to stay on track without feeling like I’m limiting myself. Green smoothies are my go-to to start my day on track — the fruit in them satisfies my sweet tooth and by adding greens, I get a good dose of veggies right off the bat! There are tons of recipes out there for smoothies but it’s easy to experiment on your own. Here are a few things I like to keep on hand for my smoothies:
- Spinach or Kale (or a mix!)
- Simply Orange juice (100% juice)
- Fairlife milk (50% more protein, 30% more calcium and 50% less sugar than ordinary milk and a good source of vitamin D. Also 38% less fat than whole milk and from cows not treated with rBST)
- Fresh fruit in season
- Frozen fruit
- Greek yogurt (for extra protein)
- Canned fruit (in 100% fruit juice)
- PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter or regular peanut butter
- Medjool Dates to sweeten up tart smoothies
I use a Ninja Auto IQ Blender that makes it super fast and easy to blend and go but some days I’m running really behind to get the kids off to school or just need a quick snack. That’s when Odwalla Smoothies really come in handy. There are a ton of different flavor options and I haven’t tried one I didn’t like. The protein smoothies are awesome if you don’t have time for breakfast or lunch — Up to 32 grams of protein in one bottle! I love giving these to my kids as a snack on days that we have sports. It really helps hold them over until dinner time!
Watch for sales at Safeway — I found Odwalla Smoothies on sale 2 for $4 and Simply Orange juice 2 for $7 stocked up! They also carry Fairlife milk that I love using in my smoothies.
Whether I’m making my own smoothies at home or drinking an Odwalla on the run I’m getting in fruit and often veggies that are also helping me avoid unhealthy sweets like candy bars or doughnuts. The smoothies are not only healthy but they’re really satisfying and make the perfect reward when I feel like I need one too!
Another easy way I up my veggie consumption is by weekly prepping. If I make veggies convenient, I’m much more likely to grab them as a snack. I also found that even veggies that aren’t my favorite taste great with hummus. I’ve been using a homemade hummus recipe and slicing zucchini, red, green, yellow and orange peppers, celery and carrots to dip in it. It’s so good it feels like a treat! Even my kids have been more open to trying different veggies when I make hummus!
These diet changes come a bit more easily than my “move” goal which takes quite a bit more effort for me. This past week I was in a really good groove.
I even ran a full mile! I did have to stop briefly to catch my breath once which is why the Misfit shows it broken into two different events. I’ve never been a runner so this was a pretty big deal for me. I’ve been walking my kids to and from the bus stop in the morning and afternoon (I usually drive in the fall/winter) and I’ve been meeting up with a friend everyday to walk even in the rain and sometimes freezing temperature. On the weekends I try to find something active to do with the family. So far we’ve been roller skating, gone on long trail walks and have park-hopped. I’m finding more ways to fit moving into my daily routine. My kids are very active and involved in sports and a lot of my time is taken up shuttling them from practice to practice but I realized that I can use their practice time to get my exercise in too! My kids have been cheering me on and it feels great!
How do you fit movement into your day? What are some ways you maintain a healthy diet for your family? I’d love more ideas to keep me accountable and living a healthy lifestyle.
Coca-Cola is making it easier for families to incorporate healthy choices into their diets through their everyday brands: Simply Orange, Fairlife Milk, and Odwalla Smoothies to help them maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Now through 3/24/16 enter to win 1 of 1000 Misfit Shine Fitness + Sleep Monitors by purchasing qualifying Fairlife, Simply Orange and/or Odwalla products at your Safeway/Albertsons store and submitting a photo of your receipt with the purchase date, store and product name clearly visible at the Coke Play to Win website. You’ll have until 4/7/2016 to submit your receipts to earn sweepstakes entries. Good luck!