7 daily food and fitness hacks that make health easy
1. Sweet potato toast in the morning
I heard about this trend on social media a few weeks ago. One morning food blogger Kelsey from LittleBitsOf.com was was out of toast. So, she decided to slice a sweet potato and toss it her toaster. It was a brilliant discovery that garnered her a lot of attention, including a write up on Huffington Post.
My initial thoughts: I was intrigued, but in the back of my mind, I felt quite certain that its execution would prove disappointing. Sweet potato toast? How would that go? Would toasting a sweet potato cook it enough? Wouldn’t the outside burn?
Out to prove the world wrong – that sweet potato toast was a dud idea – I tried it.
And now, I’d like everyone to know that I’m eating my words right alongside regular helpings of sweet potato toast. It’s fast become a favorite breakfast in my home.
The key is to keep toasting the sweet potato until it’s lightly crispy on the outside and feels cooked on the inside. So, you might want to put it through a couple rounds of the toaster depending on what heat level it’s set to.
2. Build a brain connection between fitness and fun
If you hate working out it’s likely you have a brain pathway that has become cemented overtime that has connected displeasure to fitness. You need to retrain your brain to see fitness as fun.
Daily workouts are a favorite time of day for me. This is because I always combine a workout with something I love.
I hated running but now I run with audio books. Learning is one thing I’m obsessed with so when I run I “read’ and now I can run for hours.
I also lift weights while watching reality tv shows. They are one of my guilty pleasures.
When you mix workouts with fun you teach your brain to create a happy connection with fitness.
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4. “Bowl meals” for breakfast, lunch or dinner
I was inspired by restaurant chain Ciccio Cali’s on this one. They are all about the “bowl culture”.
For those that aren’t familiar, here is how it works: When you go to their restaurant you pick a starchy or salady base – rice, noodles, kale, spaghetti squash, potatoes – to line the bottom of your bowl. Then, you pick a bowl flavor – Mexican, Asian, Thai. Depending on your choice, your bowl is then layered with a selection of veggies and meat. The last step is a drizzle of a sauce.
We do bowls multiple times a week. I switch them up so they are fun but the method is the same. My family loves them and they are easy for me to whip up.
Here is how I would prepare a Mexican bowl, to give you an example: I throw some rice on the stove, along with a pan of sauteed onions, cilantro, cumin spice and black beans. When the rice and beans are ready, layer a bowl with rice then beans. Top this with chopped tomato, peppers, more cilantro, a dollop of guac and sour cream and then some nachos crunched for texture. Easy to prepare and delicious with all the textures and flavors.
4. Mid-day tea break
Recently the ALC team incorporated a daily 3pm tea break into our work culture. We all stop what we’re doing and have tea together. We make it special by having a selection of teas, cookies and mugs that inspire us.
This gets the team through the afternoon hump. It also has team members come out of hiding from behind computers and connect. I think it’s something all companies should do. Also great if you work from home.
5. Lettuce wraps
A more delicious way to eat your veggies! Instead of a salad eat lettuce wraps.
Get some butter lettuce, chop some veggies, cook some rice and beef, tofu or chicken. I always make a quick peanut sauce with peanut butter, agave nector (in replace of sugar), siracha, lime juice and water. Simple, easy, quick and yummy!
6. Gaba rice
I recently learned about gaba rice as an alternative to brown or white rice. It’s a middle ground. My family hates brown rice but I won’t serve white. In my search for a solution I learned of gaba.
It contains 120% more Fibre, 614% more Magnesium, 964% more Vitamin E, 475% more Antioxidants (nutritional info sourced from the Whole Grains Council).
It also contains more GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), an amino acid found in many health foods including regular rice varieties. GABA also exists as a crucial chemical in the human body that lowers anxiety and blood pressure, improves cardiovascular function and regulates sleep. Gaba rice has four times the GABA content of regular brown rice, and ten times the GABA of white rice.
7. Follow the 80/20 rule
80% of the time, eat healthy, whole foods. 20% of the time, indulge in foods you love but aren’t the best for you. Workout 80% of your days. Slack off 20%. You can’t always be good. If you try to than you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Bottom line: make health and wellness easy and enjoyable.
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