I'm a big fan of change. As much as I am a total creature of habit, nothing thrills me like making big changes in my life. Even sometimes all at once. I call it “shaking the snow globe.” I make the decision to change a lot of things at once, essentially tossing all those snowflakes up and then seeing how they fall when they settle into place. This makes me think of that old Brady Bunch song? They sing about change and how to handle it. And, yes, I really am quoting the Brady Bunch. Come on, I'm a child of the eighties, I'm allowed.
When it's time to change then it's time to change.
Don't fight the tide, come along for the ride, don't you see?
When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange.
Who you are into what you're gonna be.
When we make changes in our lives, or when they happen around us, it can cause a lot of inner turmoil, too. And I don't just mean making your head spin with ideas and questions. I mean, your digestion can suffer under the stress. Even if it's “good stress,” to your body, stress is stress.
My 5 Easy Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle in a Time of Change:
- Hydrate! If there's only one thing you can think about besides how hectic life has become, make it water. Get as much clean, fresh water in as you possibly can. If you don't love the taste of plain water, try dropping in a strawberry or squeezing in some lemon or other citrus for a refreshing change of pace. Most of us aren't drinking nearly enough water as it is, and stress will deplete your stores even faster. Keeping hydrated will go a long way in helping your body maintain inner peace while your world may spinning around you.
- Plan! You know you're going to be cut short on time when things are more hectic in your life. Think ahead a couple of days when you get to the grocery store and grab items that you can put together for meals and snacks that you can prep or cook once and eat several times. Maybe this means buying a whole roasted chicken that you can pick on for a few meals, or grabbing extra nuts and dried fruit. Either way, remember that you'll be eating several times a day and that never changes- so plan for it and you'll be equipped.
- Choose fresh! Fresh foods will nourish your body and leave you more hydrated than things like crackers or chips. Plus, clearly they provide more nutrient value and your body will be craving the vitamins when under stress.
- Add Vitamin C! Did you know that Vitamin C is quickly depleted in the body when you're under stress? According to an article in Psychology Today:
The vitamin helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress on people. People who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to acute psychological challenges. What's more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood. (Source: Psychology Today)
Some of the best food sources of vitamin C include: parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
- Keep your eye on the prize! For many of us, our healthy habits can be the first to slip when we feel we have too much going on to focus on our food. We blame it on time and say we'll get back on track later, but that's one of the biggest mistakes we can make. Taking the small amount of time to think about and plan for our meals will alleviate physical and mental stress later because our bodies will be well nourished and fueled.
What changes are you making in your life right now? I have big changes on the horizon myself (hello, Balanced Bites headquarters in SF!), so I'll be taking my own advice and keeping my health as a priority so that I can power through them with vigor.