New year’s resolutions come and go. Lists are made but items are never crossed off. We think about the things we want in our lives but often lack the impetus to take the first step.
What do we want? Why do we want it?
These questions are vague and broad but can’t be taken lightly. We get this one body and this one life. It is up to us to look within for motivation and then take charge.
Sometimes the availability of healthy lifestyle messages can become distorted and illusory. We need positive influences and realistic guidance to embark on the changes we want in order to improve our lives.
Think about who you are and who you want to be. Think about where you are and where you want to go.
Some things to consider along this journey can include:
Diet - Assess the variety, content, and amount of the foods you eat. Are they nutrient-rich or are they devoid of any healthy value? Think about the areas where you want to make adjustments like reducing salt, sugar, and fat; drinking more water; increasing vegetable and fruit consumption; and eliminating the bad carbs, while adding some good carbs. Are you looking for weight loss as well as health benefits?
One of the biggest issues many people face when trying to change their diet is how to make healthy food taste good. There is a misconception that eating healthy means bland, boring recipes or ingredient substitutes that change the flavor and texture of foods you love.
The truth is, there are plenty of healthy baking recipes that taste just as good as unhealthy ones. The ingredients you use matter, and you may be surprised to learn that the healthiest flour for baking may even be the tastiest. And, by swapping out standard ingredients for healthier alternatives, you can still enjoy all of your favorite recipes.
Physical Activity - Are you sedentary for too many hours of the day, glued to your desk and screens? Maybe intensive exercise isn’t the answer you need if you want to make some gradual changes. Start slowly with some neighborhood walks or a bit of gentle yoga stretching and bending. These changes can be more sustainable and may motivate you to eventually try something with more intensity and long-term impact.
Mindfulness - You’ve been caught up in the flurry of activities that make up your life, leaving you to barely catch your breath or acknowledge what surrounds you. You want to feel more connected to your people and your environment. SLOW DOWN.
Feel and listen to the breaths you inhale and exhale. Allow sunshine to warm your face. Renew feelings of comfort and contentment. Practice a sense of gratitude that you have a wealth of possibilities to improve your lifestyle both physically and emotionally.
Connection and Compassion - You want your healthy lifestyle to reflect more than your physical body. You want to establish bonds with those around you by connecting with the environment and your community. A healthy lifestyle in this respect can include reusing and recycling, choosing locally grown and sourced foods, and helping to improve the lives of those who are vulnerable or less fortunate.
So, take a look at your motivations as you implement changes to create a healthy lifestyle for you, your family, and those in your community. You probably have some physical motivations for weight management, improved eating habits, and exercise routines. But you’ve probably also included some motivations that have an impact beyond yourself that allows for advancing the greater good.
Perhaps most importantly, once you identify these motivations, take the next step and put them into action incrementally and with purpose. After some time you will find your motivations have evolved into reality and your healthy lifestyle perspective is broadened and enhanced.
If you're ready to start making small changes in your routine to foster a healthier lifestyle, substituting a few ingredients in your pantry is an easy first step. Healthy baking recipes start with healthy ingredients. So, if you're concerned about how to make healthy food taste good, try gluten-free flour and see for yourself how the healthiest flour for baking also tastes the best.