If I could make 3 recommendations to anyone who wants to make changes to their diet and lifestyle, it would be these: drink more water, eat more leafy greens, and get more sleep. Those are all pretty easy, right? However, if you seem to find those to be a lot of work, there are ways to kill two birds with one stone.
1) Rock the Water
Eat foods with high water content! Choose water-filled foods like leafy greens, hot cereal, and broth-based soups and stews. These foods let you eat larger portions for fewer calories. Fresh (and hopefully local and organic) produce should take up the majority of your plate. Produce consists mostly of water, and it boosts the volume of each bite, while diluting calories.
2) Go get ‘em Greens
Love your leafy greens! Kale is having its 15 minutes of fame at the moment, and that’s great for you. Why you ask? Because this hearty green that you are finding everywhere is acclaimed for its levels of iron as well as vitamins A and K. Accessibility to leafy greens has never been easier. But don’t just stop at kale and spinach. Mustard and collard greens are a great addition to your diet, and if you don’t want to venture out that far just amp up your consumption of broccoli. Broccoli contains high levels of potassium and folate, both of which help to keep your brain and nervous system in top condition.
3) Sleepy Time
Most people aren’t getting enough sleep at night for one reason or another and their health and way of life is suffering because of it. Fortunately, there are a several foods that are known to induce a good night’s sleep. These foods contain substances such as magnesium, a natural sedative, melatonin, sleep regulator, and serotonin, another chemical that induces sleep.
- Warm Milk: This is probably a familiar sleep remedy for most people. The calcium in milk helps you relax and the tryptophan helps you fall asleep.
- Bananas: They contain melatonin and serotonin, which help you sleep soundly, and magnesium, a muscle relaxant.
- Cherries: A natural food source of melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.
- Nutmeg: Acts as a natural relaxant and helps induce sleep.
- Honey: Used for years as a natural sleep aid, honey contributes to the release of melatonin.
If you want to get fancy, you could toss all these ingredients together in a blender and have a nice pre-snooze snack.
Oftentimes people fail with their health goals because they get so excited and motivated and want to fix their whole life in one go. If you focus on making simple, sustainable changes in your daily routine, you will begin to notice big differences in your body.