4 Small Things That Produce Big Changes

The change of season, from Summer into Fall, is a good time to evaluate and simplify exercise and nutrition routines. Here are some suggestions which are working for me.

1. Make working out work. This fall I’ll be doing Zumba and walking on the beach instead of telling myself there isn’t time to get to the beach. Here’s why: When you stick with one type of workout, your body becomes efficient at it. This means you burn fewer calories and build less muscle. To avoid this, you need a change. So, this fall, incorporate something new into your fitness routine!

2. Simplify your snacks. If you’re like me, you’re hungry all day long and you want snacks that are fast and healthy. The best approach is to keep it simple. Have some staples in your kitchen at all times: a variety of nuts, (like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pecans); bananas and apples as is or topped with nut butter; bell peppers or baby carrots with dips like hummus or ranch (try this recipe). Juice Plus+ Complete shakes are also a great choice, and even easier when you have a blender and bottle on hand!

3. Prep like a pro. Small changes in the way you go about your daily tasks can make a big difference. Hardcore food preppers often spend an afternoon, generally Sunday, to do all the chopping, portioning, and cooking for the week ahead. If that sounds like too much of a commitment, a modified version would work: Simply use the weekend to plan and shop for the upcoming week, which leaves only the prep work for each evening. Choosing your clothes for work the night before is also a great time saver for the morning.

4. Be better at breakfast. This is especially important if you have school-aged children. Quick breakfast is hard to come by, but with a little extra effort, you can make sure you start your day off right. I cook up a pot of oatmeal once a week. In the morning, I scoop some out, add a little plant milk if it’s too thick and stir in frozen berries or cherries, if desired. Microwave at 1-1/2 minutes. When it’s hot, stir and top with walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, or watermelon (surprisingly good).

If all of this seems overwhelming, try either 1, 2, 3, or 4 one at a time. I can get overwhelmed with everything I SHOULD be doing. Keep it simple and remember one simple change will do the trick every time!

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