Let’s forego a lengthy introduction and get right to it: the top 8 ridiculously simple tips to live a healthier life in 2022 and beyond!
Healthier Life Tip #1: Behold the Benefits of Drinking Water
What could be easier, simpler, and cheaper than drinking more water?
Drinking an appropriate amount of water really is the easiest thing we can do for our health, and the most accessible, but if most of us are being honest, we are not doing a great job of it.
Especially if you’re like me.
But that’s okay. There is time to change that.
There are a number of ways you can help remind yourself to drink enough water during the course of each day. Like filling a large bottle at the beginning of the day and ensuring you finish it, setting alerts on your phone to remind you periodically, or whatever else works for you.
Just check out these six amazing reasons why you need to drink more water today and see what you can do to get healthier!
Healthier Life Tip #2: Cutting Out Sugar
Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, so it might seem strange to refer to it as a “simple” fix when addiction is anything but.
But, shockingly, it is. It just takes a little conscientious effort.
Which will be more than worth it, considering the damaging effects of sugar on your body.
In a review published in the journal Frontiers in Bioscience in 2018, researchers from the NIH noted that excessive sugar consumption “may trigger neuroadaptations in the reward system that decouple eating behavior from caloric needs and leads to compulsive overeating. Excessive sugar intake is in turn associated with adverse health conditions, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory diseases.”
Research published in August 2015 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that among women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study from 1994 to 1998, those who consumed the most added sugars had 23% higher odds of incident depression than those who consumed the least.
These are just a couple examples that are not talked about enough, but the scientific evidence against sugar is voluminous, as is the anecdotal evidence we can all see and feel.
Given how obvious it’s negative impact is on our health is, removing sugar from our diets might be the healthiest lifestyle choice and best medicine anyone can ever take.
So what are the simple ways to cut sugar out of our diets?
Although sugar seems to be crammed into every nook and cranny of processed food, hiding where you do not expect it, a little label-reading at the grocery store can take care of that in no time.
Avoiding processed foods as much as possible, which we can consider an “honorable mention” to this top 8 list, would be the easiest and healthiest way to avoid that hidden sugar. But I know that is not always possible and, let’s face it, some processed foods are pretty darn good and you don’t need be punitive with yourself.
The stricter you are with yourself and the more you force yourself to rely on willpower, the hardest this will be.
So, now that you’ve created a system of carefully choosing your foods without added sugars and aren’t being too hard on yourself, what do you do about those cravings?
Obviously sugar didn’t stop being addictive just because you’ve been reading labels. There’s a reason why the food manufacturers cram it into so many things.
Fortunately, we have a lot of healthy options for those who have developed a sweet tooth. So many, in fact, that they could even have earned a spot on this list.
Healthier Life Tip # 3: Phase in Exercise
Exercise is a massive industry where everybody has an angle.
“You must do this type of workout, don’t waste your time with that kind of workout” is the kind of talk you hear ad nauseum, across every medium, everywhere you look.
That’s not to say there aren’t encouraging, non-judgemental people out there, but with so many who adhere to specific types of workouts with an almost religious-like fervor, using social media to blare their devotion through a megaphone to the rest of the congregation, it is really easy to feel bombarded and confused. Even judged if your tastes are not on board with theirs.
It’s no wonder exercise plans can be intimidating and so many people have a hard time getting started.
When it can feel like the entire industry is built on judgement, it should come as no surprise that people can feel intimidated or self-conscious getting started. Especially if getting started entails walking into a gym for the first time, when a gym really just feels to so many of us like a house of judgement that charges a subscription plan.
Fortunately we’re not about that here. The truth and improving ourselves is much more important than ego and selling niche fitness products while demeaning someone else’s niche fitness products.
So when it comes to exercise and well being, there is one fundamental truth we can all adhere to, regardless of our motivations or tastes:
I don’t know about you, but when I see someone working out, no matter what they are doing (as long as it’s safe of course) or what they look like, I’m happy for them and inspired by them.
Because they are putting in the work. And putting in the work is all that matters and automatically gets my respect. I don’t care about someone’s stats, their max bench press, how fast they are, what their body fat percentage is.
