How to Stick to Your Healthy Lifestyle Plan

Congratulations, you have made some healthy choices. You have put away the old and embraced the new for the better. Perhaps you have noticed a marked increase in energy, a decrease in physical ailments, a better outlook on life and an overall sense of empowerment. It all started with a decision that you made to be the best you can be, to strive for health and to be well.

Now the big question is, how do you make this change last? How do you stay healthy and continue to move forward? After all, you have put so much effort into embracing a healthy life that it would be sorrowful to slip back into your old ways.

Believe it or not, the tricky part is not adapting new behaviors and attitudes; it is making them stick. So many times people reach a level of health that they have never known only to fall back into their old ways and lose all that they have gained.  To keep yourself moving forward consider these tips:

Understand balance

It is next to impossible to make the right choice 100% of the time. You will have days when it is harder to exercise, harder to make great food choices and just more difficult to stay motivated. Being realistic about the curve balls that life will pitch you will help to keep you balanced. Balance means staying in touch with what is important always, striving to do your best and picking yourself up and moving forward when you have a bad moment or even a bad day. Balance is about being real and understanding that it is ok to slip as long as you get up and continue forward progression.

Do what you love

When it comes to exercise, there is no way that you are going to stick to your routine if you are doing something that you don’t love. The key to adopting healthy regime is to find a few things that bring you joy and do them as often as you can. Keep in mind that the key to an active lifestyle is not to feel like exercise is your enemy. Embrace activities that you love like walking, biking, swimming, dancing or even playing with your kids as often as you can. You will soon become unaware that you are even exercising because you are enjoying yourself so much.

Keep learning

As Leonardo da Vinci said, ” Learning never exhausts the mind.” A hunger for new information will keep you on top of a healthy life. Find good sources and plug in often. The more you learn about food, nutrition, and exercise, the better choices you will make. Don’t ever let a lack of knowledge propel you towards inaction or inadequate action. There is so much good, solid information available that learning is easy.. Keep a record of all of the things you learn and make it a habit to try new things weekly.

Take it one step at a time

When making changes in your life, always remember that you can never get where you are going without taking the first step. Sometimes the first move is the hardest, but it is also the most important. Furthermore, you always have to walk before you can walk faster… if you put one foot in front of the other and continue moving, you will always be gaining and improving your health. Discouragement often comes when we try to do too much too quickly.

Be ok with where you are

Know that where you are is where you should be. This will help you keep perspective on your health journey. Be kind to yourself and don’t forget to forgive yourself if you slip up a bit. Worrying constantly about where you are going will take away from enjoying where you are at the moment. Look back down your path and see how far you have come rather than be concerned with how far you have to go. You will be amazed at how much influence you can have on yourself – you can be your best cheerleader or your worst critic. It is always best to be the cheerleader.

Surround yourself with like-minded family and friends

Social pressure can be both beneficial and also devastating. Your long term success with your healthy life will be challenged by social pressure along the way. To make it easier, surround yourself with family and friends who love and support you. People who feel the same way about health as you do will make your journey much easier. Even if they don’t agree 100% with all that you are doing, if they are respectful and supportive it will be much easier for you to remain focused. Some people even find it easier to join a support group with people who are on the same track. This gives you a safe place to talk about your concerns, share ideas and motivate each other.

Have a plan for traveling

Of course adopting a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you put all areas of your life on hold, including travel. With the general population becoming more and more aware of the necessity of healthy choices, there are more options to stay healthy while you travel. However, don’t ignore the benefit that a little planning along the way can have. While you are still in the planning stages, be sure that you will have access to healthy food and places to exercise while you travel.

This may even mean bringing along a workout tape or arranging a vacation where you can be active. If you plan on eating out a lot, know the in’s and out’s of dining out and what is acceptable for your meal plan. Some people find it easier to rent a place where they can do their shopping and cooking most of the time. This way you can be in control of what you are eating. If you are planning a road trip – pack your food and make ample time to stop, get out and walk around.

Be mindful

No matter what, always be mindful. Be aware of what you are eating, what you are doing and even what you are speaking and thinking. Take time to enjoy life, enjoy food, enjoy an active lifestyle and you will find that health is no longer a pursuit as much as it is a way of life that you embrace.

-Be Well

Keeping it Fresh, New, and Enjoyable

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself. Once you start making positive changes, you will begin to feel your old self sloughing away and a new person being formed. At first, the incredible changes that are happening in your body and even your mind, are enough to keep you motivated and on track.

After some time, it is not unusual and expected, that you may become a bit bored with your routine and long for a bit of spice to keep the spark of motivation lit. When the stresses of daily life creep in along with social pressures, staying plugged in becomes increasingly difficult. Here are some tips to help keep you going strong in your pursuit of optimal wellness:

Change up your aerobic routine

Sometimes all it takes is a change in your workout routine to keep things interesting and fun. Think outside the box and learn how to mix and match for best results. Here are some great ideas.

