Your Daily Health Plan – Do These 5 Simple Things To Improve Your Health Today

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You can make small, healthier choices every day that get you closer to your goal. I’ve found that focusing on five small items each day has made a significant change in my health – even on busy days – and made me more focused, more alert and more content.  I encourage you to try adding one of these to your daily routine and watch your health (and sanity) improve.

Eat Breakfast Every Day

Start your day fueled and ready to go – choose a lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates and something fun for breakfast every day. I love breakfast, it’s my favorite meal of the day. Breakfast foods are amazing and it’s always the meal where I’m the hungriest (Break-The-Fast makes sense).  I’ve heard some people say they can’t eat breakfast in the morning, but skipping breakfast is a bad idea.  I know on days I don’t eat a good breakfast, I make bad decisions the rest of the day (often with both food and life).

I typically eat two eggs, whole-grain toast a slice of cheddar cheese and tropical fruit & bananas.  It’s easy when I don’t have to think about it and I know I’ll stay full for hours. Try different healthy options until you find what works for you – oatmeal is an option, even turkey sandwiches are good! – if it works for you, then it works.

Plan Your Meals and Snacks

In addition to eating breakfast, I encourage you to plan your food for the day because it will help you make better decisions.  When I start each day, I know exactly what I’m eating throughout the day (by category at least) and it saves me time, thought and hunger pains throughout the day.  I try to eat 5 cups of veggies, 3 cups of fruit, 4 cups of lean protein and 4 servings of whole-grain carbs – I’ve noticed on this plan (I’m using the 21 day fix – the app is amazing) that I’m not hungry, I know what to expect and I’m losing weight (I had a baby in December, it’s the fastest I’ve lost weight ever).

When you are thinking about planning out your meals, I encourage you to think about one day at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Make your breakfast, pick healthy lunch and snack ideas and then think about what is best for dinner – even if you can only make progress with one meal or one day – you’re still making progress.

When you have time, make a list of healthy foods you enjoy eating and start adding them to your diet (I eat two cups of roasted carrots every day, yum and healthy).

Make Time For Things You Enjoy

When I spend time doing things I enjoy, I find that I’m more productive with all things.  If you schedule it as an appointment you’re more likely to do it.  Even if you just have 15 minutes to spend, I encourage you to plan something you like to do today.  My favorite right now is front-porch sitting.  Even 15 minutes and I feel like a new person.  Find it and do it today.

Push Yourself to Move More

Find ways to get out of your seat and move every chance you can.  I try to schedule meetings in other people’s offices, I refill my water bottle on the main floor of our building (I work on the third floor), I always take the stairs, and I park far away from many stores. All of these help me add extra steps to my day and get me closer to my goal of 11,114 K steps per day (5 miles).

I also schedule workout time 5 days a week (because this is what I enjoy).  Sometimes it’s my lunch hour, sometimes it’s after work and sometimes I have to wake up really early to make it happen – but adding it to my schedule means I know I have time and I know I’m doing something for me.

Put Yourself In Time-Out

Sure, it sounds like a punishment for a toddler, but it’s a saving-grace for adults.  I can tell when I’m too tired, too hungry or too stressed to deal with something right then.  And I’ve said before, “I need to step away for a bit.” I’ve taken time-out naps, walks or time-out snacks (healthy snacks, of course) and it does wonders for my decision making process, my sanity and my response.

Try it – put yourself in time out every time you realize you’re not at your best.  And do something you like to do.  You need time to recharge and refresh, so you’re better on the other side.

It’s not too late to make a healthy focus for the year. Start today.

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Why micro-goals may just change your life

I read an article recently that talked about Micro-Resolutions and how instead of hoping for good intentions to work out, you could use these micro-goals to shrink down and reach big goals one at a time.  I love this.  I’m often setting enormous goals and excitedly thinking of how to break them down into smaller pieces – but I love the idea of starting with the smaller goal from the very beginning.

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I had to make many changes this year for my goals.  After a year of aggressive goals that failed, I needed to re-focus and make goals that would actually work and micro-goals have served me well.  Here’s what I learned:

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Be More Productive: Make (tiny) Progress Each Day

On more days than I’d like to admit I’m too tired.  Lie on the bed all night and binge-watch TV tired.  Can’t do anything else for the day tired.  And that doesn’t work so well for me to get anything done. And then a few months ago, I realized that I was trying to do my day backwards.  I was trying to do too much during my low point of the day, and it wasn’t working for me.  Here’s what I remembered to boost my productivity each day, and I think it will help you too:

Your Productive Time Matters.

