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R&R Nutrition Week 1: Three Easy Add Ins That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Health

I believe so much of your success when it comes to making lifestyle changes that last comes down to perspective. This is something I learned for myself after years of trying to avoid the “bad” foods but only wanting them even more because they were “off limits.” It’s classic want what you can’t have. Basically, we’re all still toddlers deep down inside.

The game changer: When I started focusing and getting excited about all the foods that I CAN and should be eating. Instead of making it about “eliminating processed food” and “not eating sugar” I started appreciating whole foods and cooking more and finding the fun in trying new vegetables and learning new and interesting ways to prepare them that below myself and others away with how delicious they could be.

My personal experience has shaped my philosophy that it’s so much easier to, as I call it, “add in to crowd out.” The idea is you only focus on adding in as many whole, real foods - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, lean protein… and you’ll naturally crowd out the not-so-healthy stuff.

Gradually, your tastebuds shift, you get used to the crunch from carrots versus chips and you start feeling the difference too. This part is key.

That’s the other big a-ha I had. When you connect the dots between the food and how it’s making you feel, the choice become a no brainer.

That part happens gradually too… we’ll get to more on that over these next four weeks.

All you need to focus on here in week one is adding in.

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Here are the my top three add-ins to start:

1. Add 20-30 ounces of water first thing in the morning.

I recommend 20-30 oz. of water first thing in the morning. Before coffee! This will rehydrate you, get things moving (if you know what I mean) and help balance your hunger levels all day long.

It’s really common to mistake hunger for thirst. And when you go into the day dehydrated you can be setting yourself up for insatiable hunger. Nip it in the bud with some serious H20 and see if your hunger level gets taken down a notch.

Something else to keep in mind: Coffee is super dehydrating. If you’re a coffee drinker, up your H20 intake even more to stay hydrated and curb cravings. For each cup, add two cups of plain water to maintain proper hydration.

Action for the week: Start the day with a cup of hot lemon water before having your regular caffeine. To make: Squeeze a quarter of a lemon in a cup of hot water and sip while you get ready for the day. The water and lemon will help to gently cleanse your system and get you going naturally. At the end of the cup see how you feel, how’s your energy? Do you still feel like you need coffee to function? Or can you enjoy a cup but don’t necessarily need it?

2. Add something green for breakfast.

This is gonna sound kind of backwards, but greens are sorta like sugar. The more you eat, the more you want. I’m talking about the dark leafy greens that make you think salad. The kale, spinach, chard… that wall of green at the grocery store that maybe you’re not totally sure what’s what or what to do with any of it….

I say have greens at breakfast because it’s a funny thing… When you start eating greens on the reg, it’s kinda like taking a drink of water when you’re thirsty and your body goes, “YES! Give me more of that!” And it’s like you can’t stop.

When you start eating greens regularly, your body wants more and you ‘ll start to crave them.

The logic here is the earlier you get greens into your body, the more you’re going to eat all day long. Why do you need to be eating as many greens as you can? Because they’re nature’s multi-vitamin/multi-mineral. Energy in plant form. They are health changing…. LIFE changing.

You could do nothing else health-wise other than eat more greens and you would see a difference. They’re that important.

Try sneaking some spinach or kale into a smoothie. Or add some sprigs to your scrambled eggs or make a frittata or those mini egg cups all over Pinterest. You could even get ultra efficient and add a scoop of greens powder (I like this one) to water and drink your greens and H20.

Action for the week: Add something green to breakfast or as early in the day as you possibly can. Getting your greens in early will significantly add more vitamins and minerals to your day, and will encourage increased greens consumption overall. Greens for the WIN!

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3. Add some herbal tea.

Herbal teas are the answer for when you want to have a little something but you don’t want to eat or drink (talking about alcohol). They can be a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. And certain ones like peppermint are even known to help curb a sweet tooth.

Try out some different herbs and flavors and see what you like. Some of my favorite brands are Traditional Medicinals and Pukka, you can find links on my favorites page.

Find your favorite cup of caffeine-free herbal tea and cozy up with it in the evenings instead of a glass of wine.

Action for the week: Add a cup or two of herbal tea to your routine. Pick up a box or two to try the next time you’re at the store and enjoy in the afternoon and/or evening.

How to Make Changes That Last

I just wrote a post on my blog about six secrets to making lifestyle changes that last. It’s got some great advice that will help you approach the idea of “lifestyle changes” with a healthy perspective to help make them most successful for you. Read the full post here.