Happy New Year!
New Year resolutions always seem to follow a familiar trend around diets, exercise and getting healthy. I think it is important to build a lifestyle that supports health and wellness (versus just making a big push in January which is hard to sustain long term). Life doesn’t always make it easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle – kids, work, and family keep me busy – but I 100% stand behind a healthy lifestyle to keep you feeling & looking your best.
A few of my top tips for staying healthy all year long:
- The 80/20 rule. I don’t like following strict diets which make me feel like I’m missing out. The occasional treat or glass of wine is super motivating to me so I approach my diet with an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat a diet that is well balanced and full of nutrition. That leaves some space for me to indulge on occasion. A proper diet leaves you well equipped to ward off illness, lose weight and look your best.
- Eat your veggies. Every meal, try to fill your plate with as many vegetables as possible. Vegetables are filled with nutrients, water, fiber, and very few calories – by loading up your plate with vegetables you will fill up faster and cut down on calories without feeling deprived. I use a variety of herbs and spices to flavor my veggies so that I can cut down on the butter and salt. My kids look to me as an example so when they see my plate full of veggies, they ask for the same! If you find it hard to eat a plateful of vegetables try adding them into yummy things like smoothies (I do this every morning), soups, and stews. I also love grilling and roasting vegetables, which makes them much sweeter. My kids love broccoli florets that I drizzle with a good dose of extra virgin oil, season with herbs, and pop in the toaster oven for 15 minutes.
- Find an exercise program that you enjoy and find motivating. Personally, I need the input of a personal trainer to help me target specific areas and safely change my exercise routines. I don’t always have a ton of free time to get to the gym so I have a variety of at home DVD’s that I do – a few of my favorites include BeachBody 21 Day Fix and Moms into Fitness by Lidnsay Brin, and P90X. I find if I take 30 minutes to sweat it out my day is much calmer and I feel so much more energized.
- Pick one day during the week and pamper yourself. It doesn’t have to be an all day event – even just one hour to exfoliate, moisturize and paint your nails. On Sunday evenings once the kids are in bed I like to light a few candles, play some quiet music and pamper myself. This leaves me relaxed and ready to tackle the week ahead.
- Stay on top of your medical care. Now is a great time to organize your medical providers and schedule any appointments that you will need during the year. Don’t forget about your annual skin check with a dermatologist. Early detection is so important – if you see something suspicious call right away to rule out skin cancer.
- Lastly, I share one of my new resolutions for 2016: take 10 minutes of the day to meditate. Between motherhood, work, and marriage, I find that there is also something to be thinking about or planning for. My goal for this year is to try to be more present in the moment. There are many known benefits meditation including stress relief and improved immunity. I will keep you posted on how I do with this new resolution!!
Start slow with any lifestyle changes to make them easy to maintain – jumping right in 100% is sure to cause burn out quick. Pick one area and focus on that for a month before picking up another area.
As my yogi friends say – Namaste! Happy New year.
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African American Dermatologist