I’m pretty productive at work, so much so that I’m mentally exhausted by the time I make it home. I’ve realized I’ll sacrifice my personal energy to maintain my professional energy.  So I work when I’m best – when I first wake up in the morning.  My goal each day is to get one productive thing done at home before I go into work.  And on most days, I can accomplish this task, which makes me feel more productive as I go into work.  Try to work at the time that works best for you – early in the morning, during your lunch hour or late at night – if it works for you, it works.  And remember to write it down, so you remember what needs to be done!

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The Easy, Breezy Meal Strategy to Simplify Your Life

When you’re thinking about your week, you don’t have to make a wildly difficult master plan for your meals. Figure out what you like and use the same strategy over and over to make everything easier. Plan out your week with these easy, breezy meal prep strategies.  Here are the meals you need to add to your repertoire: 

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The Easy Meal

We always keep basics for our easy meal on hand.  It’s easy to buy, easy to prep and everyone likes it. If we can’t think of any thing else to eat, our easy meal saves us a trip for take out.  You need to pick an easy meal that works for you. Here are some ideas:

  • Spaghetti with whole wheat or yellow-squash “noodles”
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Scrambled Eggs & Bacon

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The 1-minute workout! Helps you lose inches and will change your life

Between meetings, projects and events at my new job – I am busy! Recently, I came up with a genius (also crazy – but aren’t most good ideas a little crazy) to add a short workout into my daily routine.  It has been amazing!  I’m squeezing 16-20 minutes of core workouts into my day and I’ve seen great results! My clothes fit better, I can feel my core muscles coming back and I found a workout I always have time to do.

1 minute workout at work

Set your computer to announce a certain amount of time.  I have mine announce every hour on the hour. When it announces the time, stop what you are doing and get up to do a one-minute workout.  Here is what I’d recommend:

  • 1-minute plank (what I’ve been doing lately)
  • 1-minute side-plank
  • 1-minute of squats
  • 1-minute kick-back leg lifts (what I do in the mornings when I’m too sore to move!)

Yes, you’ll probably have to tell your office-mates what you are doing and yes, they will probably laugh at you. It’s worth it.  This one-minute workout seems so easy that I don’t mind stopping during the day for a quick break to make it happen. And I love that the computer voice announcement helps me remember easily.  Here is how to do set up the voice announcement on your computer: Mac and PC

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Do One Thing: Reuse Everything For One Day

This month I’m challenging you to do one thing every day. It doesn’t seem like much if you look at it on a daily basis, but a continued focus on doing one thing will lead to amazing results.

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Save yourself tons of time! Save your money! Try this for one day, to reuse everything at least once.  Make it a game and see how close you can get to your goal. Here are some things that we regularly re-use:

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Do One Thing: Organize Your Errands

This month I’m challenging you to do one thing every day. It doesn’t seem like much if you look at it on a daily basis, but a continued focus on doing one thing will lead to amazing results.

Your errands can be more organized and an easier task to complete.  Make a few simple changes to ensure you are maximizing your time and your money with each and every trip you make.

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Make a list of NOW errands and ANYTIME errands. Just because you need it doesn’t mean you need it now. Make a list of what you need so you are ready when you have time or when you’re in the area.  The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll get exactly what you need when you need it.  Be sure to keep NOW and ANYTIME separate.  When you hold off on items you don’t need now, you’ll save yourself money.

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Flat stomach in 5 minutes a day

This year, I’m trying to make things as simple as possible. I want a great workout with great results and I want it fast.  I’ve made a goal to get one productive thing done each day and do 5 minutes of planks every day.  I just tested it for a month, and getting this 5 minute workout in every day was much easier than I thought.  You have 5 minutes, you can do this workout

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Simple Tips to Tidy Your Home

I love to organize and I want to make it easier for you to feel, stay and be organized.

We keep our house pretty tidy all of the time.  I’ve never apologized as visitors come over and, in fact, we’re ready for guests all of the time.  And yes, we enjoy living in our house and still make good use of the areas (I have piles of projects to rival the best of them), but we know that we feel better when our house is tidy and it’s easier to accomplish than you think.  I promise.  I’m going to share my best ideas with you for how I make this happen with just a little bit of effort every day.