Sure, those things can be impressive and inspiring and respect-inducing as well. But if you are doing the work, no matter what you’ve got my respect for that.
The good news for all of us is, if you stay consistent with that work while being safe, you will reap reward after reward after reward for your efforts.
Inputs = output. (You can read more about that formula here.)
So, if you are not exercising today, don’t worry about it! It is never too late to start.
My favorite way to start is by phasing in some safe exercise or physical activity that you enjoy. It doesn’t really matter what it is at this point, just so long as you enjoy it so you can put your motivation on autopilot and be consistent.
As for me, I personally love doing intermittent work. I can do it from the comfort of my own home, it does not add any time to my schedule, and it fits in perfectly with my personality. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here.
But really, though. Just as long as you’re doing something that you enjoy and it’s safe, it doesn’t really matter if it’s anybody else’s cup of tea. Just get started and you’ll grow. And who knows how far you can go!
Healthier Life Tip #4: Eat Whole Foods
Eating whole foods seems like an obvious tip that we all know on some level, but for some reason it still eludes many of us.
Whether that is due to the addictive nature of processed foods, how commonly found they are, ease of preparation, or cost concerns, the processed food industry has found its way into just about every pantry around the Western world.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
Maybe all it takes is a little rewiring of our minds and expectations.
Listen, many processed foods will never stop being delicious, so you can forget about rewiring your mind to think they’re not.
I write about health for a living and still look twice at those little packaged apple pie snacks I used to get at the convenience store when I was a kid.
What we can do, instead, is rewire our minds to enjoy the simplicity of the simplest whole food recipes. Recipes that are easy to prepare so time is less of a concern, and use inexpensive ingredients so cost is less of a concern.
Let me give you an example of one of my favorite recipes. A recipe that is so ridiculously simple, so ridiculously inexpensive, and packed with great nutrition that it is easy to get behind.
Often times I will make this simple recipe for lunch. I make two batches at once, but you can easily make more than that if you like.
Here are the simple, cost-effective ingredients that make two lunches:
- 1 cup white rice (VERY inexpensive)
- 1 container chicken stock, or four cups (couple dollars from Target)
- 6-8 eggs (super inexpensive)
- 2 cans tuna fish (optional)
This ingredient list comes out to about 7 dollars for two meals. You can add a little salt and pepper to taste and it is delicious. Even someone with basic cooking skills like me can make a simple, delicious, cost-effective meal at home.
I’m sure you can do even better.
This meal is satiating, is loaded with healthy proteins and fats, and checking in at about $3.50 per meal doesn’t break the bank either.
What is most important might be what is not in this meal.
And that is any ingredient that you cannot pronounce and that is also not food.
This meal is made from all food, direct from nature, fit for human consumption.
This is just one example, however, coming from someone who eats for fuel and to satisfy a limited range of cooking skills.
You can, and probably will, take things up a notch or several notches from this.
The fact is, eating whole foods does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be time-consuming.
Think about these whole foods:
- Rice – not expensive
- Vegetables, fresh or frozen – not expensive
- Ground meat – not expensive (but getting higher, thank you inflation)
- Fruit for snacks – not expensive
- Seasonings – almost immeasurably not expensive
Now think about how many different variations of meals you can make with this simple base: rice, vegetables, ground meat, seasonings. This simple base costs so very little, will cover all your nutrient needs and, most importantly, it will not bombard your body with non-food, lab-produced chemicals that your body will have to spend time, energy, and resources fending off.
Instead, your body will be free to assimilate the nutrients you feed it, using them to bolster your good foundation of health and allow you to take your health to the next level.
So perhaps it is not time to convince ourselves that processed food is yucky or that it is not the best option for a limited budget with limited time. Perhaps we are better off rewiring our minds to get excited about simple meals that also are great options for limited budgets and limited time, but that fuel us to go after our pursuits instead.
Once we do that, even the simplest and “least exciting” meal options become something we look forward to.
