8 Honest, Actually Doable Health Tips from the Clean Plates Team
Looking to incorporate some healthier habits that are genuinely achievable in the New Year? Our team here at Clean Plates put together our best healthy lifestyle tips that we actually use in our everyday lives to stay strong, eat well, and feel our best. We wish all of you and yours an exceptionally healthy and happy 2022 — and we hope our advice can help you achieve that.
Slow down while you’re eating. I used to have really bad digestive problems, which is what led me to seeking a healthier diet in the first place (and ultimately, to founding Clean Plates). But even after I improved my diet, I’ve noticed that I can inadvertently trigger poor digestion if I eat too fast. If I rush a meal because I’m busy or stressed, my digestive problems can flare — and I’m not alone in this. If you find that you eat too quickly, find ways to slow your system down: take some deep breaths, set your utensils down between bites, chew more… slow yourself down, and you’ll be helping your digestive system out. — Jared Koch, Founder and CEO
Add vegetables to your breakfast routine. Lately, I’ve been trying to make sure that I’m eating vegetables with every single meal, including breakfast, and I think it’s been giving me a lot more energy. Sometimes the vegetables are an integral part of breakfast (like these easy, customizable frittata egg cups or sweet potato muffins). But if I’m just making scrambled eggs, I’ll plate it with a little side salad, which looks and feels pretty snazzy, but takes about 30 seconds. On days when I’m super low on time or just not that hungry, breakfast might be bell pepper slices + a couple tablespoons of hummus, or carrot sticks + peanut butter, or last night’s leftover roasted broccoli with a ranch-yogurt dip I almost always have in my fridge. — Jess Novak, Head of Content and Audience Development
Bored with all your regular healthy options? Try some exciting condiments. Here’s the truth: a block of tofu, a piece of salmon, or some frozen broccoli can taste about a thousand different ways depending on the condiments you use. I like to invest in sweet, spicy, creamy, and otherwise exciting condiments — that have a pretty clean ingredients list — to quickly turn a standard dinner into something flavor-packed. A plain bowl of rice can suddenly take on Mediterranean flavor, a Korean kick, or some South Indian spice, all depending on the sauce you pair it with. — Lauren Rubin, Email Marketing Manager
Take a short walk after eating. Being cooped up in the early days of the pandemic last year, I began looking forward to multiple walks daily as a nice reprieve and boost for both my mental and physical health. Even if I didn’t have an energetic puppy to tend to, I would imagine I’d still have formed this habit as so many around me did, fighting the urge to remain on the couch for hours on end. I’ve definitely found this ritual to be equally beneficial for my mind and my mood — and my dog’s contentment, too! — Michelle Giove, Production Manager
Find a 15-minute at-home workout you can’t say no to. On those days where you can’t justify taking an hour plus out of your day to commute to the gym, or when you’re too tired for a full workout routine anyway, having a 15-minute at-home option ready in the wings is your secret weapon. That way, you don’t have to waste time searching for a video you like on days where your motivation is already low. I personally love MWH Method workouts for this exact purpose, but if you’re looking for a free option, MadFit has the best energy — and her dance workouts make those 15 minutes breeze by. — Lauren Rubin, Email Marketing Manager
Just five minutes of meditation makes a difference. Back in the day, I would do a full hour of meditation each and every day — and yes, it was a great part of my day. Now that I’m a parent, of course, I don’t have a free hour every single morning (funny how that works). But I discovered that starting my day with just five minutes of meditation really impacts how I show up for my family, my business, and myself. It’s so important to get away from the idea that our meditation sessions (or gym routines, or diet plans) have to be “perfect” in order for us to benefit from them. — Jared Koch, Founder and CEO
Give yourself a healthy treat to reinforce good behaviors. You might be familiar with “positive reinforcement training” as a dog training method, but turns out, this tactic isn’t just for dogs — you can pretty effectively train humans, yourself included, with the exact same strategy. The idea is simple: reward behaviors you want to engage in more. For instance, on days when I go to the gym, I’m allowed to get a special smoothie on the way back (mine’s kale + spinach + blueberries + almond milk + almond butter). The rule that I made up is that I’m not allowed to have the smoothie except when I go to the gym… and I love this smoothie. It’s a treat that I crave, and some days, the promise of getting to enjoy my Workout Smoothie is enough to get me to actually, you know, work out. — Jess Novak, Head of Content and Audience Development
Be honest about where you need help — and spend your money there. I’m a full-time grad student in addition to working for Clean Plates, which means my time is extremely limited. Initially, I thought to myself: Can I really justify getting my groceries delivered to my door when I live just blocks from a store? Is it truly worth it to order from a healthy meal delivery service when I’m frankly a great home cook? Turns out: yes. When I got honest with myself, sans judgment, about my own time constraints (and how that was impacting my ability to be healthy), I realized how “worth it” it was to spend my money on hacks that help me live healthier in a more efficient way. — Lauren Rubin, Email Marketing Manager
Good food brings people together. So do good emails.