Simple tips when you’re trying to organize anything:

  • Focus your efforts on the spaces you see the most often.
  • If it’s filling your life with stress, maybe it shouldn’t be in your life (you don’t need so much stuff).
  • Give everyone ownership and age-appropriate tasks to get involved.

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Simple Tips to Remember Everything

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I love to organize and I want to make it easier for you to feel, stay and be organized.

I’m ready to share my secrets of how I remember to do everything.  And how I usually get everything done in record time with personal, detailed follow-up.  It’s not rocket-science, it’s literally one simple tip: I write it down.  This strategy will revolutionize your tasks, make you more accomplished and remove so much stress from your mind – it will change your life.  I’m going to share my best ideas with you for how I make this happen in any instance to ensure I get the job done.

Simple tips when you’re trying to organize anything:

  • Use the strategy that works best for you.
  • Be clear with what you write down – you need to understand it when you reference it again – even if it’s hours, days or weeks later.
  • Have a start-to-finish system to turn your task from an idea to a completed success.

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Simple Tips to Tackle Your Task List

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I love to organize and I want to make it easier for you to feel, stay and be organized.

Let’s talk a little bit about why you may feel disorganized.  So many people tell me that they feel like they can’t get started and they’re overwhelmed thinking of everything that needs to be done.  I can understand.  I’ve let a few things slide and getting them back to a functional level has taken more time, energy and mental focus that I believed it would need.  But there’s hope!

Simple tips when you’re trying to organize anything:

  • Plan your project at a time during the day when you can be the most alert.
  • Only think about what you need to accomplish for a small space or task.
  • Find a quiet place to begin your thinking process – if you don’t have a quiet place, ask for help.  My husband will watch our kids or I’ll plan my time before everyone is awake.

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Simple Tips to Streamline Your Kitchen & Food

I love to organize and I want to make it easier for you to feel, stay and be organized.

Let’s start with your kitchen and your food.  We spend a lot of time thinking about meals – and we have nearly 1000 meals to eat/make in a year.  So it helps you – your wallet and your planning – to organize your food so you make the best use of everything you have.

Simple tips when you’re trying to organize anything:

  • Plan time in your schedule to organize.
  • Don’t try to do everything today.
  • Realize that it’s going to get a little messy before it gets organized.

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Simple Tips to Finesse Your Fitness Prep

I love to organize and I want to make it easier for you to feel, stay and be organized.

Let’s talk about your workout routine – No, I don’t mean your actual workout.  Let’s start with the routine of making sure you’re always ready to work out.  The easier you make it to get yourself prepared for your workout, the more likely you area to ALWAYS make it to your exercise spot.

Simple tips when you’re trying to organize anything:

  • Plan time in your schedule to set up your routine.
  • Find supplies that will work – you don’t always need to purchase new things.
  • Realize it’s going to take a little time to get used to your plan, but it will make your life easier (and healthier!)

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Exactly How I Lost 62 lbs (all the baby weight + 20 lbs!)

I just signed up for a friend’s 40 day fitness/health challenge and she’d asked us to take “before” pictures so I did.  Then I started looking at my actual “before” pictures from 10 months ago and it made me realize how far I’ve come and how much my focus and dedication has really paid off.  Here is where I started: I’d just had my third baby and I didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe because I really like the clothes I have, so I knew I needed to do something to lose the weight and keep it off. And it had to be easy, because I’ve tried the hard way in the past, and I knew I couldn’t do that again.

It took me 10 months, but I lost 62 lbs and went down multiple clothes sizes (so my clothes fit again!) – I know that if I was able to lose the weight, you can do it too.  Here is the strategy that I used this to lose all the baby weight and an extra 20 lbs:

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Why Participation Trophies Matter

Recently, my kids went to an event where they both received a participation trophy.  And they were both ecstatic.  I have to admit, so was I.  Why? We’d been trying for weeks – months – to get our kids to go to this activity, to actively participate, and to have a good (or at least a quiet) attitude.  And after our endless encouragement and coaxing, it (finally) seemed to be working.

I’ve heard others criticize participation trophies with phrases like, “We reward mediocrity these days!” or “If these kids get a trophy just for participating, then how will they learn anything?” and I have finally figured out where I stand.

I love participation trophies. Love them.

If I had the choice, I’d hand out participation trophies like Oprah hands out prizes: “You get a participation trophy! And you get a trophy!  And you get a trophy!”

Because you know what I’d love to have as an adult? More people who were excited to participate and more people who realize the value of active participation. 

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