Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Continue reading to see my holiday gift suggestions for the person who knows they need healthier habits, but has no clue where to start.
*Dr. Francesca is an affiliate for Amazon and other companies. Some links contained within this blog post may be affiliate links from which she receives a small commission at no additional cost to the customer.*
When we start something, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. Habits are difficult to shift, but with time, those new habits can become second nature.
Here is my list of items that will help with improving health and lifestyle in the upcoming new year:
Get your mindset in order
When committing to a new shift in lifestyle, mindset is an important factor. That is why I recommend a journal or planner to organize thoughts and to reflect on any progress or limiting beliefs that may come up. I also suggest a morning or nightly journaling routine to practice gratitude and reflection on your journey. Having a planner system is also a great way to map out workouts, organize support groups or exercise meet-ups, and plan meals and recipes.
Start simple with hydration
Drinking more water is a simple habit that can be added to your everyday routine.
Dehydration is associated with muscle cramps, constipation, dry skin and mouth, irritability, extreme thirst, dizziness, tiredness/fatigue, and dark colored urine. For those who are chronically dehydrated, these symptoms can be brushed off as "normal," not knowing that simple hydration can resolve them all.
Signs of proper hydration include smooth and supple skin, clear skin, improved weight loss, better focus and concentration, increased energy, and regular bowel movements. I recommend drinking half your weight in ounces of water with added electrolytes.
Other ways to improve hydration is to eat your water. Incorporating water-rich foods will improve your body's hydration while also naturally adding vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes your body craves. Water-rich foods include watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, soups and broths, cantaloupe and other melons, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, and zucchini.
A healthy body begins in the kitchen
Learning what and how to cook healthier meals does not have to be confusing or overwhelming.
Here are my tips for those who are wanting to cook a majority of their meals at home:
Know and learn some basic recipes that can be your go-to staples. This will make grocery shopping and meal prepping easier when you have a list of recipes on which you can rely (ex: a vegetable stir fry, steak, roasted chicken, or an easy salad).
Have your kitchen equipped with quality tools, like a chef's knife, cast iron pan, mise en place bowls to keep ingredients organized, and cutting board (I suggest wood or bamboo. Stay away from plastic chopping boards as you run the risk of plastic particles in your food).
Know your flavors and seasonings. Sometimes it is not enough to season with just salt and pepper. Herbs and spices not only add flavor to your foods, but they also have many health benefits. It helps opening your mind and taste buds to foods from different cultures to better understand spices and seasonings that can bring more life to your cooking.
Have fun! The great thing about cooking is that you don't have to stick to a recipe. If your food needs something more than what the recipe calls for, follow your instincts and add that something extra! After you learn the basics of cooking, you'll be making healthy meals like a pro!
Maintain a healthy body with exercise
Physical fitness can be found beyond a monthly studio membership. There are so many free and simple ways to become more physically fit.
The simplest and most accessible form of exercise for most is walking. Walking can improve circulation and blood pressure, increase energy, help maintain a healthy body weight, and improve insulin sensitivity. This simple activity can greatly improve your health. I suggest tracking your steps with fitness tech like a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or a minimal pedometer. Aim for at least 8,000 - 10,000 steps everyday.
Another great and inexpensive way to follow workouts at home is through free apps like the Nike Training App. This allows you to schedule your workouts on your time without the expensive monthly fee. Additionally, an exercise mat, hand weights, and other minimal at-home equipment are usually all that is needed to complete the workouts provided.
*Dr. Francesca is not affiliated with the Nike Training app.*
A step in the right direction, no matter how small, is progress
Starting a new routine can be daunting and the progress can be difficult to pinpoint. However, any movement towards a healthier life should be celebrated. The time, effort, and money spent to improve your health are investments toward a longer, more fulfilled life.
Here's to a healthier you in the New Year!
Proper guidance ensures healthy progress
If you’d like to work with me and get a more in depth look at your hormones, cycle, and overall health, call The Adapt Lab clinic at 858.209.2400 to make an appointment. I look forward to helping you get your health back on track!
*Disclaimer: Although I am a doctor, I may not be your doctor. The information contained within the pages of this site are for educational purposes only and should not to be used to treat conditions. Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*
*Dr. Francesca is an affiliate for Amazon and other companies. Some links contained within these blog posts may be affiliate links from which she receives a small commission at no additional cost to the customer.