healthy |ˈhɛlθi|adjective ( healthier, healthiest ) in a good physical or mental condition; in good health: I decided to get healthy.

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends, and that you don’t feel too bad about any overeating or extra holiday desserts!

The gyms will be full this month with good-intending new year’s resolution makers–but statistics prove that within a few months, many of those people will give up on their goals and go back to life as usual.

I’ve had to make a decision for myself that my health is not dependent on a “goal weight” or the excitement from the first few months of the year. Instead, my overall health has become a lifestyle made up of choices and changes. I’ve decided that I want to take care of my health all year long, for the rest of my life!   

I know, from personal experience, that the food we eat affects not only our bodies, but our mental health and our overall well-being. Wellness doctors and researchers are now finding that when we consume the right amounts of nourishing vitamins and minerals from food and supplements, that the results can change everything about our body’s health.

I feel so much better when I make healthy food choices, but I didn’t always make the best decisions for my body. I gained weight my first year of college because I didn’t know how to eat. I was just eating what was cheap and available because I didn’t have a lot of money (cheap and available is usually the worst food for you: Ramen Noodles, pizza, crackers, preserved snacks, etc.)

I started getting really frustrated because I kept gaining so much weight that had to keep buying myself new clothes in larger sizes. Eventually, I couldn’t afford to do that anymore, and had to make a life change.

I knew I had to start working out more regularly and make better food choices if I was going to maintain the body weight that I wanted. I started by giving up pizza, all red meat and drastically decreased the amount of sugar and salt in my diet. I created a strict workout schedule for myself and joined my local gym.

I started seeing results in only a few weeks. I lost 15 pounds in less than 6 months and was able to fit in all of my old clothes again. Changing my diet and my schedule wasn’t easy, but it did make me feel and look better in the long run–and it was so worth it!

The Whole30 Diet
After I was pregnant with both of my kids, I always kick-started a healthy diet again by doing a month of the Whole30 diet plan. This diet helped me to lose all the extra baby weight (almost 40 pounds each pregnancy) I gained during my pregnancies, quickly. I was able to fit in my pre-baby clothes within a few months of having my babies.

This diet is a great way to kick off a new eating plan, goal or resolution. If you can eat healthy for 30 days, you can completely change your cravings and unhealthy eating tendencies. Plus, the Whole30 diet is designed to cleanse your body of harmful toxins and has been known to cure food allergies and fertility issues. What we eat is so important to the health of our bodies!

Meal Planning & Prepping
Now, I am very conscious of what I eat and of the food that I cook for my family. I found that “Meal Planning” is absolutely necessary when you decide you want to drastically change your diet. If you get too hungry and haven’t prepared anything healthy to eat beforehand, you will be more likely to slip up and eat whatever is available and easy–and usually, those choices are not the best for us.

I like to meal-prep each week because it keeps me organized and helps to ensure that my family is getting a well-balanced diet through meals and snacks, as well as making my trips to the grocery store less frequent.

Lastly (and most importantly), make sure you have healthy snacks and “cheat” foods nearby! My favorite “cheat” food is dark chocolate almonds. I always have a bag of these in my house, and often take a few with me in my purse so that when I’m craving something sweet, I can them to curb those cravings. These are a great substitute for desserts, which are my weakness!

Know what your weaknesses are when it comes to food, and find a good substitute to replace those with to keep you winning when it comes to your body and health goals!

Make Personal Goals, and Stick to Them!
Obtaining complete body health and personal goals can be accessible if you are willing to say, “no” to foods that are not good for you, and, “yes” to self-control. It takes an incredible amount of self-discipline to stick to your goals, but when you do, you will feel and look so much better!

Remember, you are doing this for YOU. Your health and well-being are of utmost importance if you want to get the most out of life. I believe you can do it. Write down the goals you have for yourself, get a weekly meal and workout plan together–and follow it!

Let me know how you’re doing in your progress. Nobody ever regrets choosing to live a healthier lifestyle!