Small Changes for Long-Term Success
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Week 1 Small Changes Challenge
Why make small changes?
Think about it, small changes add up and result in long term success. Fad diets don't work and depravation backfires. However, when you make life style and behavior changes you achieve long term results. So where do you begin?
Choose one (1) health goal, yes just one goal and be specific. For example, drink an additional 8oz of water, or eat one more piece of fruit a day, or start meals with a salad, or get daylight first thing in the morning, stretch for 5 min each morning etc. It doesn't have to be complicated, just pick one goal that supports your wellbeing. Choose what works for you.
Each week chose one small change that you can implement. These small steps add up and really do work. Follow the tips that I'll be sharing on social media to motivate and keep you on track. Make sure that you're measuring your success. You can use online tools, for example food logs, you can weigh yourself or not, assess your energy levels, get lab results, etc. If you need additional tools for measuring success, let me know.
Week One (1) Small Changes: Create a Healthy Eating Schedule
Eat nourishing breakfast
Eat nourishing lunch
Eat a nourishing snack (fruit like apple or vegetable like carrots)
Eat nourishing dinner
Get at least 7hrs of sleep
Week Two (2) Small Changes: Brighten Your Plate Naturally
Eat 1 serving fruit at breakfast
Add veggies/fruit to lunch
Start dinner with a salad
Add a veggie to dinner
Snack on 1 piece of fruit a day.
Week Three (3) Small Changes: Think Before you Drink
8 cups of fluids (mostly water aka. H20)
Sip seltzer or club soda in place of regular soda
Choose 1 whole fruit vs juice. Eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice
Ditch “fancy” coffee drinks! Swap for Black Coffee, Green tea or other herbal tea
Enjoy 1 glass of wine or beer, or 1 cocktail on the weekend not each day.
Week Four (4) Small Changes: Give Your Carbs a Makeover
Increase fiber at breakfast (add a piece of fruit, savory breakfast like sautéed mushrooms or greens on toast)
Brown or sprout your bread (Food for Life)
Fix your pasta (opt for bean or vegetable based pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash)
Redo your rice (swap white rice for brown rice, or try farro, couscous, buckwheat, etc.).
Slim your potatoes (keep the skin on for extra fiber; try purple or sweet potatoes)
Week Five (5) Small Changes: Go Easy on Extras
Ask for dressing on the side (skip drenched in heavy dressing for fresh and crisp salad)
Use fresh herbs and spices to enhance flavor without additional calories
Slim down your sauces
Use Veggies as an extra
Swap old for new toppings: swap heavy cheese for nutritional yeast loaded with vitamin B12
Be adventurous and try something new
Week Six (6) Small Changes: Choose Healthy Fats
Upgrade your oils (Nix canola oil, upgrade with organic olive oil or avocado oil)
Terminate trans fats (processed foods, including microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, etc.)
Add some crunch with nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
Swap a dairy heavy and fat loaded salad dressing, for a homemade salad dressing like Lemon-Tahini dressing
Week Seven (7) Small Changes: Tame your Sweet Tooth
Learn about sugar Today there are many names for sugar, knowing what those are allows you to make better informed choices that support your health and happiness.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and often cause sugar cravings.
HALT cravings in their track! Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes.
Anticipate and prepare for midday cravings! Nourish yourself with naturally-sweet vegetables and fruit to crowd out your sugar cravings. Try a natural sweet that's currently in season with an added bonus of feeling better, without a sugar crash.
Get Moving. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boost energy, and reduce tension, decreasing the likelihood that you’ll want to self-medicate with sugar.
If you overindulge, get back on track. When you eat a lot of sugar or carbs, and there’s a ton of glucose in your system, your body sends out lots of insulin to deal with this. This is why sugar-holics, like alcoholics, can have fatty liver disease. If you ate too much desert, that's valuable information to remember next time you feel like indulging. Use it to keep on track.
Week Eight (8) Small Changes: Share Food and Good Times
Dine out, don’t pig out - look at the menu before heading to the restaurant. Choose what will nourish and support your wellbeing vs giving into temptations that may leave you feeling bloated and heavy.
Celebrate the event, not just the food - we often forget to enjoy the company and conversation during meals, because we're too busy stuffing our faces. Consider taking a pause, tuning inwards, expressing gratitude in that moment. Food that you share will nourish your body, if you are in a parasympathetic (relaxed) vs sympathetic (stressed) state.
Treat “the Holidays” as one day, not one month. Enjoy a special treat, of course! However, consider if health is a one day or long term commitment for you. Decide what you will have as a treat, you don't have to try everything and completely sabotage your progress. This is a special time of the year, that can be celebrated in good health for years to come.
Week Nine (9) Small Changes: Get Moving
Make exercise time, playtime! Think back to when you were a kid, what did you enjoy the most? Was is riding your bike, playing outdoors, tennis, rollerblading, swimming, something else? When you enjoy an activity, you'll view it as something to look forward to and may even lose yourself in it not realizing that you're exercising.
Start slowly, and be active 5 days a week! I'm not suggesting that you go run a marathon 5 days a week, but rather move each day, even if it's for a short walk after dinner or just moving around the house to get chores done. Just start slow and move each day.
Step it up!! Even if you exercise or don't every day, step it up by starting or adding one extra movement, increasing your free weights, or extending your walk for 5 more minutes. Every little bit counts.
Find your exercise why. It may be that you always feel good after you've done it, that it helps you stay active and supports your wellbeing. Find your why, so that when you don't feel like exercising you can remind yourself why you do it.
Week Ten (10) Small Changes: Find Joy
In the pursuit of health, many people leave joy out of the equation. However, joy is an integral part of holistic wellness, and it’s not a luxury; it’s an essential aspect of thriving. Joy isn’t hard to find! In fact, it’s all around you if you open yourself to it. Small moments of joy can spark great changes, and joy can show up when you least expect it. By taking conscious action to bring more joy into your life, you’ll reap all the health benefits
Go on a Joy finding treasure hunt. Look for joy in simple moments like, playing with your kids, breathing in fresh air on a walk or just be joyful for the fact that you're alive.
Practice gratitude, it's free and increases joy. Offer gifts of service, help someone out each day. And surround yourself with uplifting people who boost your joy.
Think about three things that give you joy right now.
Health is our greatest wealth, you've heard it all before and yet prioritizing health seems to be such a struggle. There is no time, there are too many priorities, it's just hard. Does this sound like you?
Health Goals, like any other goals are achieved when they're well defined, you commit and show up.
As an experienced Health and Nutrition coach I provide personalized and completely customizable to your bio-individual needs, 6month program that helps you stop the self-sabotage that's preventing you from reaching your health goals, and coach you how to overcome it with nourishment so that you can start living a healthy and happy life now.
Book your session today to learn more: Achieve your health goals with Nourished Alive. Give yourself the greatest gift, the one that keeps on giving, the gift of health. Afterall, Health is our greatest wealth. Nourished and Alive, living your best life. Let's do this!
"Success isn't overnight. It's when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up"