Outdoor activities

Engaging in aerobic activities outdoors provides multiple benefits. Fresh air, vitamin D, and time in nature are three reasons to spice up your workout routine with some of these great outdoor activities.

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Cross – country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Rollerblading
  • Swimming
  • Wakeboarding
  • Ice Skating
  • Paddle boarding
  • Rowing
  • Kayaking

Group classes

It is often helpful to be in a common space with people who are all working towards the same goal; to be healthy and fit. Many people find that they are motivated by group classes. Here are just a few that you can try.

  • Zumba
  • Kettlebells
  • Spinning
  • Dancing
  • Power yoga
  • Crossfit
  • Water aerobics


Are you a sports fanatic? Why not participate in activities that are loads of fun and will also get your heart pumping, Below are some popular options.

  • Racquetball
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Karate
  • Flag football
  • Soccer

Workout videos

Perhaps you like the idea of an instructor-based class but are not up for the social buzz that goes along with joining a class at the gym. Workout videos are a great alternative that allow you to participate in an instructor-led class in the comfort of your home. You can even get the whole family engaged! There is no shortage of videos from which you can choose. These are just a sampling of what is available.

  • Tae Bo
  • Hip Hop Abs
  • The Biggest Loser workouts
  • Gilad’s Bodies in Motion
  • Dancing with the Stars workouts
  • P9OX
  • T-24
  • Jillian Michaels workouts
  • Fitness Blender ( this one is free online)

At the gym

If you belong to a gym, be sure to get your money’s worth. Perhaps the treadmill is your go-to cardio machine, be daring and branch out a little. Here are some ideas:

  • Elliptical trainer
  • Stationary bike
  • Stair climbers
  • Rowing machine
  • Adaptive motion trainer
  • Incline trainer
  • Versa climber

For the fun of it

Infuse some joy into your life with these exciting activities. You will have so much fun that you won’t even know that you are breaking a sweat.

  • Walking your dog
  • Tag
  • Obstacle course
  • Dodge ball
  • Jump rope
  • Skipping
  • Rebounding
  • Playing with your kids
  • Pool basketball/volleyball

Around the house

Get your chores done and stay fit at the same time.

  • Mowing your lawn with a push mower (no riders allowed)
  • Washing your car
  • Mopping the floor
  • Planting trees and bushes
  • Shoveling snow
  • Washing windows
  • Painting
  • Putting up a fence

Consider high-intensity interval training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), is also known as high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT). This type of training involves short periods of really intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. These cardiovascular exercise sessions last between 4-30 minutes.

This type of  exercise is great because it can help with glucose metabolism and has the capability of blasting fat long after the workout is over. Besides, this type of exercise has the advantage over others in that it requires no equipment. While you can use equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, spin bikes, etc… there are numerous variations that require nothing more than a pair of gym shoes.  A great starter workout is running fast for one minute and walking for two minutes. You can repeat this for a total of 15 minutes for a super effective workout.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

It is a good idea to surround yourself with individuals who share common goals. Social cues can be either positive or negative. It is always best to stay clear of situations that might undermine your success and efforts and gravitate towards those that affirm and lift you up. One way to keep on track is to engage in social activities with other healthy people. Having a group of friends to stay healthy with also keep ideas circulating and provides new opportunities to engage in a fun and active lifestyle together.

Don’t let stress get your best

Everyone has stress; the goal is not to eliminate it but to learn how to respond to it, how to manage it in a way that it doesn’t interfere with your attitude or performance.

Once we let stress overcome us we can quickly become discouraged and lose sight of our goals. This makes it almost impossible to keep on pressing towards the mark.

To keep your healthy lifestyle fresh, new and exciting, set up barriers and coping tools for managing stress in your life. Learn how to relax, say no more often and remember that if you are no good to yourself, you will be no good to others.

A new start each day

Each day gives you the opportunity to be your best. Keep it fresh and exciting while you strive to be the healthiest you can be. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way.

-Be Well

How to Live a Normal Life With Diabetes

While being diagnosed with diabetes can be a frightening thing, the good news is that you can still live a normal life by making some key changes to your habits. It will still affect you medically, but you can control your health, rather than letting it control you.

A healthy diet is key to enjoying a normal life with diabetes. If your doctor or other healthcare provider hasn’t provided you with information on the right diet, ask for it and don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as where to obtain certain foods if they’re hard to find in your area. Know which foods are healthy and which aren’t. If you need to, keep a food diary so that you can track everything you eat and drink, in case problems need to be identified later.