Healthier Life Tip #5: Add in a Superfood Supplement
By taking care of the first four essential items, you have effectively removed the biggest offender (sugar) from your diet, and in part likely cleaned up your processed food intake as part of the process. That will help you remove more unintended junk from your diet as well.
Your cells are now properly hydrated and ready to function without the impediment of dehydration nor the bombardment of damaging sugar to contend with, so they are primed and ready to go.
And you are now active, reaping all the benefits of physical activity, from increased strength to increased longevity to even improved moving of your lymphatic system resulting in a more robust immune system.
So you’ve got the foundation and are in prime position to take things to the next level.
Enter a good superfood supplement.
Your diet is ready to start taking on more powerful foods to help supercharge your body which is now primed for success and thriving. But it is very difficult to get everything you need nutritionally from your daily diet, so help is…helpful!
A good superfood supplement can provide you with amazing, wide spectrum, highly concentrated forms of bioavailable minerals, nutrients, and phytochemicals in an easy to take and easy to assimilate package, without having to scour the specialty foods market for every last exotic health food you can never find anyway.
A good superfood supplement can help you fill in the gaps from your daily diet and give your newly primed cells super-nutrition to not only function well, but to function more than well.
The superfood market has exploded in recent years, so there are more than enough quality choices for you. My personal go-to superfood drink is Organifi Green. To help you better understand the power of green superfood drinks, Organifi Green’s formulation in particular, I wrote an extensive review of its ingredients, claims, and scientific backing several years ago.
Superfood drinks are typically pricey. There can be some sticker shock when you see those $60, $70 price tags at the store or online. But, if those $60 or $70 expenditures buy you a month or two of superfood power, the costs start to come way down.
So check out the market for yourself. I personally love Organifi. It does not have a “green superfood” taste. It has a sweet-but-not-overly-sweet, a little bit minty flavor that goes down smooth. There are of course others, though, so check things out for yourself. You might be amazed.
Healthier Life Tip #6: Replace Synthetic Vitamins with Whole Food-Based Vitamins
In years past I may not have left this off the list due to availability and cost concerns, but recent advancements have now made this possible.
It’s pretty easy to see that vitamin supplements that are whole food-based are better than synthetic vitamins created in a lab.
Since they come from foods, they are more bioavailable and are preferred by our bodies.
We were designed to use certain vitamins and minerals to function and to thrive. Our bodies recognize these substances and use them as they are designed to do.
Synthetic, lab-produced vitamins?
Not so much.
Now that is not to say there is no benefit to the synthetic variety, but synthetic is of course the operative word.
You are not a synthetic human, so you deserve real food.
The way you perceive vitamins change a bit when you start to look at them as food for consumption. Just because you do not typically chew them does not mean you do not consume them.
You swallow them and they go into your stomach to be digested and transported around your body through your bloodstream just like everything else you consume.
So the more real food the better.
Fortunately, the supplement market has grown so much in recent years that real, whole food-based vitamin supplements are now priced much more reasonably. More people have access to them than ever before. We just need to make a point of spreading the word and actually utilizing them!
That is why I love my healthier life tip #4 (green superfood supplement) so much. It is one form of supplementing my diet with some of the best nutrition there is.
But it does not stop there. Other vitamin supplements, like vitamin B, vitamin C, and many others, are offered in whole food-based pills, drinks, etc. that have become much more affordable over the years, and produced by more and more top notch companies.
Regular grocery stores carry them in many cases now. Of course, some of the vitamin and supplement shops are still around with greater variety. But you don’t have to go as far as you used to. Some of the larger grocery store chains are increasing their selection, and at some of the mid-size and growing stores, like Sprouts, that focus more on health have just about everything you could ask for, in many cases at affordable prices.
So take a look around. You might be surprised at how much lower the prices have become and how much closer they are to their synthetic counterparts.
And, if they are out of your budget, don’t sweat it! Every tip after the top 3 is meant to take your life to the next level. The bulk of the healthier life gains are in tips 1-3. Once you can start applying 4-8, you are really putting yourself in position to have thriving health.
