This post is sponsored by Silk Soy Milk, but all lazy-healthy-living-goodness tips are my own. You’re welcome.
I’m not a fan of exercise. Those who know me well, know that this is not my schtick. If I’m stressed, I don’t usually go for a run.
Because, quite simply, I’m lazy.
Heading to the gym makes me feel awkward and on display. The treadmill or elliptical in my home is lonely and laborious.
I get that the endorphins are a fantastic way to alleviate negative emotions and the cardio is a win for the heart – I do, and I have tried to get in that head space. My oldest daughter is a runner, and I am tasked with running a 5K this December with her. So, it’s coming. But, for now, I am still sticking to my little life hacks that keep my lazy-self, content because I am very aware of the fact that making healthy choices in life for myself, and for my family is the key to longevity.
So, I give you, my 5 Healthy Living Hacks for the Lazy. Because, you know, that’s how I roll.
1. Simple Swaps in Your Grocery Cart
This is a big one for me. I do not bring home a lot of junk. When I choose snack food for my kids, I read labels. It’s not to say we don’t have some orange-dye Mac n’ Cheese or goldfish in our cabinets (some fights aren’t worth the battle with kids, am I right?) but we offset that with other all-natural snacks and goodies that ensure our kids can enjoy their food while getting minimally processed nastiness.
For example, we swap out processed deli meats and hotdogs (kid staples, folks!) with those that offer no nitrates and nitrites – those nasty little buggers. We stock up on as much fresh fruit as our budget allows, if things are tight, apples and bananas do the trick. Berries when in season, as well as grapes are also a favorite. We’ve recently discovered a love of melon – cantaloupe and watermelon in the summer months. I’m considering trying my hand at planting blackberries in my backyard. I’ll keep you posted. I do not have a green thumb, but those berries are expensive and my kids love them!
My kids are veggie eaters as well, thankfully. I, however am not a, cut up fresh veggies and steam them on the stove-top kind of gal. Give me the steamer bags (store brands are about $1 per bag) of green beans, peas and broccoli florets and my kids are happy campers.
Ice Cream – we have low-calorie fudge pops and those dark chocolate covered bananas right now. Yes, please! Simple swaps for sweets and you’re golden. There are also ice cream sandwiches within this context of low-calorie. Sure, some of them have sugar substitutes, but we don’t have them in any other part of our diet, so this is my compromise here.
The key is to take the time to read your labels! By ensuring you have enough time to read labels when you are shopping, you can make smarter decisions regarding what your family is eating and balance out your diet.
2. Saying ‘Yes’ more than ‘No’ to outdoor activity.
I work from home and I’m a natural home body. But, I have found that when I force myself to say yes, more than I say no to activities outdoors with friends and family, that our whole family is better for it. There is nothing like fresh air and activity to improve your morale and overall health. Granted, we need to improve on this front – my husband would call me out on this fact – but I’m working on it because I know it’s worth it.
A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to Greenville, NC and took a last minute hike (a post on ‘How NOT to hike with kids’ is coming), and it was lovely in spite of our missteps. And, because it was the side of a mountain, my heart rate was up the entire time simply by worrying about my kids tumbling down the side!
“Walk to the left…TO. THE. LEFT! Do you want to fall down the side??!?”
3. Finding Time to disconnect and truly CONNECT with Family and Friends.
My husband and I have coffee on our deck nearly every morning since we moved into our new home. It has become a lovely tradition that helps us remain connected. It’s improved our marriage morale, our family dynamic (the kids often join us for snuggles), and it’s a lovely way to begin the day. No television, no phones in hand, nothing but birds chirping and a little chat over coffee before work. Perfection. I highly recommend a routine that includes connecting in such a way with your family.
4. Fruits and Veggies for every meal.
I am not perfect in the fixing-meals department. I loathe the meal planning process, quite frankly. But, the one thing I ensure is that we have fresh fruit and a vegetable option for every meal. Even if they have the electric orange mac n’ cheese on their plate. My kids know they must eat their vegetables and fruit before they can receive another serving of that noodly-goodness (that has some foreign substance we all would rather live, not knowing more about). Veggies, fruit and glass of milk makes me feel better when I don’t have time (or energy) to give them anything else other than nuggets for dinner.
5. Set specific lifestyle rules for your family.
Decide what your deal breakers and must haves are for nutrition and activity. In our home, we do not do dessert every night. I do not pretend that an ‘apple’ is dessert. I know that is the route that some parents go, and I’m good with presenting it that way if it works for you. But, from my perspective, dessert it a gooey brownie and ice cream or some cookies. That’s a nicety that you get occasionally, a rabbit hole of sweetness that we don’t indulge in daily. It’s one of those things that you treat yourself with rather than have each and every day.
I’m not a rigorous, stringent person in general, but I do have some hard and fast guidelines for my home. If we have a snack (chips, popcorn, or something that is otherwise not super nutritious) and we’re still hungry, you can have an apple or banana. Those are always available. You can always munch on a bowl of green beans, peas or baby carrots (which my kids are known to do) because they can fill that little pang of hunger and meet a nutritional need. We do have a small addiction to string-cheese, not the best thing to eat in large quantities, but I do have my breaking point on the fights.
Obviously, I’m not a go-to healthy living person. I kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants when it comes to healthy living with a few set guidelines and mantras.
Balance is key. A balance of activity with sedentary life…my kids are good, I’m still working on this one.
A balance between healthy food options and the less than stellar with an understanding that some days, weekends or even weeks will be awash. A good example, summer BBQ’s – picture Bratwurst, Beer and Chips with Dip. SO Good.
Can’t. Say. No.
Those days are a total loss. But, they’re good for the connection with friends and family, so that’s something right?
None of us are perfect, the key is to make conscious efforts each day to do better for yourself and your family so you can live your best life.
How do you incorporate healthy choices into your daily life? Share your hacks with me – easy-peasy stuff please. Because you know, I don’t do complicated at this point in time.
My husband recently started drinking the Chocolate Silk Soy Milk as a part of his personal ‘get healthy’ effort – I kid you not, honest coincidence with this sponsored post opportunity. And it’s been a great addition to a healthy diet. He loves it. If you’re interested in finding out more about how it adds to a healthy diet, check them out online
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.