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More Than Just Resolutions: 5 Steps To A Healthier & Happier You!

by Chung Jia Chyi

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With the brand new year, we are given another opportunity to turn over a new leaf. It’s a fresh and clean slate for us to kick our bad habits to the curb and replace them with habits that will take us closer to the best and happiest version of ourselves. For many, this most likely includes shedding excess weight, becoming healthier and getting in a fitter shape.

Normally, within the first few weeks of the year, most of us feel excited as we vow to finally tackle our resolutions. Yet as time goes by, we find ourselves not seeing the immediate results we hoped for and slowly, our motivation & commitment fizzled. Before we know it, we find ourselves revelling in the comforts of our old ways, putting our goals in the backburner until another new year is around the bend.

If you can relate and feel sick and tired of experiencing this cycle year in and year out, know that you don’t need to wait until the New Year, dare we say – right at this very moment, to commit to changing your life for the better. Remember that life is all about progress, and in order for progress to take place, changes must be made. Should you feel that you’re in over your heads, fear not, the team BookCulinaryVacations.com is here to help. We’ve compiled 5 practical yet effective ways that when combined and applied to your daily routine, could help you to be in the best shape and health of your life. Let’s get started!


Avoid skipping breakfast

We all have heard that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, but then again, most of us are likely to skip it so that we can have that extra 15 minutes or so of sleep. Typically, a cup of Joe (and maybe some bread left on the kitchen counter) would be our saving grace to somewhat fuel our mornings, keeping us awake. However, studies from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health show that those who do not consume breakfast in the mornings are not able to make up their daily requirements for some vitamins and minerals that a hearty breakfast would provide.

It’s time to kick start each day with a nutritious bite! Wake up 15 minutes earlier than you usually do to whip up a simple, delicious & nutritious breakfast such as French toast, bacon and eggs, pancakes or waffles - the options are endless! If you are still having trouble getting up a little bit earlier than usual, then make it a habit to plan ahead and prepare your breakfast the night before. You can opt for overnight oats in a jar that are prepared ahead of time. These are so convenient to whip up that you should not have any excuse to skip breakfast ever again!

If you are looking for a different take of overnight oats in a jar, then we suggest you to try out Minimalist Baker’s peanut butter overnight oats, guaranteed to help you have a great start to your day!


Stick to meal plans & Eat clean 

Instead of eating out or getting fast food delivered to your door, why not try to whip up your own meals? The beauty of preparing your own meals is that you are able cut down indulging processed foods, control your food portion and at the same time, able to save a considerable spending cost.

When life seems too hectic to set aside time to cook, we suggest for you to create (on weekends before your week begins) or follow (if you really don’t have the time) meal plans, which will work perfectly into your busy life. Planning well ahead allows you to know what ingredients to prepare, whilst at the same time, you are able to get a delicious and nutritional balanced diet out of it!

Having trouble creating your own meal plans? Then how about starting with these weekly meal plans created by Two Peas & Their Pod that will guarantee you to inspire to stick to meal plans and eat clean!


Minimize junk food & snacks

When we’re craving for a snack, it’s so easy to reach out and grab hold of a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate to munch away to your heart’s content! We are big fans of snacks and some junk food ourselves but we are well aware that as soon as we indulge in them a little too much, a big slice of guilt automatically creeps in and leave us filled with guilt and regret.

While we won’t completely cut off junk food & snacks out of our lives as we think that when enjoyed ocassionally, it’ll prevent us from succumbing our urge to binge, it would be good to substitute some of your favorite (unhealthy) junk foods and snacks with healthier options. Fortunately, there are now lots of healthy snacks that don’t sacrifice taste & flavor.

If you want to step it up a notch, you can even replace snacks with juices and/or smoothies! Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables together, not only they are tasty they’re chock full of vitamins and nutrients! Trust us, your body will thank you! 

Need recipes for smoothies? Check out Oh She Glows where you can find lots of Blogger Angela’s favorites!


Get Regular Exercise 

With the hectic schedules and busy lifestyle, it is very much difficult for us to even have the time to spare for a little exercise. But we can’t simply just blame it all on that – cause truth is, they are just excuses, excuses, and more excuses! In order to sustainably lose weight (and keep it) and be fit, there’s simply no getting around getting regular exercise. When it all comes down to is that we must make it a priority because it’s not about having the time – it’s about making the time.

Sure, you might say that you are tired after a long day sitting behind your desk, but what could hurt if you would to go for a 30 minutes session of at the gym or a run around the block? You may be inclined to sit on the couch while indulging on your favorite TV shows but exercise is a lot more beneficial to you. Once you get moving and your heart pumping, you will find yourself much more refresh than ever. The reason why is because according to a research by How Stuff Works, exercise stimulates endorphin production, which has the ability to make you feel great!

If a run or time at the gym is not your preferred way of physical activity, there’s lots of different ways to stay active such as playing sports, training in martial arts and taking classes such as yoga or dance classes. Be sure to mix it up! That way you won’t feel that you are just restricted to the same options.


Make time for play

It’s important to keep in mind that in order to be truly healthy, we should not only look out for our physical health, but also our mental health! The stresses that builds up from work and other life commitments can be overwhelming at times. Studies from Psych Central researched that when a person is under chronic stress, it will slowly affect one’s mental health negatively, which would then lead to anxiety disorders and depression. So be sure to counteract these stresses with some ‘play’ time!

Make time to do the things that gives you joy whether it’s baking, cooking, hiking or playing your musical instruments etc. Though our career and responsibilties are certainly important aspects of our lives, life does not solely revolve around work and paying the bills. It is perfectly fine to take a step back and indulge in your favorite activities sometimes. Think of it as a priceless gift you regularly give to yourself. As you get in the habit of setting aside time for play, you will be surprised as to the immense effect of such a simple commitment can bring to your health and overall happiness!


Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. To read more great content on food, wine and travel, please visit our blog section. If you’d like to taste more cuisines and dishes across the world, then be sure to take a peek at the variety of culinary holidays, vacations and getaways through the choices here

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