Drink lots of water. It’s important to stay hydrated, but you need to avoid both sugary beverages and artificially flavored drinks, instead focusing on water and naturally decaffeinated herbal teas.

Get regular exercise. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you should get according to your particular situation. Follow his or her instructions and experiment to find the activity that you like the most if you need to.

-Be Well


17 Tips for Healthy Dining Out

You are excited, it has been far too long since you have enjoyed an evening out. The babysitter has arrived, you are already feeling the stress melting away as you put your cares from the past week to bed and head out on the town.

Everyone enjoys a night out from time to time. A great meal cooked by someone else, and better yet, cleaned up by someone else. There is just something special about being waited on from time to time.

However, far too often we let ourselves become preoccupied with thoughts of veering off our healthy diet or worry about not having the right foods to choose from. Good news, both pre-diabetics, and diabetics can enjoy a fabulous meal and all of the fun that comes along with a fun night out without any regret.

Here are some tips for healthy dining out that will keep you healthy without sabotaging your fun:

Eat as close to your usual time as possible: If you take medication or insulin to help control your diabetes, it is vital that you eat at a time very close to your usual time at home. In order to accomplish this, avoid dining in a location where you know there will be a long wait. Better yet, choose places that accept reservations. Always pack a “just in case” snack in your bag such as a piece of fruit. If you find that it is taking longer than expected to be served, eat your snack to tide you over.

Do your research: Before choosing a place to eat, drop by and take a peek at the menu. Many places also offer their menu online so that you can check meals before making a reservation. Be sure that the restaurant that you chose has meals that are on par with your diabetes meal plan.

Ask questions: Once you arrive at the restaurant, don’t be shy to ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable about what you will be eating. If something doesn’t seem just right, ask about substitutions. You will find that more often than not, restaurants are willing to make substitutions for health concerns.

Keep your sugar radar on: Although avoiding added sugar is more difficult when you are not preparing your own meals, it isn’t impossible. As you may know, sugar lurks in some very strange places such as sauces dips and dressings. The best bet is to ask for all sauces and dressings to be on the side. A safe bet for salad is always oil and vinegar. Of course, it is always wise to steer clear of beverages other than water. If you are looking for something a little more exciting, add lemon to some seltzer water or enjoy a cup of cold brewed herbal tea.

Be cognizant of carbs: Too many carbs at one time can spell disaster as they will send your blood sugar to the moon. Always choose low-carb foods such as whole grains and vegetables and if possible pass on the buns or anything overly  processed. Remember, the more fiber the better!Healthy dining out

Have a healthy fear of fried food: Just like processed food and high carb foods , fried foods are a danger to anyone, especially people who struggle with blood sugar issues. Don’t be afraid to ask to have a certain dish cooked in a way that does not defy your dietary rules. The best, of course, is steamed, broiled, baked and sauteed.

Skip the chips: Depending on where you go, you may have a basket of chips, bread or some other “free” appetizer on your table. If you can help it, it is best to avoid the temptation to fill up on these pre-dinner snacks.

Eat your food naked if possible: It is always best to undress your food so that you can enjoy its natural goodness without it being drenched in sauces, breading, marinades etc. To add flavor ask for extra spices or use healthy options like fresh salsa, lemons or limes.

Don’t go Texas style: Your mantra should never be “go big or go home.” This is a recipe for disaster. American portions, by in large, are really too big for anyone. We have become a supersize nation and it seems as though the majority of people have stretched to accommodate this. Compared to almost every other country, our portion sizes are huge, enough for two or even three persons. If you go out, ask to split a meal with a friend or take a box home.

More healthy tips for dining out 

  • Eat at restaurants that use local food.
  • Don’t skimp on your meal price – lower priced food may be more heavily processed.
  • Drink plenty of water before you go out to eat – you will generally eat less if you are well hydrated.
  • Avoid fast food at all costs.
  • Remember to enjoy your meal – eat slowly, never rush through your dinner. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register to your stomach that it is full.
  • Avoid foods with the following words in the name, creamy, fried, sauce, crispy or stuffed.
  • Don’t stress if you make a poor food choice by mistake.
  • Skip the dessert.

Start a dinner club

If you love to get together with friends for a night of fun and share a meal consider starting a dinner club. You can enjoy taking turns hosting dinner. If everyone in the club is aware of your dietary restrictions you will probably enjoy a healthier meal than you would if you dined out. Remember, are so many options for healthy and delicious main dishes and even sweet treats. Your friends will ask for seconds!

What’s for Dinner? Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu and  Old-Fashioned Fruit Crumble….yummy!

Most importantly

Most importantly don’t avoid going out and having a good time for fear of upsetting your diet plan. You may have to do a little upfront planning but don’t let that get in the way of you having an amazing night out on the town. Remember, no regrets.

-Be Well

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