**This post has been sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, however all opinions are mine. #ProgressIsPerfection #CBias #CollectiveBias
It’s almost summertime and we all know what that means – school vacations, pool dates, summer camps, grilling and plenty of yummy foods. If you indulge a little too freely on vacation and summer outings and feel a little guilty afterwards, you are not alone. I always feel like that! I come home craving my health routine and plant packed lifestyle.
I never thought I would say that! BUT 4 years ago, I started my health journey and decided to get rid of my pre-diabetes. I lost 25 lbs by eating better and exercising. It was a slow process with ups and downs, but little did I know that by doing it slowly and one step at a time, it would lead me to the healthiest lifestyle I’ve ever had. One in which I miss eating veggies AND exercising!
If you are wondering if that could ever be you, the answer is: YES!!! That CAN be you!
Eating and living healthier should feel effortless, but all these extreme programs of weight loss and exercise we see nowadays, makes it overwhelming. When I decided to live healthier I didn’t go cold turkey and I didn’t go for extreme changes because I wanted my lifestyle to be different long-term. It took me almost a year to shed those 25 lbs, but I can definitely say I didn’t starve or constantly deprive myself of the things I love to eat. I just had to learn new tricks to make recipes healthier and find activities I loved to do to be more active, like hiking and weight lifting.
I also had to learn how to motivate myself by focusing on small changes, because over the long-run, they are the building blocks for important victories!
Things have changed a lot in these last 4 years. I have been able to kick pre-diabetes to the curb and have recently started working out again. I feel 100% in control of my health and have found a new drive for eating and living healthier – my son! And all the wonderful memories we will share around healthy foods and family activities.
And even though I am not yet where I want to be, I believe that changing things one step at a time can make for a more permanent habit. When I fall off the wagon, I know that I can get back to it and that is empowering. That is why I am so happy to be partnering with Silk to share with you 5 ways to eat and live healthier starting today.
Silk Almondmilk and Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternatives
Silk believes that healthy living doesn’t have to be extreme. Small changes here and there are all that it takes. They are currently promoting Progress is Perfection, a campaign that celebrates small victories, because, after all, they are still victories!
If you are not familiar with Silk products, they are dairy-free and lactose-free and taste delicious! They make it so easy to switch from dairy. Silk Almondmilk comes in a variety of flavors and can be easily incorporated into recipes to make them lighter. I have enjoyed it for years in smoothies, after workout shakes, cooking and baking. My favorites are the Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk for savory dishes and the Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk for smoothies. Both are only 30 cals and 0g sugar per serving, compared to 80 cals and 12 g of sugar in skim dairy milk.
You can find Silk products at a Walmart store near you!
And don’t forget to use this Ibotta offer for a coupon on your purchase.
5 ways to eat and live healthier
1) Choose to live healthier
Living healthier starts with a choice. Your choice. You are the only one who can decide if living a healthier life is actually a priority in your life and why. My choice came when diabetes was knocking at my door and I could no longer ignore that I would end up on medication or insulin for the rest of my life if I continued to live that way.
It didn’t take me 2 secs to decide that it was not the future I wanted and that I needed to change my lifestyle! And instead of a temporary solution, I wanted lasting changes so that I could have a better future.
Once you find the reason why you want to live healthier, you found your fuel and the rest is easy!
Just remember, your lifestyle doesn’t need a complete overhaul. Learning to eat and live healthier takes time. Small steps lead to lasting changes and progress leads to perfection!
(2) Buy wholesome foods
Instead of going on a diet, a great way to eat healthier is to increase the amount of wholesome foods you eat everyday. An extra serving of veggies in each meal can make a huge difference in your daily nutrition and it is not a drastic change to your diet. You won’t starve or deprive yourself.
And what’s better? Overtime, it becomes a habit! So much so that you may even start craving more vegetables.
There are some easy ways to include more veggies into your diet, such as adding veggies to your eggs or smoothies in the morning, a salad with lunch or dinner and healthy snacks in between meals.
