Are you looking to feel better and lose a little weight? I’ve got 10 Simple Tools for Healthy Living that are great for getting you to a healthier, happier you!
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10 Simple Tools for Healthy Living and Weight Loss
Have you felt like you’ve been stuck in a rut with your health? Maybe you’ve got your workout game down, but healthy eating remains to be a mystery. I’ve most definitely been there. In fact, I’ve spent many years of my life battling the numbers on the scale. I went from being a 3-sport athlete in high school to gaining over 100 pounds in the span of a decade. It’s not easy to come back from that. In fact, losing all of that weight was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my life.
Here’s the good news. It can be done! When you have these Tools for Healthy Living in your pocket, and have the right support system in place, you can live a healthier life and crush those weight loss goals. Here are some of the tools I use and love, and hopefully will bring you success as well.
Tools for Healthy Living: Start Tracking what you eat – ASAP!
The single biggest thing that I did to lose weight was to track what I ate. Having a way to track what you’re eating is a great way to be more mindful of your health. Specifically, journaling is an excellent way to not only be more conscious of what you’re putting into your body, but it also forces you to confront the choices you’re making with food.
If you are honest with yourself and begin writing everything that you consume, it will quickly become obvious where your downfalls lie. Recording exactly what you eat, along with the amount/portion size is a good way to understand where you could use some help, and how you can make better choices in the future. It’s also a good way to see the areas that you are doing well, which is just as important.
Here’s an example. My breakfast is 1 c. Greek yogurt, topped with 1/2 c. blueberries and my Baked Blueberry Oatmeal. I’ll have a mid-morning snack of a chia seed bar. My lunch is then a bowl of my Healthy Turkey Chili. Up to this point I’ve likely had two cups of coffee (with creamer), and very little water. By the time 4pm rolls around, its been a good 3 hours since I’ve ate anything. I then become ravenous for something – anything- that includes sugar. I eat a Twix I pick-up in the check out line at Target. When I get home, I devour a half-bag of chips. I have no idea how many chips I eat, because at this point I’m over-tired, dehydrated, and ravenous.
Analysis of my day: I’m doing pretty well up until lunchtime. It would do my body well, if I substituted some water for coffee. I should also include some fresh vegetables or a salad along with my chili at lunchtime. This would add some extra water and fiber, helping me feel fuller and satiated.
It would also do me well if I had a protein-rich snack around 3pm – maybe some of my homemade Fudge Brownie Protein Bites or a couple of hard-boiled eggs. These would give me a good amount of protein, to help feel satiated. It would then help be less inclined to eat that twix and then the chips later in the afternoon.
Do you see what I’m getting at? By honestly recording what I’m eating, I’m much more aware of what I’m putting into my body. Am I eating out of actual hunger, or to feed the fact that I’m tired, bored or facing some form of emotion that I’m having a hard time with? Also notice that my remedy to the situation is to not take food away or eat less, but eat more! Providing my body with more nourishment earlier in the day means I’m less likely to be ravenous or eating out of emotion later.
Here are some journals and apps that I recommend:
If you’re a pen and paper person:
- One of my favorite planners is the Daily Greatness 90-Day Wellness Journal. Not only is it beautifully designed, there are also areas for meal planning, goal setting and checking in with your progress. Purchase the Daily Greatness 90-Day Wellness Journal here.
- I also like the Erin Condren PetitePlanner Meal Planner. It’s great for planning out your week of meals, and includes a shopping list and an area for meal prep strategy. Small enough to fit in your purse or gym bag for easy reference while grocery shopping.
If you’re more inclined to use your phone, these apps are great:
- MyFitnessPal is a great app to install on your phone. It’s very user friendly and offers a way to calculate nutrition, view your macros and the nutrients you’re consuming. I even use this app often to calculate nutrition for my recipes, for example, how many carbs, grams of fat, grams of protein, ect per serving. There are both free and premium (paid) versions of this app available.
- WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers). I personally, have learned and incredible amount about nutrition, how I view food, and how to manage all the emotions that go along with losing weight through WW. This is a paid app, but WW is renowned for being one of the best, most effective weight loss programs out there. You can connect with other people in the WW community through the app and it also offers fitness solutions to go along with your nutrition endeavors. I highly recommend!
Tools for Healthy Living: Meal Prep Containers
Something as simple as containers can really help jump-start your meal planning! It certainly has for me. Meal prep containers not only help your refrigerator stay organized, they help encourage you to plan ahead with pre-planned portions of healthy meals.
I love these Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers. They are oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, and come in a variety of sizes. Here are a couple sizes that I own and use on the regular:
These Ball Collection Elite Pint (16-oz.) Wide Mouth Jars,(Pack of 4) are fantastic meal-prep containers. I love using these for soups and making my Blueberry Almond Chia Seed Pudding.
Click here to see all of my Best Meal Prep Containers and Options
Here’s some great recipes for Meal Prep that are perfect for these containers:
Tools for Healthy Living: Kitchen Tools & Appliances
There are a few tools and small appliances in my kitchen that I really love. These items help streamline the cooking process, help save valuable time in the kitchen, therefore making life a whole lot easier!
My Cuisinart 3-in-1 Slow Cooker is a workhorse in my kitchen. It’s a huge time-saver and a fantastic tool for meal prep!
Here are a few of my recipes that I love making in my slow cooker:
Have you hopped on the Instant Pot train yet? My 6-in-1 Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is another fantastic tool to help with meal prep!
Tools for Healthy Living: A Practical, Useful Grocery List
When it comes to grocery shopping, do you walk into the store with a prepared list? Honestly, if I don’t have a list ready to go, I feel utterly lost. Walking into the grocery store with a list is like arming yourself with a map designed to save you huge amounts of time in a place that is designed to suck you in with all of its glorious foods and aromas.
There are a couple routes you can go when it comes to grocery lists – paper or electronic. I’m more of a pen to paper person. My family has a paper list that is attached to our refrigerator at all times. Anyone can add something to the grocery list, and once I’m ready to go to the store, the list is already prepared. An electronic list is also super helpful. There are several available that can be easily navigated from your phone (no more lost or forgotten lists!) These apps can be easily shared between family members and help save huge amounts of time when it comes to grocery shopping. Here are a few I love:
Get my Grocery List Printable(5×8). It’s categorized by grocery store section to help keep you on task, minimize impulse purchases and avoid the unhealthy items that you know shouldn’t be going into your cart. Remember: It’s much easier to avoid those tempting, unhealthy foods when their NOT in your house. So don’t buy them!
Apps for your phone:
Both of these apps below are fantastic, easy to use and highly rated among its users. These are also shareable between family members.
Tools for Healthy Living: The Protein Smoothie Bible
You guys! Did you know I wrote & photographed a cookbook? The Protein Smoothie Bible is in all major bookstores, retailers an on-line sites. Get The Protein Smoothie Bible here!
The Protein Smoothie Bible offers quick, simple and incredibly healthy breakfast, lunch and snack ideas. These smoothie recipes were designed to include real ingredients that are accessible to everyone. Every recipe takes no more than 5 minutes to make!
There are over 60 smoothie recipes including, breakfast ideas, fruit & veggie smoothies, meal replacement options, post-workout recovery smoothies, dessert alternatives and even smoothies your kids will love!