(Oh, and by the way, if you ever hear about one of those studies that claim that vitamins don’t actually help improve health…ask what kind of vitamins they used in the study. If they’re using synthetic vitamins on real humans, well, you might want to take those results with a grain of salt.)
Healthier Life Tip #7: Replace Dessert with Fruit
We all have a sweet tooth.
It’s totally normal to have a sweet tooth or want to eat something sweet after you’ve eaten something savory.
There is something about that balance that most of gravitate toward.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage that desire to your advantage.
Every night after dinner, the same thing happens. I finish my meal, then I immediately have a taste for something sweet.
If I had a sugar addiction, it would probably be pretty intense. But in my case, I just kinda feel like eating something sweet.
So I take advantage of that, and you can too.
Instead of reaching for something with sugar or some kind of pseudo-sugar, I reach for a tangerine.
Or clementine. Or mandarin orange. Or cutie. Or whatever they’re called where you’re from.
You know them. Tiny oranges that are sold in 5-pound bags at the supermarket. They peel really easily and are delightful..
The reason they are my post-dinner fruit of choice is because they are so small that I am usually able to satisfy any desire for something sweet pretty quickly without risk of going overboard.
Often times, one cutie or clementine is all it takes.
Each one of these little gems gives me about 25% or so of the RDA of vitamin C, so they are a boon to my immune system rather than a competitor to it like something with sugar might be.
Once we cut sugar out of our diets, things become much easier.
Suddenly any sweet cravings are easily satisfied with some fruit right from nature itself. From food that was literally made for us and made to suit our needs. We can then satisfy any natural desires for sweet foods the way we are supposed to, with food from nature that nourishes us and provides our bodies’ systems with the nutrition they need to function and thrive.
Any time you can make a swap where you eliminate a negative (in this case too-regular consumption of sugar-filled and processed chemical-filled desserts) with a positive (nutrient-filled, typically low-calorie fruit), you’ve hit the jackpot of healthy life habits.
And it doesn’t have to be a tangerine. Any fruit that suits you does the trick.
Sugar-filled foods are great for fun events and occasions, but for daily life? Sweet foods from nature are where it’s at.
Healthier Life Tip #8: Read Books that Build You Up and Advance Your Life
Transitioning from physical health to mental/emotional/spiritual health, we need to talk for a moment about what you feed your mind.
As we all know, we are what we eat, and that does not stop at what you put in your mouth.
It extends to what you feed your eyes, your ears, and ultimately, your mind.
Reading books can help our growth and mental/emotional health tremendously.
First of all, we all know the intellectual benefits that come with reading more books, how they exercise our brain, but it goes much further than that.
Every time you crack open a book is an opportunity.
You are taking the time and effort to insert thoughts and feelings into your mind, so you might as well make them really work for your best benefit.
Choose books that give you something constructive to build upon, rather than gossip or negativity that feeds that addiction.
(Yes, negativity can be an addiction too.)
Choose books that will give you more skills and tools to succeed in life. Not only will you help yourself to succeed, but based on the fact that so few people think to do this, you are rocketing yourself to the top of the charts.
Choose books that make you a better person and give you hope.
The great news is, reading doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment for you if you want to see results. Much like exercise, simply committing to it and being consistent is where you will start to see gains.
You can start off slow and build up. As you begin to enjoy your experience more you will naturally find yourself looking for more time to spend on your reading habit.
As for me? I like to dedicate 30 minutes every day to reading books that build me up and give me more usable skills to succeed in life. I schedule the same 30 minutes each day so I hold myself accountable. Then I start with reading a couple pages from How to Win Friends and Influence People, so I am always staying on top of my people skills and treating people the best way possible.
I cannot begin to tell you how much my life has improved since I instituted this simple practice. I’ve become happier, more confident in myself and my future, as well as more confident in how I interact with others.
Having great health is one thing. But if you don’t put the rest of the pieces of your life together, satisfaction and enjoyment may be well afar off. This is why I felt it was important to wrap up the eight healthier life tips with one that pulls the first seven together and makes the benefits you get from them usable and fruitful.
I hope you found this list helpful. I know I did just writing about them. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you have any other healthy life tips that make the top of your list!
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