Happy New Year everyone!!! And welcome back from the holidays! I hope you all had an amazing end of 2017 and are excited for the year ahead. I’m sure many of you have made new year’s resolutions/goals and a lot of them may be about getting healthy. So, today I’ll share with you the 10 ways I plan on staying healthy in 2018 and my 2018 healthy goals!
1. Start your day off right – Eating a healthy (mini) breakfast
Starting off with one of my number one 2018 healthy goals is eating a healthy breakfast. Last year I tried intermittent fasting for most of the year, however, I would get hungry and my stomach would growl a lot at work. So, this year I think I am going to cut back on IF and start eating mini healthy breakfasts in the morning. Enough to get me going through lunch. Gursheel always takes overnight oats for breakfast, so I am going to start as well. But making a very small amount because I hate eating in the mornings. I may even make smoothies. Check this post for my favourite healthy smoothie recipe that tastes amazing!
2. Make a grocery list on your phone
I started doing this towards the end of 2017 and it was so so helpful. I have the Google Keep app on my phone and I keep track of common grocery items we buy. So if something runs out at home, I just pull out my phone and add what I need right away. We go grocery shopping once a week, Friday evenings, and I make sure I don’t go more than that. So one grocery shopping trip a week and I should have all the things I need. Also, be sure to check out my post on how I save on groceries! Having a grocery list on your phone makes it easy for you to always have food at home. Having your fridge and pantry stocked makes you not go out and buy food spontaneously and therefore helps you be healthier.
3. Put an end to mindless eating
Gursheel and I love snacks and usually when we are chilling at home, we get the urge to eat and we take a look at what we have and grab it. We were huge chips addicts for the first half of 2017, where we ate chips everyday! We have now transitioned to buying no more chips and eat healthier snacks instead. So, just having more healthier snack options at home keeps us prepared. One of our favourite snacks to munch on currently is cheese and crackers! I also love hummus and pita chips! I’ll also be sharing some snack ideas on the blog so watch out for that!
4. Cut down on sugary carbonated drinks
I used to drink Ginger Ale or pop 3 times a week, if not more. But I have decided in 2018 to limit it to just once a week instead. Friday nights are pizza nights and Ginger Ale is the perfect drink, so I’ll save my once a week drink for Fridays!
5. Eat more plants – try new fruits and vegetables
For our lunch, Gursheel and I usually eat 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables. We used to only get one type of fruit and vegetable all the time. But, now, when we go grocery shopping we try to get new fruits and vegetables. Usually we go for the one that are on sale, which are usually the ones that are in season as well. So another one of my 2018 healthy goals is to continue to eat the rainbow in terms of fruits and vegetables and start adding those we have never eaten before as well!
6. Exercising and Walking more – no more elevator
For the first half of 2017, I used to walk over an hour a day to and from Union Station and my work. However, the GO train got super expensive so I found an alternative, the TTC. It’s great because the subway stop is right by my work and I don’t need to walk in this freezing cold. However, although it is saving me over $2000 a year, I am losing 5 hours of walking a week! So, I need to find a way to make up the 5 hours of walking. I’m lucky my job is not a desk job and I walk most of the day. However, I do use the elevator a lot. So, this year my goal is to stop taking the elevator and walk up and down the stairs as much as I can. I’m on the 8th floor so this should be a good work out. On top of that I am going to continue my twice a week workouts – BootCamp and Core Fusion Balance at Hart House!
7. Getting outdoors more – travel somewhere once a month
When I lived in BC, I used to run weekend mornings with my friend. Since moving to Toronto, I think I ran outside just once and gave up due to lack of a friend to run with and the cold weather. So, this year, another goal is to get outdoors more. I don’t think I will get back into running, but another one of my 2018 healthy goals is to go on more hikes and explore more of Ontario. The license plate in Ontario does say ‘yours to discover’. So, I’m going to aim to travel to a new location once a month. This just means finding a cool place and driving there and doing the hikes in the area!
8. Meal Prepping
I used to meal prep a lot when I lived in BC and was vegan for several years. Currently, I pack our lunches the night before and it takes me around 20 min to get the snacks and breakfast ready for the next day. This includes washing and cutting up the fruit and vegetables and preparing the overnight oats. We usually take leftover dinner as our lunch, so I just pack it into our bento boxes the night before. Oh, and a side note, these bento boxes are AMAZING!!! So, although we most often eat a healthy lunch, breakfast and dinner on workdays, I think we can save more time by meal prepping. We usually eat quite unhealthy on the weekends, so meal prepping one day a week should help us reach for healthier foods on the weekends as well!
9. Doing more Simran – spiritual health
As a Sikh, it is important to do Simran (meditation) to help us achieve our greatest purpose of life – to meet God. There are many different types of meditation out there and they all have an impact on our spiritual wellness. However, through Simran or remembering God, your soul achieves salvation by uniting with God himself. Although union with God is my number one goal in life, I always seem to forget and need to remind myself to do Simran. Last year, a couple of our friends introduced us to MySimran programs and Gursheel and I started going multiple times a week. Then, we just got lazy and stopped going altogether. Although you don’t necessarily need to go to the Gurdwara to do Simran (you can do it at home), I am able to turn off my mind much more easily at the Gurdwara than at home. This year I am going to start going to Simran programs at least twice a week and try doing Simran daily at home as well. This is definitely my hardest but most important goal this year!
10. Emotional/mental health – be more patient and empathetic
Emotional health is an important part of overall health but is often overlooked. By being emotionally healthy, you are in control of your thoughts and feelings and are able to manage everyday life challenges. One thing I need to work on is my patience. I can so easily get frustrated with people or things that are slow to understand or do things. By being more empathetic towards people will hopefully help me be more patient. I used to volunteer at the Vancouver Crisis Line as Crisis Counsellor for several years and it was such an amazing experience. I learned so much about people and mental health and also learned to be more empathetic. Also, I learned to not judge people to0 much because you have no idea what kind of struggles they are going through in their life. Because everyone is struggling with something, although they may not tell you. So, my final goal is to volunteer again for a crisis line. I applied to an organization before the holidays so hopefully I get accepted! I also want to start making more of an effort to talk to the people around me as well. Usually I am more than happy spending all my time with Gursheel and just talking to him. But I want to start connecting with those around me as well!
Overall health is a combination of the food we eat, how we move our body and how we take care of our mind and soul and therefore my 2018 healthy goals include a bit of all these things. I hope I can stick to these and have a healthy year ahead!
What are your 2018 healthy goals? How do you stay motivated throughout the year to achieve these?