The start of the week is always a good excuse to start anew. But if that's not enough of a reason, how about we use the motif of Fall and the turning of the leaves? OK already; before I bore you with another cliché, I've got a little challenge for you that lets your actions speak louder than my words. It's time to shake things up in order to shape up! Here are five new things to try this week; by week's end you'll feel healthier, more confident, and be eating better than you ever have before.
- A little variety and a lot of fun can go a long way. Back off on your treadmill time and go for a run outside. Lift yourself up with an aerial arts class or get some hang time at an indoor climbing gym. Whatever it is you do, make it new! There's a Zumba, Bar Method, or ViPR class waiting somewhere just for you.
- There's more to whole grains than brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread. Same goes for fruits - haven't you ever wondered what that prickly looking thing was in the produce section? Now is the time to put something new and fresh on your plate. The more healthy foods in your repertoire, the less likely you'll miss a french fry.
- A fitness buddy can be the difference between making it to the gym vs. making it to the freezer for a pint of Ben and Jerry's. And when it comes to fitness buddies - the more the merrier! The more fit friends you have equals more motivation and potentially more variety in the types of workouts you do. So scope out a class, bulletin board, or fitness forum, and schedule yourself time with someone new.
- The shortest path I know to crash diets, binge eating, and overall unhappiness, is telling yourself you're not allowed to do something. A little goodness is always OK, especially when it's in moderation. Reward yourself for the healthy choices you make every day: eat a little chocolate, do cocktails with the girls, or spend an hour hanging with Snooki and the rest of the Jersey Shore gang. Life is about small enjoyments so give yourself something minus all that guilt.
- Cutting out meat isn't just about the animal factor. Sure, going meat-free for a day has definite health benefits, but it extends even beyond that. When I gave up meat for the Give It Up challenge, I became a better cook and ate more fresh fruits and veggies. Giving up meat forces you to think more about food - where it comes from, what's in it, and what foods are best for your body.
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