January, we might as well re name it: Lets Get Healthy. It’s such a great time of year to rethink how we’re eating and exercising and start making simple changes to increase our health. Health can mean a lot of different things to each individual person. To some people it means losing weight, to some people it means lowering their cholosteral, to some people it means gaining more energy. Whatever it means to you, go with it. As long as you’re caring about your health, I’m happy.
It is so important to both eat well and exercise, and when it comes to exercise I have one word for you: yoga. (Surprise, surprise…I bet none of you would have guessed that!) Yoga is so great physically and mentally. And in my opinion, your mental state is just as important as your physical health. Yoga rejuvenates your mind, body and soul, and you walk away feeling amazing. I lived in Toronto a couple of years ago when I went back to school and I was both overweight and in a very poor mental state. I realized I needed to fix this and decided I was going to do so through eating better and practicing yoga. This was before I knew I had a gluten intolerance so I still ate gluten, but a much smaller amount than I had been eating. I removed bread completely and ate only a small amount of pasta. I packed my own lunches to bring with me to school, and they were full of veggies and fruit. I then went to yoga 2-3 times a week. Not only did I go to yoga, but I went to PYC. The BEST yoga possible. I lost 20 pounds in 3 months through changing my eating habits and going to yoga. Not only did I look better, but I felt AMAZING. I fully owe it to yoga for changing my mental state, and helping me become such a happier person.
Unfortunately when I moved home, there was no PYC close by so I had to start practicing yoga somewhere else. Although it did the job, it wasn’t anything like my experiences at PYC. But now there is a PYC in Waterloo and I am begging you all as your new years resolution to try it out and start practicing there. It will change your life, I promise.
Along with yoga comes healthy eating. This is key in any healthy lifestyle. You can exercise as much as you want, but if you’re stuffing your face with sugars and fats, you will never have the outcome you desire. Believe it or not, it’s quite easy to eat healthy and to cook healthy recipes. The only thing it may require is going to the grocery store more often because fruits and veggies don’t last nearly as long as the prepackaged junk. First thing that I suggest, smoothies. I got a magic bullet for Christmas and it has made making smoothies SO much easier. They’re quick and easy, and so healthy. I drink one every morning for breakfast. My biggest tip for smoothies, is use whatever the heck you have in your fridge. There’s tons of recipes for smoothies, and I tend to find people say “oh I would make a smoothie, but I don’t have that certain ingredient this recipe calls for” who cares!! Use whatever fruits and veggies you do have, and I almost guarantee it will taste great. The key ingredients I love to use are, bananas, spinach, fresh pineapple, rasberries, blueberries, strawberries, mango, greek yogurt, chia and flax seed powder and almond milk. I will use any combination of these ingredients, just depending on what I have available. (Another tip is when fruits are on sale, buy them, wash them, cut them up and put them in a freezer bag so even if you run out of fresh fruit, you have a back up supply in the freezer.)
A great healthy recipe that is one of my go to’s is Quinoa Salad. I’ve posted Quinoa recipes before (use the word Quinoa in the search button and you can find more recipes) but this one is a new fav. It doesn’t call for too many ingredients which makes it so convienent to make (I tend to always have these ingredients in my fridge anyways). I found this recipe on a blog that I love, Fraiche Nutrition and altered it a little to my liking.
Feta Quinoa Salad
-2 cups quinoa (buy quiona at Costco to get the most bang for your buck)
– 1/2 English cucumber
-1 cup purple seedless grapes
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
-3 green onions
-fresh lemon juice
-raw organic honey
-salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Cook 2 cups of quinoa according to package. Put aside to cool. Chop cucumber, grapes and green onions. Place into bowl along with the quinoa and mix together. Add the dressing; lemon juice, olive oil and melted honey (melt honey briefly over stovetop). Mix everything together, add feta and salt and pepper. Voila.
Enjoy this delicious salad. I love to make it on a Sunday afternoon, put it in a Tupperware container in my fridge and bring it for my lunch over the next couple of days to work. If it starts to get dry, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir.
Those are just a few ways to get healthy in this “Lets Get Healthy” month. If I could do it, I know you can too. I promise you will start to feel so much better overall, and these simple recipes and trips to yoga will become an everyday normal routine thing. Happy New Year.
“3 months from now, you will thank yourself.”