When trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle, we often feel like our old, bad habits are tough to break; we set our benchmarks too high, pick unrealistic goals. What about if we could set some healthy foundations that enabled success? Educate ourselves. Adapt our thoughts. Take on each bad habit, tackling them one by one. We all want a life full of vitality and reaching it is not hard and is not just about the food we eat!
A Life Full Of Vitality
You may be thinking, what does 'vitality' really mean? Vitality can vary in definition from person to person; "full of beans", "healthy" or "mental and physical wellness", are common ideas associated with this term. It is officially defined as, "physical or mental vigour; energy" by Collins Dictionary, as well as, "the power or ability to continue in existence, live or grow". Google defines it as, "the state of being strong and active, energy". Words often associated include energy, sparkle, strength, stamina, exuberance, robustness, life, zest, bounce, drive and passion. We don't reach a 'state of vitality' just by eating nutritious food, but also by the healthy actions we take. Healthy actions include healthy habit formation, lifestyle choices and physical activity.
Start At The Beginning... Bin The Multitasking
I recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller. An altogether impressive read, with an important message: remove the desire to 'multitask' and instead, work solely on a task-by-task basis. It talks about how the action of multitasking causes us to 'spread ourselves too thinly', spinning too many plates at once, jumping from task to task. In doing this, we lose track of important deadlines by splitting our attention and focus.
By concentrating on one task or idea at a time, you are completely 'present' in what you are doing. If something pops into your head whilst you are engaged in another task, the book suggests that you become disciplined in writing down that thought, rather than to action it, so that you can come back to it later.
Another important message that I took from the book is that, on average it takes 66 days to form a habit. If you want something to stick, you must work at it for at least two and a half months before it will form and then, you will do it without thinking. Some habits may form quicker, some may take longer, but 66 days is a sensible target for a change to occur, be it lifestyle or any other kind of habit.
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Setting The 'Healthy Foundations'
FoodAtOne principles are built on 'healthy foundations': naturally healthy food and healthy habits. These foundations aim to help enable you to live your life, full of vitality - simply, and easily. To achieve balance and to shape your overall healthy lifestyle, a focus on three main areas, is key:
These interlink with each other, can be worked on individually and ultimately, they fit together like a jigsaw - a jigsaw for your vitality! Learn more about the healthy foundations and how they fit together:
- Developing a long term healthy attitude towards health and nutrition. Removing the reliance on short-term fixes (binning fad diets!)
- Taking responsibility for your understanding of food groups, nutrition requirements, supplements and so on
- Being aware of healthy portion sizing
- Appreciating the need for balanced meals, created with a range and variety of foods
- Choosing foods that are whole wherever possible
- Choosing foods that are free of pesticides, other chemicals and sprays
- Choosing foods that are processed as little as possible
- Choosing foods that are free from preservatives, excessive sugars or excessive salt
- Choosing local food that has encountered minimal food miles so that it is of the most dense nutritional value
- Choosing cooking methods that preserve the nutritional abundance within foods (ie. avoiding deep fat frying or fried food. Other types of frying to be carried out using Extra Virgin Olive Oil or coconut oil rather than other, more processed cooking fats)
- Using herbs and spices wherever possible for an added nutritional kick
- Using juices and smoothies when possible in order to meet the necessary 10 a day portions of fruit and veg
- Staying hydrated - plenty of water, often
- Eating 3 meals a day with a small snack in the morning and the evening
- Not eating too late in the evening
- Removing refined sugar for life!
- Removing processed snacks and swapping them for nutritious snacks instead
- Meal preparation in advance so to have a stock of healthy meals to hand always, in the fridge or freezer
- Drinking water in between meals to aid digestion and keep you feeling fuller, for longer. Drink at least 15-30mins before a meal rather than during. Take only small sips during a meal, if necessary.
- Replacing caffeinated drinks with more hydrating options such as filtered water, infused waters, herbal teas or herbal iced teas during warmer months.
- Choosing a balanced meal inclusive of proteins, after exercising
- Learning to experiment with new combinations and ingredients - moving away from traditional recipes that keep us stuck in old habits.
By giving your life some healthy foundations, with a few simple steps, you'll start to feel the effects of the vitality you deserve. Start with cracking a habit that you don't find so challenging. Move on to something more life altering. Keep going, become attuned to the changes in your body and embrace the effects of the changes you make! Look forward to leading a life full of vitality and mojo!