Living down in South Beach, Miami, I get to witness a lot of fitness fads and fly-by night diets. Having the ability to cook my own food and the Ayurvedic background of Sri Lankan spice remedies, I have filtered many of those fads and diets into a solid routine chockfull of delicious foods and low maintenance exercise. Here are just a few to get you started.
1. Choose walking over Uber
I know it might be humid and your hair might get messed up or you may perspire just a tad, but don’t neglect your aerobic exercise for shallowness. Walking enables the body to stretch, not to mention burn off those calories, and it enables the mind to breathe a bit so to speak. Walk, look around, smile, and enjoy being outdoors away from the harsh air conditioning and mold-prone upholsteries of a car.
2. Don’t cut out all carbohydrates
I know, gluten is the enemy or so they would have you believe! But that lack of carbohydrates goes hand in hand with lack of fiber. If you look at any nutritious food plan, there is a place for carbs. All you need is balance. So keep the carbs, cut the processed ones. No white or processed flour; choose grain or nut flours or better still: make your own quinoa flour. Simply put quinoa into a food processor and grind till it is a flour-like consistency. Now you can bread, batter and bake to your heart’s content with no adverse bloating or guilt. Not to mention quinoa is an amazing source of protein.
3. Love the Green
Greens, veggies, leaves, and everything in between. Try eating them instead of juicing them. Juicing takes away one of the main benefits of fruits and vegetables which is fiber. Try making Brussels sprouts into a salad by shaving raw ones. Just use a julienne grater or cut them very thin. Top with a little bit of olive oil, sliced pepperoncini, capers and shaved parmesan (just a little) for a healthy and gourmet dish.
4. Say NO to soda
I know you think you’re doing very well by giving up that Diet Coke, but did you forget the gin and tonics? Try opting for sparkling water instead of tonic. You can even do a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice and sparkling water with your liquor instead.
5. Roots are your friends
Ginger, turmeric, galangal, carrots and beets are all extremely good for you. Combine all of these with a simple beetroot curry. Juice the turmeric, ginger and galangal (root size, about half of your finger) and simmer in a pot with half a chopped white onion, a bulb of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped carrots and sliced beets to the pot with a half teaspoon of garam masala powder. Add fresh cilantro and a cup of coconut milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
6. Instead of hot yoga, try yoga on the beach
Take advantage of the sunshine and the beautiful summer weather, and even the extreme heat. Go to the beach or anywhere outdoors before 10am. Start a simple sun salutation which can be found on any yoga website or in any yoga instructional book. Try a few warm-up yoga exercises and find a position that stretches you but does not put a terrible strain on any muscle or limb. Try holding that whilst breathing deeply, remembering how great this moment is, your life is, and you are as a human being. Feel the sun on your skin, cleansing as you expunge all those impurities and negative thoughts.
7. Choose planking exercises instead of crunches
Crunches are bad on your back, and they work out the abdominal muscles in a very uneven manner, making cramps, muscle pulls and muscle fatigue highly likely. Try a plank instead. Start with a one-minute plank; remember to keep your back straight, and your abdominals and buttocks tight. Slowly walk your feet over one step, then back to center, and repeat on the other side till you have a steady rhythm going. Remember to keep that back straight, no curving up or down. When you’ve straight planked for one minute and walk planked for another, you can move on to the side planks. These exercises not only tighten abdominals fast, they give your whole body a nice toning. Don’t forget to breathe deeply and thinking positive thoughts. Take a positive meaning to walking the plank!
Remember, these are just a few tips to get you more active, healthy, and food conscious. If you’re following a specific nutritional diet plan or exercise routine, just add these healthy habits to give your life a little more oomph! Do these on the regular, and you’ll not only start to look better, you’ll feel amazing, too! Take advantage of the little moments that you have to yourself. Be thankful and remember how far you have come and how far you will go.