8.21.2015

Lifestyle | My Top 5 Health Tips


At least in theory, staying healthy is actually quite simple.  I think the biggest challenge I've had for years in this area has been thinking that being healthy was a place where I would arrive one day and settle there forever in glory! And, unfortunately for good old me, it really isn't that way at all.   On the contrary, I soon found out that it is a constant attempt to keep up good positive habits and make the other ones as small as we possibly can.  And definitely correcting any 'slips' along the way fast enough for damage control is a big part of it too.
#5  I keep track of where I am, where I'm coming from and where I want to be
Please, do not interpret this one, as obsessing with weighing myself and exercising.  Because I'm NOT doing that and I do NOT advise you to do it either.   That said,  I do believe it's important to have an objective measure of where I stand, what I have accomplished and what my future goals are, to keep me motivated.


There are 2 very cool iPhone apps that I find very nice and helpful for this:
  • Runkeeper
    • You don't need to be a professional runner to use run keeper, you can keep a record of just about ANY activity.
    • I use it as a log to enter the time spent walking earlier that day.
    • It also tracks in real time the exact circuit while I'm walking. 
    • It sends me push notifications if I haven't been active in a while.
    • It keeps stats of how much I've exercised during a certain period of time, and sends an alerts when you're breaking one of your own records.
    • It allows me to share what I've accomplished with other RunKeeper users who follow me or on Social Media. 


  • Target Weight by Tactio
    • I use it to track my weight and see it displayed in a graph. Before this app, I used to track it on an excel spreadsheet, but the app is a lot easier and more convenient. I find it interesting and motivating to see the descending curve. And when the curve is ascending, I look back and think if I was there before, then I can do it again.  
    • I calculates BMI to set realistic and healthy goals.
    • It tracks your goal weight and the days in which you're expecting to achieve this.


#4   I don't force myself to exercise, but I do try to stay active.
We all know we need to exercise at the very least 30mins of cardio, 3 times a week.  If you're leading a sedentary life, like me, you will not become an Olympic Athlete from one day to the next.  That doesn't mean you accept this and do nothing.  That's a NO NO.  Instead take baby steps towards where you want to be... fit and energized!
    • I try to choose the stairs, not the elevator
    • I leave earlier and walk to an appointment, instead of taking a taxi
    • I play with my cat, Lola.  (  I throw a ball at her and she runs after it, but she doesn't yet get the fact that she needs to bring it back.  This translates into me having to run around a bit myself).
    • I reorganize things or clean up the apartment 
    • I hate being trapped in an indoor gym, I very rarely do this.  Instead I go walking, cycling, take a yoga lesson or go rowing... My favorite exercise of all time, is walking by the beach feeling the waves crashing on my feet.  I just loose track of time and could walk for miles and miles without feeling tired.


#3  On cheat days, I try to eat twice as many fruits and veggies as I do processed foods
Avoiding processed foods all together should be our ultimate goal.  If only it was that easy!  But if you still have cheating days like I do ( it's a process ) there's a small thing you can do to minimize the effects of high carb processed foods, like pasta, bread, pizza and sweets.  Just promise yourself that for every portion of processed food you have, you will have twice as much of greens.  Here are a few examples:

  •  If I have pasta, I try to split my plate in three. One third would be pasta, and the other 2 could be broccoli.  Add some olive oil and garlic and enjoy!
  • If I'm planning to have 2 slices of pizza, I promise myself I will have a full plate of arugula and mushroom salad as a starter. Yes, BEFORE I even start having the first bite of pizza.
  • I don't have that much of a sweet tooth, but f I'm going to have dessert, I have 2 pieces of fruit for every equal portion of, for instance, cake.
  • If I'm making potato chips for dinner, I have it with 2 big bowls of home made tomato soup.

Potato Chips with a big bowl of home made Tomato Soup

  • Same applies to liquids.  If I had a diet soda or a cup of coffee, I try to have at least double that amount of water right after. 

This works quite well in 2 ways:  1. It helps flush out any unhealthy foods as the fiber minimizes the absorption of the other foods you've eaten, and 2.  It reduces your hunger, and so, you end up eating a lot less of the processed foods.



#2  Hugging and Kissing
This one is quite simple and effective.  There really is no better way, of preventing diseases than being surrounded by love.  I also truly believe that lots and lots of affection can accelerate the healing process of any health issues from the inside-out. Both giving it and receiving it in unlimited quantities will boost my immune system... you should give it a go like... right now!

There's never too much of this :)


#1  Matching thoughts and beliefs with actions
In other words, trust your gut and go with your intuitions.  Listen to your inner voice.  If something doesn't feel right for you, don't do it for others.  If you feel naturally driven to a certain activity or goal, don't look for other's approval or understanding, just act on it.  Live your way. Go with your own flow, at your own pace, and creating your own path. There's a reason this is my #1 Health Tip.  Food for thought :)


Want more?  Continue reading my dear friend Lilian Tahmasian's Top 5 Healthy Tips here.



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