After I had been studying the Enneagram, mindset & personal growth several years ago I began to realize the powerful connection between our body, mind, & spirit. This year I’ve been focused on taking better care of my body through my nutrition & exercise. I’m so glad to have met Laura Gaston from Busy Gal Nutrition through our local chamber of commerce and how both of our passions compliment each other.
Laura is a registered dietician & nutrition coach. I’m so excited to have her sharing here on my blog today! She shares great insight & tips on nutrition & fitness on her socials plus she has a Facebook group that’s open to anyone where she shares excellent content & encouragement. Check out her words below & then go give her a follow!
Life is busier than ever for most of us, but we always want to be the best version of ourselves. We want to be energized, intentional, confident, and healthy from the inside out. On that quest for being our best selves, it can be easy to get sucked into perfectionism, overwhelm, comparison, and restrictive diet and lifestyle habits that actually push us further away from where we want to be.
If you feel overwhelmed with where to start when it comes to nutrition and fitness, there are five key habits I recommend starting with. When we prioritize these healthy habits, we have a great foundation to build on because our needs are being met. Meeting our basic needs is the key to reaching our highest potential and creating sustainable change that makes us feel good.
- Start with a high-protein breakfast every morning. In my experience, women that start their day with a high protein breakfast have more energy all day long, a happier mood, and less cravings. Breakfast is usually the meal that we consistently have the most control over, and it sets our blood sugar regulation for the day. Investing the time in the morning to literally fill your own cup will help you handle anything that’s gets thrown your way the rest of the day!
- Have balanced snacks on-hand. Our lives are busy and sometimes our day gets away from us. Having balanced snacks with us on-the-go helps us bridge the gap between meals and avoid feeling hangry if we have to skip a meal altogether. It’s hard to be intentional or mindful of our food choices when we’re starving, so I often recommend at least one snack per day just in case you have to go long periods of time without a meal break.
- Focus on what you should have MORE of at your meals and snacks instead of focusing on what you “shouldn’t” be eating. When we are getting the nutrients we need with plenty of protein, fiber, color, and healthy fat on our plates (and drinking plenty of water!), it’s easier to be selective about the fun foods we choose to include or the extra cup of coffee in the afternoon. Food is information for our bodies, and we are built for survival. When we are deprived of the nutrients we need, we have more cravings for quick energy sources like sugar, fat, and caffeine. Instead of judging yourself for reaching for the foods you want, try asking yourself what nutrients you need. This shift can make all the difference for you physically and mentally!
- Take a moment or two to move daily. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, but focusing on moving more throughout the day will help with energy, focus, and digestion. I encourage starting by meeting yourself where you are and building on that over time. This could look like standing up and stretching every hour, taking a short walk at lunch, trying an express workout on YouTube while your dinner is cooking, or finding ways to increase your steps throughout the day. You don’t have to break a sweat or burn a lot of calories for movement to be beneficial!
- Plan ahead and set goals, but don’t worry about being perfect. When it comes to habits, consistency is key. And if we want to be consistent, we need to be realistic. I also think it helps when we make it fun! I like to suggest focusing on “winning the day” by setting just 2-3 goals daily for your health and checking them off as early as possible, but also asking yourself how you can enjoy accomplishing those goals.
Reaching your highest potential starts with meeting your needs- not just with nutrition, but with movement, sleep, stress management, and celebrating your wins along the way. If you get overwhelmed or burned out, you can always simplify it down to focusing on just a couple of these habits and you’ll start to feel good again. And if you need help learning what your needs are and how to meet those needs, you can schedule a free strategy call to discuss your goals and how personalized nutrition coaching can help you.
Laura Gaston, MS, RD, LD
Busy Gal Nutrition Coaching – https://busygalnutrition.com/
Instagram – @busygalnutrition