A Fresh Start

It’s my first blog post, and I have literally hundreds of ideas of content that I want to share with you.  But it’s also Monday … the Monday after Cinco de Mayo, no less … and Mondays are a great time to get a fresh start on a healthy and active life.

Did you overdo it on the food or drinks this weekend?  Have you fallen off of the workout wagon?  Are you not feeling great about your body or your health?  We can be so hard on ourselves, and (trust me, I know from experience!) those negative thoughts can quickly lead to a downward spiral of “I’ll never reach my goals” or “I’ve eaten a chocolate bar now, might as well eat 4 more tomorrow.”

Don’t let yourself get sucked into that spiral!  The very best thing you can do is give yourself a fresh start.  No need to wait until next year, next week, tomorrow … just start over, right now, and commit to being a little bit healthier than you were before.

A fresh start on the day!

A fresh start!

Here are three quick things you can do to give yourself a fresh start right now:

  1. Water.

    Add a squeeze of lemon to your water (like I did this morning) for a burst of flavor + extra detoxing power!

    Add a squeeze of lemon to your water (like I did this morning) for a burst of flavor + extra detoxing power!

     

    It’s that simple: Drink … More … Water!  There are thousands of studies highlighting the benefits of water and telling you exactly how much water you should drink, but I’ll save you the time … I truly believe that almost all of us could benefit from drinking more water.  I could (and likely will) dedicate an entire post to the benefits of drinking water, but for now, suffice it to say that water can help speed up weight loss, eliminate/ reduce cravings, clear up skin issues, improve digestion, increase energy, improve exercise performance, and flush out toxins.  We often don’t pay attention to how much water we’re drinking, but drinking only when you’re thirsty might not be enough if your body has gotten used to being dehydrated.  So here’s my challenge to you … drink a glass of water right now, and then count how much water you drink in a full day.  Doesn’t have to be scientific, you can say “64 ounces” or “5 refills of my favorite pink cup.”  Tomorrow, drink more than you did today.  And repeat for a whole week!

  2. Vegetables. 

    My dinner last night ... tandoori grilled chicken, freekeh (a high-protein ancient grain that is a recent find for me!), and half a plate of delicious, grilled vegetables!

    My dinner last night … tandoori grilled chicken, freekeh (a high-protein ancient grain that is a recent find for me!), and half a plate of delicious, grilled vegetables!

    Again, I’ll restrain myself against waxing on about the benefits of vegetables for now, because I believe almost all of us could benefit from eating more vegetables.  And I don’t mean the “potatoes” and “tomatoes” that went into your French fries and ketchup!  I am a huge fan of vegetables, and some of my favorites include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bell peppers, asparagus, and spinach.  I generally try to fill at least half of my lunch and dinner plates with non-starchy vegetables, and am full of creative ways to sneak them into snacks, and even breakfast!  But, we’ll get to all of that in time.  For this week, all I challenge you to do is make a conscious effort to include two extra servings of vegetables every day.  Order a side salad, choose green beans instead of mashed potatoes, slice up a bell pepper for a snack, or sneak them in any other way you can.

  3. Move.

    I’m certainly not recommending that you jump into a marathon training program if you’ve been hanging out on the couch for the past five years, and I don’t need you to hit the elliptical machine for 90 minutes today, either.  All I’m asking is that you move – just a little bit – every day this week.  Do 10 minutes of sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks in your hotel room, go for a 20 minute walk at lunch, or crank up the radio and throw yourself a private dance party for 15 minutes before you cook dinner.  There’s no better time to start than today, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll have more energy when you finished than you did before you started.

So tell me in the comments … can you commit to these three small changes this week?  How much water do you drink every day?  What other healthy tips to you use when you need a fresh start?  (And feel free to “subscribe” by entering your email address on the right sidebar!)

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26 Comments

  1. Karen on May 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I’m in. This is very very exciting !

  2. Katie on May 7, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I’m in 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 am

      Great, Katie! Let me know how it goes and what else you’d like to see on the blog!

  3. Gary on May 7, 2013 at 1:32 am

    While I have avidly exercised my whole life, and I like to think I eat a whole lot better than I did for the first 2/3rds (40 yrs) of my life, I know I don’t hydrate properly. I will begin today to drink more water than I have become accustomed, and more each day hereafter! OK, maybe a few more vegetables too.

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 am

      Pat became a “camel,” I know you can, too! 🙂 And pretty soon you’ll be bringing home even MORE jugs of water!

  4. Dave Bartlett on May 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I actually remembered to bring a bottle of water from my hotel this morning to work. As it is only 500 ml, I’ll make sure to fill it up 3 times.

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Way to go, Dave! You are already a HUGE success story with the “Move” part – a bona fide runner now!!!

  5. kb on May 7, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Great info, and encouraging even for an old gal like me! I have my red solo cup of water. 🙂

    kb

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Thanks KB! If you’re “old,” you’ve got me fooled with your energy!

  6. Holly on May 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I LOVED reading this and have been on the water kick lately for wedding prep 🙂 Question….perhaps a weird question……will my dehydrated body ever get use to all the water so that i don’t have to pee every hour? Like my dad, I’ve been horrible about hydrating for YEARS so it may take awhile but I’m hoping it gets use to it…..maybe? Does sipping verses downing a whole glass make a difference in absorption verses expelling?

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for asking, Holly! Can’t wait to see you TOMORROW!!! It’s not a weird question at all. I’ll be honest – unfortunately, it took me about 2 full years to “balance out” in terms of not running to the bathroom every hour. Now, I still pee more than most people (but remember, most people are dehydrated!), but it’s definitely not as bad as it once was. I do think that downing a whole glass makes the urge a lot worse, and that sipping throughout the day is better for a variety of reasons, including not running to the bathroom so much. Probably not the perfect answer you were going for, but isn’t being healthier worth it anyway? Hope so :).

      • Stacey on May 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        Thanks, Megan! I’m a teacher, and have wondered the same thing. Glad to know that there may be an end in sight. 🙂 Loving this blog!!

        • Megan Lyons on May 12, 2013 at 11:02 am

          Thanks, Stacey! I bet you are a wonderful teacher! Hang in there on the water, and thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Lindsey on May 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    This is great Meg. How exciting to share your passion and knowledge with others 🙂 My fresh produce deliveries really help expand my horizon on new veggies!!!

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Glad you like that Linz! You can do a recipe guest post sometime!!!

  8. […] How are you doing with getting your water, vegetables, and exercise in?  I have really loved hearing from you so far, and I hope you’re feeling great about your own Fresh Starts! […]

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  16. Michael Anderson on May 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the link-back to your first post … the amazing thing is the unity of voice – this is clearly ‘you’, and aside from the opening saying it was a first post, you could have done it any time! Love it, and all of it is still SO true!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…15 Things I Learned at My Fraternity 150th Celebration WeekendMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 7, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Thanks, Michael! What’s that saying … the hardest thing about lying is remembering what you said … or something like that. I think as long as I stay true to my own voice, I won’t have to ever worry about “what I said” 🙂

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