Inside Scoop: Nutrition and health is never linear. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated and on track with your health goals when you’re feeling burnt out.
The new year comes new goals, right?
We have them, and while we’re not ones to set new year goals at the beginning of the year (our goals are rather long-term life improvements), we know that goals can help to motivate us, keep us focused and drive us to become the career driven BOSSBABES that we want to be.
But, we’re also tired.
No matter what the lifestyle, profession, or health goals, we live in a generation and society that is fast-paced, busy and over stimulated and that can be pretty damn draining. And on top of it, we are bombarded every single day with wonderful food imagery and promises of simple and cost-effective solutions.
Dollar menus and Netflix marathons seem like self-care at the time, but often times our tired busy-bodies let the dollar menu days go by and our health goals go out the window.
So what do we do to stay motivated with our health goals and on track in these busy times? Well, here’s a look at 5 ways to stay motivated that don’t take up a lot of mental space, and can easily be applied to the times we’re living in.
5 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED WHEN YOU’RE FEELING BURNT OUT
1. MINIMIZE THE PROCESSED FOOD INTAKE
One of our favourite ways to stay motivated when we’re feeling exhausted is to reduce our exposure to highly processed foods that contain plenty of sugar, artificial ingredients, shelf stabilizers, rancid oils and sodium – which are foods that can contribute to feeling run down.
Rule of thumb- if you’re cupboards are loaded with these foods, it’s easier to reach for these foods on a regular basis. Highly processed foods have addictive tastes and can become an obstacle that prevents you from moving forward with your health goals and keep you feeling crummy.
A REALISTIC GOAL: When you are grocery shopping aim to get healthier processed snacking options, and try to increase the nutrient dense whole foods in your cart. Fresh cut or frozen fruit, chopped veggies and hummus, whole grain crackers and goat cheese make for amazing and filling snacks that help you stay motivated (and give you a burst of energy) with your health goals.
2. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Believe it or not one of the top ways to stay motivated when you’re feeling run down is to drink water. Simple as that.
The human body consists of around 70% water so of course it is vital to stay hydrated. Not only is water needed to support life, but water keeps your electrolytes balanced, keeps you feeling full, gives you energy and can help detoxify the body. Aim for filtered water with fresh lemon as opposed to tap, but don’t let tap water stop you. Just make sure you are drinking. Another way to get fluids in is soups, smoothies and decaffeinated tea such as: chamomile, ginger, nettle, peppermint, lemon and/or turmeric. These teas are incredibly nourishing and aid detoxification.
A REALISTIC GOAL: Buy a water bottle and bring it everywhere with you! Make sure you sip on it throughout the day and it’s being re-filled a couple times throughout the day. Feel free to add fresh fruit to it, decaf tea, smoothies or soups. Just keep hydrated.
3. AIM FOR A DIET FILLED WITH NOURISHING WHOLE FOODS
Labels can be notoriously misleading.
Often times the foods that look and sound most delicious are loaded with preservatives, emulsifiers, colours, additives, sugar and salt. It makes our bodies work a little bit harder to process these ‘non-food’ foods, and slows down our metabolism. Be careful what you are eating, try to eat whole foods, cooked from scratch more.
If you do pick up prepackaged or processed foods, read the label and avoid foods you cant pronounce, try to avoid added sugars (especially refined) and salt.
A REALISTIC GOAL: Start reading your labels! Everything you buy that’s prepackaged, look at the ‘Ingredients’ and ‘Sugar’ levels first. Make informed decisions of whether or not that food is going to help or hinder your goals.
Note: Not all prepackaged food is necessarily filled with highly processed man-made ingredients, here are 10 of our favourites.
4. EAT LESS MEAT AND MORE PLANTS
We’re not in a position to tell you to stop eating meat! As a matter of fact, both of us do well on an omnivore based diet.
But, contrary to what some popular diets are touting lately, too much meat can be harmful on the body, especially red meat. The fact is that not only have our portions gotten bigger (10-12 oz. steaks), we’re now used to consuming meat at every meal: bacon for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch and a steak for dinner.
Animal protein might be high in iron, protein and B12 but it lacks fiber, antioxidants and other vital vitamins and minerals- all nutrients that you can get from eating a plant based meal. High fat animal protein (especially red meat) is also known to raise cholesterol levels and in excess can be pro-inflammatory.
A REALISTIC GOAL: One way to stay motivated with your health goals is to try and become a daytime vegetarian, reserving your meat consumption for the evenings, and aim for pasture-raised, free-run meat sources that are fed a natural diet suited for them. Not only is less meat consumption great for you, energy promoting and it’s also better for the planet.
5. EAT FIBER, PREBIOTIC & PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS
One of our favourite ways to stay motivated and keep us healthy is ensure that our gut is functioning optimally. Foods that are high in fiber (which will keep your gut nice and clean and promote healthy gut bacteria growth), probiotic rich foods such as: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh are great to add to your diet that help keep your tummy filled with the friendly bacteria that aid the detoxification process.
A REALISTIC GOAL: Test out 1 new probiotic or fiber rich food a week that you normally wouldn’t. You would be pleasantly surprised how delicious kimchi is with eggs, or miso soup can be on a cool and chilly day! See how you feel, if your energy improves, you have more mental clarity and you are more motivated to keep up with the healthy eating habits.
you most likely won’t find us telling you to count calories, rate your meals as a number system or have you constantly worrying over your food. We want you to love what you eat, feel good about food and feel good about yourself, and the nutritionists’ community is surrounded by wonderful people who feel the same about promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Here are just 3 healthy recipes that will help you stay motivated and increase your energy when you’re feeling burnt out.
3 Easy And Nourishing Recipes From Our Nutritionists’ Community
These Energy Bites are sugar-free, snack-sized bites loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats and blood sugar stabilizing cinnamon. They are an amazing treat for detoxing and cleansing because they lack any added sugars but are made with dates so they have that sweetness that you look for in an afternoon snack.
We recommend either keeping these in ball form or pressing them into an 8×8 pan and cutting them into bars. You can also add nut butters/ hemp seeds or chia seeds for that extra bit of plant based protein!
This recipe is courtesy of Nicolle Bergeron from Nutrition With Nicolle. Check out Nicolle on facebook at Nutrition with Nicolle or follow her on twitter @nwithnicolle!
Simple Kale Salad With Creamy Garlic Dressing
This Simple Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing is the perfect addition to your weekly meals where you want to make the salad on the table stand out! The dressing was designed to add an abundance of flavour, and take the bitterness out of the kale.
Kale is incredibly nutrient dense green, and makes healthy eating and cleansing in the new year, that much easier!
Winter Squash, Leek & Vegetable Soup
We find soup to be one of the most cleansing, and beneficial foods for your digestion, your healthy gut bacteria, and your immune system. This Winter Squash, Leek & Vegetable Soup is made with a load of veggies, it’s vegan, gluten-free and incredibly warming and delicious.
Start your new year right with this incredibly nutrient dense soup!