Day 5-11: 5 Healthy Habits to Adopt in 2014Thursday, January 23, 2014
I have a confession to make. I'm completely addicted to Scandal and have been marathoning the first three seasons on Netflix for the past few days. So before you think I went off quitting the cleanse, I did not. I'm still working through it. Originally I started writing this post on the fifth day of my cleanse but now here we are on Day 11 and I still haven't completed it!
For the fifth day of the cleanse, I wanted to share with you my list of 5 Healthy Habits to Adopt in 2014. I know I already shared the 10 Things I Want to Accomplish in 2014, but there are some additional habits I'd like to adopt for myself this year.
1. Drink more water.
We've all heard that we should drink about 8 cups of water a day, but how many of you out there actually drink that much water? Not me! Even with my sweat-inducing workouts(spin), I tend to drink only about 2-3 cups a day. Obviously this is not enough, so I finally decided to make a change.
One thing I did which helps me a lot is purchasing this 2.2 liter water bottle to put at my desk at work. I fill it up in the morning and by the afternoon if the bottle isn't empty I really know I haven't had enough. I've also gotten two of my coworkers committed to this so we keep each out accountable. The only downside to this new habit is my increase in bathroom usage...
2. Buy organic from the "Dirty Dozen Plus" list.
I have always questioned if buying organic was really worth it. I didn't really want to become one of those people who would only buy organic foods. But, as I am working to reduce the toxins in my body it is worth noting that according to various sources online, you can reduce pesticides exposure by up to 80% by avoiding these 15 foods that tested the highest for pesticides.
3. Think outside the carb.
I grew up eating rice at least once a day so it's no wonder when I'm thinking of meal options, I will usually turn to a bowl of rice. When I'm not eating Asian food, this quickly becomes pasta or bread. Thinking outside the carb means trying to break out of this cycle of dependency on these 3 foods.
I've already been experimenting with spaghetti squash and a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. I hope to find more inspiration from those who are following strict diet such as Paleo to see how to be more creative with my foods. I'm not saying that I'm cutting out all carbs, but when I do prepare it, I'll be sure to pick the good carbs and not the bad carbs.
4. Make snack time healthier.
More often than not, when you want a snack, it's not because you're really hungry, but because of other reasons such as boredom and procrastination. Ever since the cleanse started, I haven't been able to eat my usual snack time foods. I've had to be more mindful about whether or not I actually needed the snack for fun and if so, tried to snack on produce over processed foods.
Clinical studies have shown that 37% of people mistake hunger for thirst because the thirst mechanism is so weak. So I make sure to drink a glass of water first. If after 5 minutes and I'm still feeling like a snack I'll eat something that's healthy.
If I'm craving sweets, I'll be sure to eat fruit first - cherries, blueberries, apples, pineapple, honey dew, you name it! Nature's dessert usually satisfies. If I'm craving something savory, I go for carrots with hummus, raw nuts, seaweed snacks, and kale chips.
You'd be surprised that when you removed processed snacks from your diet, your body will really crave it less.
5. Stretch more.
I don't know about you, but I'm usually sitting at my desk all day, hunched over a computer. My coworkers and I are trying to make it a habit to do a daily stretch session, even if it's just for a few minutes. Stretching increases your blood flow and circulation and acts as a good break for you to take a breather.
I also make it a point to stretch in the morning and at night when I'm using my electric toothbrush. The toothbrush is timed to 2.5 minutes, so during that time I stretch my tight hamstrings. Who doesn't love multitasking?