Feel a cold coming on? Do you tend to be more sleepy and lazy in the winter months? Follow these 10 tips to keep you healthy this season and help beat stress and gain energy! 

1. SLEEP: The average american doesn’t get nearly enough sleep each night. Many people yo-yo and get 4 hours one night, then 10 hours the next night and the cycle continues. Aim for 7-8 hours a night and try to make it consistent. Wake up about the same time every morning and try to be in bed around the same time each night, with no more than a 30min-1hr differential.

2. Eat REAL food: Look in your pantry. Throw away the junk, processed, preservative filled, chemically altered food. Go to the store, shop mainly the perimeter of the grocery store. Stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, organic meats, potatoes, whole nuts/seeds, eggs, organic dairy (if you tolerate). You can shop for the deals and really save a lot of money by not buying all the packaged foods and snacks. LOOK at the INGREDIENTS if you do buy any packaged foods. Look for products with ingredients you recognize and very minimal ingredients. Stay away from artificial sweeteners, flavors, etc.

3. Drink herbal tea: There are so many awesome herbal teas out there. Swap your morning coffee a couple times a week with your choice of tea or sip on a tea after dinner instead of reaching for dessert. Whatever you are feeling, you can usually find a tea full of wonderful herbs to help you feel better, more energized, and revitalized.

4. Take your vitamins: Do you take a multivitamin? Do you take it daily? Get in the habit of taking your vitamins daily, at the same time each day so you remember and make it a part of your routine. Fish oil is another great supplement to add when taking your multivitamin.

5. Stay active: Decide how many days a week you can commit to working out. Whether its two or three, or four or five. Look at your schedule each week and put on your calendar which day you are going to the gym and what you will do on that day. The days you don’t have time to get to the gym, don’t beat yourself up and go binge on junk, rather get outside when you go home go on a brisk walk or run, de-stress, and just burn off some energy. Even if you only have 20 minutes, you will be so happy you made the time for yourself.

6. Eat PROTEIN: The average american diet is full of refined carbohydrates, sugar filled sweets, greasy fried foods, and usually pretty low on the protein spectrum. If you get one thing out of this article, please EAT MORE PROTEIN. Protein will help stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day, help prevent those sudden cravings, and make you a more happy and energized person. You will get more benefit out of your workout and start seeing results. DO IT TODAY.

7. Meal Prep: Take the stress off of meal planning by taking a sunday afternoon to grocery shop, prep some food, even portion meals out, and stock your fridge. That way when you get home late, meals are made and you won’t mindlessly snack for 30 minutes while you decide what to cook, or swing by whatever drive though is open because your too tired to make dinner.

8. Nightly turn off: 1 hour before you plan to go to sleep, turn off all electronics, turn the TV off. Get your meals put together for that next breakfast/lunch if needed, spend time getting ready for bed, then sit in bed and either read or just enjoy some peace and quiet.

9. Drink bone broth: Check out Against All Grain’s delicious recipe for bone broth. Bone broth has so many great health benefits including that it: heals and seals your gut, fights inflammation, reduces joint pain, full of absorbable minerals, promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails, and it speeds healing of illnesses and viruses. I drink a glass of bone broth first thing every morning and sometimes another glass in the evening. It’s delicious and very comforting/warming in the winter.

10. Ditch Sugar: Sugar is a poison and it is addicting. If you are always craving dessert, or feeling like you just HAVE to have something sweet, you have a sugar addiction, my friend. Wean yourself off sugar by cutting out the processed packaged foods that are full of hidden sugars. Switch to almond milk or low fat milk and 1 stevia packet with your coffee instead of cream. Allow yourself 1 small square of 70% (or higher) dark chocolate a day and let that be your “treat.” The less sugar you have in your diet, the less you will crave. And again add more protein to your diet and fat. Sometimes just a spoonful of almond butter kicks any craving for sweets that I have. Try it!

Stay STRONG Today!