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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

checklist | five simple tips to living a healthy lifestyle

We have a great chiropractor, Dr. Paul Jensen. We've been going to him for many, many years. I get a massage and adjustment every month--just for maintenance--and more often if I need it. If I go beyond a month, my body reminds me it's time. :)

I've learned a lot from Dr. Jensen about living a healthy lifestyle. He takes a very holistic approach to healthy living which makes total sense to me. One of the most useful things he's taught me is the five factors for living a healthy lifestyle:

stress reduction

Aim to drink 64 ounces a day.

It used to be difficult for me to drink that much water. I keep track with a 24 oz. insulated cup with a straw and have no problem.

I love lemon water, which is great for boosting your metabolism and detoxing. I juice half a lemon and add it right to my first cup of water in the morning. It'll wake you up quick.

Food is such a personal thing. I've really had to experiment with what works best for my body. I need protein in the morning, so it's eggs or yogurt every day. I've learned I have to eat grains in moderation and when I do, it's whole wheat. I try to stay away from the white stuff--flour, sugar, potatoes and rice.

These cherub tomatoes are the only ones I buy--so sweet!

And I try to eat a lot of good fats--olive oil, avocados, salmon, and whole milk products--along with fruits and veggies. I also take fish oil every day to help with a lack of seratonin. It really helps.

I feel like I eat pretty healthy, but on the flip side, I also have a major sweet tooth. More specifically I've recently realized, a fat tooth. I've gone off sugar multiple times for about four to six weeks (mostly just to say I could and take off a few pounds), but interestingly, the last time I did it, I ended up gaining three pounds! Really? I realized I had just substituted other carbs for the sugar. In reality, a carb--even if it's whole wheat--is still a carb.

Prepare juicing ingredients ahead of time for a quick pick me up.

A few weeks ago, I decided to do a simple detox/cleanse, because I was so tired all the time. I ate all fruits and veggies for two days, then added in some protein (mostly nuts and chicken) the rest of the week. I stayed completely away from all milk products and grains. I felt pretty good, and ended up losing four pounds. And I found the best new juice combo from my latest issue of Whole Living magazine.

Grapefruit and Carrot Juice
Press 2 chopped grapefruits (peel and pith removed), 5 chopped carrots, and 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.

I want to lose a few more pounds, and after looking into and actually trying some diet plans, am now using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat. It's a free on-line calorie counter and has a major database of foods to search and add. It even has Cafe Rio. I can also add more calories to my count, depending on how long I exercise each day. It's simple to use and a great way to build awareness. (I was way overdoing the nuts. I love almonds and pecans.)

I am the one on a girls' weekend away, that always heads to bed first. I am NOT a night owl. I know, every party needs a pooper, and I'm the pooper. :) If I don't get enough sleep, not only do I not function well, I gain weight because I eat more sugar to stay "up." Seven to eight hours is absolutely necessary. It helps with regeneration and healing too. 

Personally, I stick with walking/jogging and weights. I need to pick up on the weights. I slacked on my walks this summer, mostly because Ella is not a morning person and it gets too hot during the day. I've started hitting the next best option--the treadmill in the air conditioned basement family room. My energy level has picked up tremendously.

stress reduction
This is the BIG one. Keeping stress levels in check is critical to healthy living. For me, it's a lot of little things that help me relax and unwind from the every day stressors--shopping therapy (with no littles), date night, massages, afternoon Netflix (an episode of Vampire Diaries or Downton Abbey--I'm SO hooked!), or just running across the street to visit with a friend.

Simplifying life, reduces stress. This is one of the biggest reasons I strive to keep my life as simple as possible. Chaos and craziness are stressful! So are some relationships and friendships.

For the biggies, it's important to find someone to talk to. Someone who can give you a new perspective and teach you new ways of dealing with stressful situations. Yes, I'm a strong believer that everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist at one time or another in their lives. 

Natalie's challenge
At the beginning of the year, my friend Natalie sent an announcement on our neighborhood Google Group, that she was issuing a twelve week challenge and invited anyone who wanted to join. It was great motivation. Because it was a challenge, and not a competition, we had a large group. Natalie's checklist included the following:

5 Fruits and Vegetables
64 oz. of Water
No Sweets (or less sugar)
Personal (Anything you want to work on personally. For me, some days it was simply change out of my jammies or sweats. :))

We received one point for each item each day. At the end of each week, we added our points to a master sheet. My goal was progress, not perfection.

It's simple to get five fruits/veggies a day with salads like this!
Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta recipe. (A new fave!)
More salad recipes on my Pinterest board: fruits and salads.

If I've learned anything about healthy living, it's:
1. In order for habits stick, you have to take it one step at a time. Trying to make huge changes all at once is a sure deal breaker.
2. Small and simple things make a big difference.
3. It's easy to fall back into destructive habits. Find ways to keep good habits and get back on track when necessary.

I'd love to hear what one thing you'd like to work on to create a more healthy lifestyle.


P.S. I'm taking a little time off for some stress reduction. :) I'll be back around August 13th with some fun stuff to share.


  1. Thanks for the tips Kim... they make sense.
    I may need to add some dark chocolate in there too:)

  2. Thank you for your inspirational post! I really needed this push to realign and balance my life. I love the point system on progress! The post baby weight is not budging and I needed something to motivate me! You are amazing! Take care! I hope you are all doing well!

  3. I love te idea of increasing the points you received each day/week, and not just trying to be perfect from the get-go.

  4. I love te idea of increasing the points you received each day/week, and not just trying to be perfect from the get-go.

  5. Great tips, Kim. I LOVE my fitness pal too. I have lost 6 pounds so far (since July 24). I programed it for 1.5 lbs and week, and it has been SPOT on. It's crazy how well it works, and I love how simple it is. I like it better than weight watchers in terms of keeping track, and I can't believe it was a free app. I would have paid for it.

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  7. Nice snaps. I totally agree with your post. Blog provides informative blog related to tips on healthy living. Thanks for the nice post. !!!