As I mentioned before, one easy transition you can make right away is to switch dairy milk for dairy-free and lactose-free products such as Silk Almondmilk and Coconutmilk. We have been using Silk products in our household for years and it’s the only thing my son drinks besides water.
He also loves the Silk Almond Dairy – Free Yogurt Alternative products. This is great, because it makes for wholesome snack that contains a good amount of plant-based protein and calcium, without high fructose corn syrup.
The Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative products come in a variety of flavors (Plain, Peach, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Dark Chocolate Coconut). My son’s favorite flavor is peach, while I like to indulge on vanilla with extra nuts, cinnamon and unsweetened coconut chips.
3) Eat in season
Eating in season is one of the easiest and most budget friendly changes you can make to eat and live healthier. Produce in season tastes better, and because of its seasonal abundance, it is often cheaper than non-seasonal alternatives. I can always tell when something is in season by looking at the produce section of the supermarket. If it is prominently displayed and at reasonable prices, then it’s in season.
When you cook with produce that is in season, you are forced to diversify the menu and get out of the rut, breaking long-formed bad habits without feeling like you are being deprived or forced to change.
Ever since I decided to eat in season, I found myself breaking away from the usual veggies to try new ones. And lo and behold, found new favorites like rainbow chard and bok choy. And of course, living in Colorado, I look forward to Palisades peaches in the summer.
There are so many recipes that you can make with seasonal ingredients and even incorporate Silk products to lighten them up. Think dairy-free ranch dressing, dairy-free ice-cream, panna cotas and the list goes on and on. You can find some delicious examples here.
4) Cook with healthier ingredient
I am the worst when it comes to having a sweet tooth, but over time I learned to substitute just about everything in any baking recipe to make it fit my health goals.
In my home, baked goods are dairy-free, low in sugar if not sugar-free, high in protein and low in carbs. We still splurge and enjoy things we did growing up, but with a lot less guilt.
Here are some easy ways to substitute common ingredients in recipes:
*Non-dairy products like Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk instead of dairy milk for any baking recipe.
*Silk Unsweetened Coconutmilk instead of cream for soups and stews or in your coffee or tea.
*Silk Almond Dairy – Free Yogurt Alternatives in parfaits or during breakfast or snack.
*Silk Dark Chocolate Almondmilk in iced coffee for a delicious treat.
*Coconut oil, applesauce, fruit purees or avocado instead of butter.
*2 egg whites for every whole egg in baking recipes to increase the protein and reduce fat.
*Agave nectar or stevia sweetener instead of sugar. Overtime, start cutting the amount sweetener that the recipe asks for.
*Cashew butter to thicken sauces instead of cream.
*Oat flour or almond flour instead of wheat flour.
*Crushed nuts instead of cookie for pie crusts.
5) Make it a family affair
Eating and living healthier should be a family affair. Our kids learn by example and if you want to be healthier for them, why not take them along the journey and arm them with the tools and habits to grow up into healthy adults?
Here are some of the ways that you can entice your family into joining you in this new path:
*Eliminate the variations in menu by meal planning and letting kids pick one meal or treat to redo a month.
*Enlist your children to help cook dinner or even to do it by themselves once a week if they are old enough. What a wonderful way to teach kids to provide for themselves, take care of others, to plan, multitask and troubleshoot and to live healthy for the rest of their lives!
*Reduce temptations by not replacing processed foods in your pantry. If it’s there, you will eat it. You don’t need to throw everything out, but you don’t have to buy it again! By phasing out the processed food stash slowly, it will seem less drastic and less noticeable. Remember, it’s all about the small victories!
*Create a healthy family routine. What does your quality family time look like right now? Does it involve any type of exercise? If not, you can take the first step into creating a healthier family routine. It can be something as simple as a walk around the block after dinner or trying a new trail every weekend. Whatever it is, start small, involve your spouse and/or children in the planning process and watch a new tradition grow.
Now it’s your turn? Did any of these 5 ways to eat and live healthier resonate with you? Have you tried any of the Silk products I mentioned?
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