Healthy Living Checklist

In my last post I mentioned a “healthy living” checklist. I don’t really have one, well until now I guess. Over the last few years I’ve been tackling one at a time. Some I’ve been on-again/off-again with, but enough discipline has started to set in so that some are permanent. The goal being all permanent of course.

Here is the list:

Exercise – at least cardio 3 days a week. This is what I’m doing the couch to 5k program for. My goal is to start more higher intensity interval training. Hopefully I get to that by September. I’m also going to work in some resistance training.

Eat Right – Try to make each meal count. I don’t think I’m too bad in this area, although my diet isn’t really well rounded. I can definitely eat healthier (more fruits and veggies) even though I don’t really eat unhealthy things.

Vitamins – This goes along with healthy eating to some degree, but can be mentioned separately. I’ve always taken multivitamins and have taken omega 3 fish oil for a long time. Recently I’ve upped my vitamin d intake. I like supplements as they fill in the gaps missing from my overall diet.

Sleep – This is something I can improve on. I got at least 6 hours a night, but my bedtime was sporadic. I would also get into the habit of hitting the snooze button a lot. My goal is to get 7+ hours in, to go to bed at a set time, and to wake right up.

Sugar I’ve been good at avoiding excess sugar for the most part for a long time. Now I even water down some “no extra sugar added” juices because I’ve become accustomed to how things are supposed to taste (not obnoxiously sweet).

Salt They say most people have a weakness for either sugar or salt. I never ever crave anything sugary. But I do with salt. I know I eat an unhealthy amount. I have been cutting back without missing it too much.

Artificial Sweeteners I’m going to cut this out all-together. Let others debate the risks. I don’t want to find out years later that it has really been unhealthy all along. Plus like I mentioned under sugar, I’ve gotten used to (and prefer) things the way they’re supposed to taste.

Water I can’t believe that this is something that I have to be mindful of, but it is. As last year’s C25K posts can attest, getting enough water can make or break a workout. Plus the documented health benefits are not even debated. I have a Brita filter at home, and when I get bored of plain ole’ water, I drink Poland Spring’s flavored sparkling water.

Caffeine Probably not bad in moderate amounts, I was by far going well beyond moderate amounts. I quit cold turkey a few weeks ago. Mostly because I felt like my energy was out of balance. Plus I really don’t like anything having a hold of me like the caffeine did. It took 4 days for me to get over it. Now I don’t really miss it. Although I did have some decaf with cake this weekend. I might start drinking some green tea, which has about 1/4 the caffeine of coffee, in very small amounts to get the health benefits of the tea and the moderate amount of caffeine.

Fruits and Vegetables (added 6/14/11) – Get enough fruits and vegetables daily. This can fall under “eating right” but making sure to get enough fruits and vegetables needs to be on it’s own as it’s been a challenge my entire life.

Eat as whole as possible  (added 10/18/11) – Where I can, I’m making an effort to eat as “whole” as possible. This is more than only cutting out artificial sweeteners (mentioned above), but as many mass produced/manufactured foods as possible. I have to pick and choose here. I don’t want it to become a frustrating (and expensive) task, so I’ll stick to “when possible.” For example, I already switched peanut butter to a brand where the ingredients are… drumroll… Peanuts and salt. That’s it. Not 20 different artificial ingredients like the big brands have.

Incorporate the following foods (added 12/8/11) –  Eggs, garlic, green tea, turmeric, and probiotics (probiotics through sour kraut, olives, pickles, or supplements).

Don’t be afraid of fat (added 5/28/13) –  Eat nuts (almonds, walnuts), avocados, dark chocolate (85% cocoa), etc in moderation. It’s ok if 30-40% of daily calories come from healthy fats.

That’s all for now.