I know I am a little late on the New Year’s bandwagon, but I’ve been really excited about making recent changes to my lifestyle. I have some new updates and fun tips for anyone trying to stay healthy on a budget! For this new year, I wanted to incorporate more wholesome food and exercise into my daily routine, and try to make my life more organized. Here are my 5 helpful gadgets and recipes that I’ve been using to help make me so excited about this new year!
1) Greens and Fruit Smoothies every morning.
You read that correctly, folks. I now eat smoothies composed of only greens and fruit every single morning. Honestly, I am not a “let’s eat salad every day” sort of gal. These Green smoothies allow me to have greens and fruit in an easy, more palatable, on-the-go form. My smoothie usually contains lettuce, celery, frozen kale, pineapple, half a banana, avocado, and a squeeze of lemon juice. I was inspired by Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie recipe!
2) Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper
I don’t know about all of you, but I am not a naturally active person. When left to my own devices, I will cuddle on the couch with a good book or a movie. I also live 15 minutes away from my gym and in a neighborhood that isn’t very walkable. Overall, my lifestyle is just not conducive to outdoor exercise or hitting the gym often. To remedy this, I decided to invest in a $100 piece of gym equipment that I could have in my apartment. Why not, right? If I hated it, I could always return it.
Well, say hello to my new favorite toy: the Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper. For 100 bucks, I received a solid stepper that gives me almost the same results as the stair climber in the gym! I was even a little hesitant to how sturdy this equipment would be, but it works just fine. I watch my favorite shows at home while on my stepper–often including hand weights—and I can see and feel the results. Unlike a stationary bike, this stepper makes you stand and use your core. I love it!
Yes, I have yet another free online calorie/exercise journal to tell you about. My mom recommended that I try MyFitnessPal because she read about it in a women’s magazine. I decided to give the site a go….and I love it! While I like WebMD’s food/exercise journal, MyFitnessPal functions as both a food/exercise journal and community. You can join groups, have “friends”, and you can message with other people. Fun, right?
4) Eat the same thing every day.
One thing I’ve noticed is that all the healthy people I know–including my parents–eat the same things on the same days every week. My mom, for example, always eats some kind of fruit in the morning, a salad and wheat bread at lunch, and a sensible protein-rich dinner. On the weekends, she will splurge with pizza and blended drinks. Sometimes she changes what’s in her salad, or the fruit in the morning, but she always eats some form of fruit and salad. Another health-conscious friend of mine, too, eats a whole grain waffle with fruit every morning and a salad at lunch. The person varies what’s in and on top of their waffle and salad, but it’s always the same kind of meals every day.
I decided to take a tip from the people I know and love, and eat relatively the same thing every day. I now have some variation of my fruits and greens smoothie for breakfast along with coffee. At lunch, I’ve been having a vegetable soup with wheat bread or an egg and toast. And then I end the day with a sensible dinner! I’ve realized my friends and family knew what they were doing. I now never worry about getting enough greens in my day because I always have a smoothie in the morning. I also never worry about having too much or too little food because I know soup and bread and a sensible dinner is the right amount. There’s something so comforting and easy about consistency! Try it, and I bet you will agree.
5) Always include a healthy dessert! (Oatmeal Cookies and warmed milk)
I am a sugaraholic. Sugar, I just can’t quit you! However, I’ve noticed that I’ve gained alot of weight in grad school due to my sugar binges–alcohol and cooking-baking and cupcake-buying nights, to be exact. I decided I needed to cut these things out of my diet temporarily because it is damn near IMPOSSIBLE for me to say no to them. I don’t want to feel deprived, though. This Sweets-lover needs something sugary at the end of her day! I decided to make Oatmeal cookies that are chock full of fiber to keep me full. They are made from oat flour, white flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oat bran. I also included half brown sugar, half stevia and a whole chopped apple into the recipe to keep things sweet but healthy. The results? The best cookie ever! (I will post them later.) I now eat one of these low sugar cookies every night with almond milk that I’ve warmed with vanilla, and I feel so satisfied!