Small changes that make a big difference

March 23, 2016

I’ve made changes throughout this journey. Changes to my mindset, my diet, my activity level. Some were small, some were huge. Ultimately, if you’re not willing to make changes, then you’re not going to see changes.

Here are some that I still do regularly:

  • I make a lot of open faced sandwiches or whole wheat wraps. I love carbs and couldn’t give them up completely. It’s just not realistic for me. But I started out doing an open-faced sandwich once in a while. Now I do it almost all the time. Or if I go to a restaurant and order a burger, I only eat it with half of the bun. Little things but the extra 50-100 calories add up.
  • I also like to slice my bread myself. Luckily, my gym is right next to a bakery that specializes in amazing breads. I order their most wheat or fiber filled bread and ask for it unsliced when possible. Bread slices can be so thick, and by cutting it myself, I get a little more control over what I’m eating. If this isn’t an option but you want to do something similar, you could just evaluate the different bread options at your grocery store for the one that offers the best value in terms of size, calories, and healthy ingredients.
  • Go for an evening (or morning) walk. I try to do this at least once or twice a week. I text some friends to see who’s available, or I go on my own (I carry pepper spray when I’m solo if it’s really dark out, though my neighborhood is as safe as most probably are…I’d just rather be prepared).
  • Swap out coffee for tea, soda for water, etc, etc. When I have coffee, I add sugar, creamer, the works. Or I just got straight for a mocha or latte. I decided to give it up for Lent, and it’s been great. I have tea occasionally instead, but ultimately, I preferred not to drink my calories on something that wasn’t offering me tons of health benefits or really even filling me up. My morning routine now consists of a Shakeology smoothie and/or a granola bar before I do my morning workout.
  • Eggbeaters/egg whites for eggs, turkey bacon instead of bacon. Ok, I’m a bacon purist and always scoffed at people who pushed turkey bacon, but one day I decided to try it – just because I figured I could save some calories, and make sure I was eating things that could have more benefits for things like my cholesterol. So eggs and turkey bacon seemed like an easy fix, and surprisingly they weren’t a hard change. I still do both of the ‘real deal’ for a treat, but that’s all it is – a treat. It’s not a regular habit.
  • Meal planning. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s part of our routine now. We do it every week. We used to do it when we remembered… maybe every few weeks, and then we wouldn’t really follow it. Now, it’s just part of the routine, and it helps us to stay on track.
  • Add more vegetables to your meals. I know for us, this was a big change because we rarely ate more than one serving of veggies a day. Now, we try to have it for at least two meals a day, and put more veggies on our plate than extra carbs and starches (like backing off on that extra helping of potatoes and doing a salad instead). I’ve found that this has helped me to broaden my vegetable horizons and my taste buds have changed to where I actually enjoy vegetables more. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice or as forced as it did initially.
  • Try something new! In an effort to cut back on the carbs and incorporate more vegetables, I actually had a taco salad for the first time ever (I know, a little shocking, isn’t that such normal thing?) but I found that I really enjoyed it. I also went through cookbooks that I’ve owned for years, and actually made some recipes that I had flagged on Pinterest, and found that I have some new recipes that were hits in the house and can now be added to our meal planning rotation.

My first taco salad!

So nothing huge or necessarily life-changing shared here, but these were just some small steps that I made that I like to incorporate into my daily routines.

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks, and changes that have made a difference for you?



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