I come from a pretty health-conscious family. We like to stay active, we eat salads with most of our dinners, and we primarily drink water, occasionally the bubbly variety. When we played a game of children's charades over the holidays, my 4-year old niece picked the word "tree." With a big smile on her face, she declared, "I definitely know what to do for this one!" And then she did tree pose. It was genius, hilarious, and a perfect example of how we prioritize wellness in our family. So much so that even the little ones catch onto it. But we still indulged over the holidays, and as a pregnant mama, I am ready to reset and re-energize. Here's what I plan to do to prioritize my health as we enter the new year.
1. Drink, drink, and drink some more...water. Staying hydrated is important (captain obvious, here), and I've noticed its importance even more during this pregnancy (hello dehydration headaches!). So I plan to keep water by my side at all times, and when I get tired of plain old water, I'll switch to seltzer (#allthebubbles). I love using the SodaStream, but two of my favorite brands of seltzer are Polar and LaCroix. Both offer a variety of flavors without calories, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or sodium. Make water the first step in your plans to increase energy, improve digestion, brighten dull skin, and cure headaches.
2. Get outside for at least 30 minutes per day. Boston winters are cold, which makes it really easy to convince myself to stay bundled up inside. Luckily, I have two small dogs, which force me to trek outside at least three times a day. I'm usually a little unhappy about it at first, but I feel much more energized after getting fresh air. For me, increased energy leads to increased activity and increased motivation to eat healthier throughout the day. Wins all around. Find a realistic way to get outdoors every day, and then set a goal to achieve it. Establishing that as part of your routine can help you make healthier choices all around.
3. Eat more vegetables! Specifically, I need to make sure I eat at least 3 veggies each day. That sounds like I'm aiming pretty low for a dietitian, but I go through phases with my vegetable consumption, and pregnancy alters that even more (in the negative direction). Adding in more veggies will increase my fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which will help boost my energy, immunity, and digestion. Make a big salad at the beginning of each week to easily add more vegetables to your diet. If meal planning is a challenge, subscribe to one of the many available meal kit delivery services that will help ensure a balanced meal (veggies included!) a couple times per week. My personal favorite is HelloFresh, which has a Registered Dietitian on staff.
That's it! I keep my goals simple, attainable, and positive. Set too many, and you'll be overwhelmed before you begin. Make them too challenging, and you'll lose steam early. Focus on negativity, and you'll reflect on what you're giving up rather than what you're gaining. There are plenty of ways to reset and re-energize after the holidays. Start by writing down what you value (health, energy, nutrient intake) and where you want to make improvements (eating, exercise, mindfulness). Then think of 2 to 3 tangible goals that align with your self-assessment and work towards them every day.
Here's to a happy and healthy new year for all!