We get it. Your schedule is over-the-top, and 2021 hasn’t taken the form you anticipated. Fair enough. Still, you have viable reasons for making goals for better health and the health of your loved ones, and you want to take steps toward a healthier year.
The Covid-19 pandemic introduced as many indirect challenges as it did direct health issues. Those of us who promote and support healthier lifestyle choices continued serving our clients, knowing it was the best way we could usher them through a difficult year.
While delivering personally prepared meals, we addressed numerous questions about how our clients could continue nurturing their health and emotional and mental well-being while simultaneously quarantining and socially distancing.
You probably asked yourself the same questions and discovered that the answers were not always clear.
What has become clear are the many habits we picked up that we need to shed (Eating in front of the television – anyone?). Additionally, many of us struggle to find the motivation necessary to incorporate the daily actions intrinsic to a healthy lifestyle.
And that’s pretty much why we wanted to share some of these ideas. They aren’t new and mind-blowing. They are tried and true, straightforward ways to intentionally incorporate healthy changes in your life and the lives of others in your household.
Here we go…
#1. Explore New Foods
If you were like many of us over the last year, you probably spent more than your average amount of time in the kitchen. Maybe you sated your carb cravings by baking homemade bread, cookies, or other desserts and pastries.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that option, of course. And now, you may want to consider reaching for some alternatives.
Instead of serving your regular pasta noodles for dinner, why not start exploring squash or zucchini zoodles instead? By replacing a carb with a vegetable, you’ll add nutrients and vitamins to your diet that will help boost your immune system. Exploring new foods and recipes is an enjoyable way to make healthy dietary changes.
#2. Reconsider Daily Desserts
Note, we said “cut back,” not stop altogether. That’s an important differentiator!
If it’s your family’s habit to chase all your dinners with a sugary dessert, you can cut calories and promote healthier habits by opting for fresh fruits or a warm cup of antioxidant-rich tea instead.
Or maybe you need a few nights spent mentally re-establishing that you are full and content and don’t always need an after-meal reward. Instead, take your time and eat more slowly, savoring the flavors in each bite throughout your meal.
#3. Manage Meals With Intention
Busy families can easily slip away from healthy eating habits due to lack of time and planning. It’s convenient and entirely understandable to buy fast food after a long day at work here and there. However, you will sabotage your goals for better health by indulging in carry-out too frequently.
As an alternative, spend fifteen minutes to a half-hour with your family on Sundays, planning out the week.
- What days will you eat out?
- What days will you eat at home?
- How does that work with everyone’s schedule?
Together, you can make a list of the meals everyone loves eating at home. Then, pick one or two of them for the upcoming week and assign them to a day. You don’t have to create an inflexible schedule, and writing an ingredient list for a couple of meals isn’t overly time-consuming and sets the stage for success.
Tip: cooking a few proteins and packing them into containers on Sunday evening will save you time throughout the week. This small but useful time-saver makes stir-frys, soups, and casseroles even quicker to prepare.
#4. Exercise Together
An evening walk or bicycle ride is an excellent way to bond and catch up with your family while enjoying some fresh air and getting away from your at-home office desk chair.
Take the time to exercise with your loved ones for at least 30 minutes daily, and you will be well on your way to keeping your family on track for a healthier lifestyle in 2021.
#5. Review Your Favorite Beverages
It’s no revelation that sugary juices and sodas pack several hundred empty calories in each serving. You don’t have to ditch them altogether. Still, you can limit them by replacing some of your high-calorie beverages with water, tea, or flavored drink powders. You’ll help your family get healthier without much effort or significant changes.
Tip: Try purchasing reusable water bottles or thermoses for your family members. Not only will they keep cold or warm drinks throughout your busy schedules, but you can select from a variety of colors, styles, and designs to personalize them for each person.
#6. Manage the Mid-Day Munchies
Often thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Try to limit your family’s daily snacking and encourage your loved ones to drink water or non-caloric beverages instead.
If, after sating your thirst, you still find you are hungry, make sure you’ve set yourself up for success by having healthy choices on hand.
For some of our clients who want to delegate this task, we provide snacks as part of our prepared meal delivery service.
If you plan to manage snack prep yourself but need to keep it simple, try buying snacks such as peanut butter and apples or celery, string cheese and almonds, or baby carrots dipped in hummus. All of these goodies healthily manage the munchies with little guilt or threat to the waistline.
#7. Determine Your Goals for Better Health
Depending on their age and understanding, it’s likely that each of your family members has their own set of health-related goals for the new year.
The best way to stay on target is to recognize and record these where everyone in the family can see and encourage each other. Plus, you may find many similarities between them. Visually seeing your goals makes it more likely you’ll stay on the path. Not only that, you can choose to stock your kitchen with foods that are in-line with the goals for better health that you set.
How We Can Help
A Healthy 2021 is no different from any other year, but we know a little bit of encouragement goes a long way, so that’s where we come in! With consistency, positivity, and balance in your food choices and lives, 2021 can look so much different than any other year. And? We know how to set up your busy family for success with our personally prepared meal delivery services.