06/29/2012 04:11 EDT | Updated 08/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Easy (and Quick) Ways to Get Healthy

1. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies. Eat as many colours as you can, and eat as many veggies as you like. Visit Farmer's markets, and experiment with seasonal goodies. Blend your greens for a nutrient-packed smoothie, or puree your root veggies to make a comforting soup. Add sliced pear to a summer salad, and berries to your morning cereal. Avocado, tomato, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon come together in a minute for homemade guacamole, which is full of healthy fats.


2. Use cookbooks and online recipe sites to plan your meals for the week, and buy the necessary ingredients in your weekly trip to the grocery store. Try to avoid random purchases, instead keeping your kitchen and cupboards stocked with items that can be easily put together to form tasty, quick meals.

3. Prep your dinner in advance. Chop some leafy greens in the morning and place them in the refrigerator with a bowl of marinated tofu, sundried tomatoes, and sprouts. After work, pop a cup of brown rice in a rice cooker, lightly sauté the greens and tofu, top with sprouts and tomatoes, and voila; a delicious rice bowl with a minimum of effort.

4. Have healthy snacks on hand. Relaxing in front of the TV or curling up on the sofa with a good book always seems better with a yummy snack. Avoid packing on empty calories at night, by having healthy treats readily available. Chill a bowl of carrot or celery sticks in the fridge, and enjoy them with some protein-rich hummus. A handful of dried fruits and nuts can satisfy a sweet craving, and apple slices with almond butter offer a tasty, nutritious crunch.

5. Fill a water bottle and hydrate constantly. Drinking plenty of water improves digestion and helps to eliminate toxins. Make it easy to remember to drink water, by filling a reusable bottle in the morning, and carrying it around with you all day. Keep it within arm's reach, and refill continuously!

6. Walk whenever and wherever you can. Take the stairs, or walk to the grocery store and back with your shopping. You don't have to skimp on exercise just because you can't make it to the gym. Give yourself a little extra time in the morning to walk to work, and enjoy those moments to yourself to mentally prepare for your day.

7. Take a stretch break and improve your flexibility. Even if you can't make it to a yoga class, you can easily do a couple of stretches at your desk. Typing on a keyboard all day can result in hunching forward, causing tension in the shoulders and neck. Sit evenly on your chair with your spine long and take a moment to roll the shoulders back and forth and to gently drop the head from side to side. Use the arms of the chair to come into a gentle seated twist, lengthening up through the crown of the head, opening the chest as you softly twist to the side. Take deep, even breaths throughout, calming the mind and invigorating the body.


Choose a Healthy Life