Lucia Litman joins us as a guest contributor to the Fuse Pilates DC blog with some thoughts on starting fresh in 2014. Lucy is a native Minnesotan, but has lived in DC for the past 7 years. She is an avid Fuse Pilates student and you will see her at the studio several times a week. She works for sweetgreen and is passionate about food and helping others find balance and a healthy lifestyle that works for them.
Coming off of the holidays, many of us feel an urgency to get back to our healthy habits as fast as possible after indulging in eggnog, cookies, and champagne. For many, each New Year is an opportunity to finally start living healthier, eating better foods, or losing weight, which often times results in drastic New Year’s resolutions that eliminate entire food groups or involve other extreme measures.
Instead of doing this to yourself, there are a few simple and accessible ways to feel, live, and eat better at the start of each year. Here are a few ways to bounce back in January and get a fresh start in 2014, without subjecting yourself to any crazy dieting or restrictions!
1. Start your day with some hot water and lemon. This helps your body’s natural process of detoxification (which happens all the time – regardless of whether you’re doing a “detox diet”). The mixture balances your pH levels, aids in digestion, and helps you feel more balanced. Don’t stop the hydration here – make sure you drink enough liquid throughout the day. A helpful hint – if you are ever offered water (at a store, a meeting, or a restaurant) – say yes. It’s a great way to make sure that you stay hydrated.
2. Don’t forget to eat. Drastically reducing your calorie intake after a month of cheese plates and party food can force your body into starvation mode, and it won’t make you feel any better. Instead, opt for lean proteins such as chicken and fish, and foods that give you natural energy such as goji berries or almonds. You can also fill up on clean foods that naturally clean your system like cauliflower, broccoli, grapefruit and cucumber.
3. Don’t sit on the couch and stress about that holiday weight gain. We’re human, we indulge – and it has been proven that stressing about weight makes it harder to lose. Instead, move your body – attend a class and request extra twists and abdominal work to boost your endorphins and help squeeze out the bad stuff.
4. Find some balance with your friends. It’s tempting and easy in the colder months to meet friends for drinks or dinner nearly every night. Going out for meals is my favorite pastime, but it’s important to balance this with healthy activities. Suggest to your friend that you do an exercise class together (Fuse Pilates DC is a good bet!), then go grab some food. Holding a plank for two minutes is much more enjoyable if you have someone there with you to make funny faces at. On weekends I love going to an early Fuse Pilates class and then shopping at the farmers market and making brunch with friends. Weeknights, I opt for a quick and healthy dinner at sweetgreen or Teaism after classes!
5. Meditate. The best way to release stress and anxiety is to spend a few minutes finding your inner peace and balance. This free activity doesn’t require any special equipment, and it helps with allergies, depression, sleep problems, and anxiety disorders. Find a regular time that works for you – and reserve time every day for yourself. My favorite meditation time is in the morning because it allows me to become aware of every moment in the day and after, I always feel like I woke up on the right side of the bed.
6. Sleep. You knew this one was coming. No matter how much we try and deny it, sleep is probably the most important thing to do on this list. Make time for sleep, a lack of zzz’s has been linked to weight gain, increased risk for strokes, heart attacks, cancer – and even a weakened memory. Schedule your sleep if necessary, and put yourself to bed in time to get your 8 hours.