As holiday indulgences come to an end, it's time to hit refresh on your lifestyle! These 5 easy changes are super easy and you will you feel a million times better, promise!

Browsing through social media posts, flipping the pages of a traditional magazine, or tuning into the news before starting your work day can all give information about the latest trends in nutrition, health, and weight loss.

Whether you’re going vegan, paleo, or just trying to feel better by eating clean, some basic tips can be adapted to any lifestyle:

1. How much added sugar is too much?

According to the American Heart Association, adult women should consume no more than 25 grams, or 100 calories,  and men no more than 37.5 grams, or 150 calories, of added sugars in one day.

The sugars in fruits, honey, and milk are naturally occurring in the chemical compositions of those foods which have additional nutritional value like fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Added sugars are everywhere, so limiting yourself to 25 grams a day can be challenging, especially when seemingly “healthy” foods like low-fat yogurt are often high in added sugar to make up for the flavor lost by cutting the fat content.

Treat yourself to ice cream or a soda in moderation with a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

2. Buy local & in season. 

Farmers markets are becoming more and more common in all types of communities throughout the United States. Buying local food not only supports your local economy, but can save you money, and cut down on food miles associated with dangerous emissions and global warming.

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Here’s a tip: In season food also tastes better! Trying to buy a tomato on the east coast with any flavor is nearly impossible by the time fall hits, but the butternut squash is delightful all winter long.

Check out this post from This Is Quarterlife for 5 Produce Items That Are Cheaper in the Fall.

3. Perimeter shop at the traditional grocery store. 

Perimeter shopping is exactly what it sounds like, a shopping method where you walk along the outer walls of the store first because that is where the less processed foods are stored. T

he produce, meat, and dairy sections are all along the perimeter of most shops. By filling up your cart, and allocating your shopping budget to fresh produce, low fat dairy, and lean meats, you won’t have too much wiggle room when you get to the center aisles filled with cookies and chips.

If you don’t eat meat, seafood, or dairy, this method is less effective because the non-animal proteins are found in the center aisles, but omnivores should give it a try!

Here are a few more tips on Mastering the Grocery Store Layout.

4. Go vegetarian! 

At least for a day or two each week. This is another money saving tip because canned black beans, or a jar of nut butter are much less expensive than a package of steak or chicken.

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Getting your vegetable intake every day can be a challenge, but going vegetarian for Meatless Monday can really force you to get creative in the kitchen, and maybe even find a new favorite dinner!

Beans, nut butters, quinoa, and soy products are all great sources of meatless protein, and lentils, or hearty squashes will keep you feeling full long after dinner!

Check out our favorite recipes and sources for meatless proteins here!

5. Hydrate!

You should be drinking 64 ounces of water each and every day. When you start drinking enough water you’ll find less frequent headaches, clearer, brighter skin, and higher energy levels.

Water is ideal because there are no sugars to watch out for, but pure juices are also a great way to hydrate. Seltzer is another great option if you want a little something extra, just be wary of sweeteners or added sodium.

Caffeinated beverages like coffee are dehydrating, so if you’re a big coffee drinker, as many of us are, hydration is especially important.

If you want to make a lifestyle change. and really just don’t know where to begin, see a Registered Dietitian and/or personal trainer. Just a few visits with a qualified professional can give you the skills you need to make sustainable changes in your life.

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Eating well = feeling well, so boost your immunity, clear your skin, and embrace all your new-found energy when you begin your clean eating journey.


Discussion: What’s your favorite way to hit “refresh” on your health after the holidays?