(CNN) — During a time in which many of us are eating for stress, just enjoying a glass of wine extra, or a scoop of ice cream for a taste of what we can these days, wake up and see the birthday photo of Adele and her size surprisingly small … it could be a news story out of context.
Do pause before you criticize your own body or that of anyone else, including Adele, during a pandemic.
If you’re thinking “I could never do that,” and the story of Adele brings more frustration than inspiration, listen to this: it is ok to have eaten that ice cream or take that wine. And now it is okay to want to move more and feel better during the pandemic.
There are small things you can start doing at this time that do not require a meal prepared by a chef, trainers, expensive gym equipment sophisticated. Require a small commitment to yourself each day, and you’re worth it.
Here are seven things achievable that you can do to move, and I love that these are goals graded that can give you a sense of empowerment and elevate your mood. Choose one to try each week. You will feel better and more in control of your life, and maybe even you keep it to yourself.
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Open the door and go for a walk
Open the door is the first step. Even if you’re superfit, you may find it difficult to move in these days. There is a lot of resistance even among people that I know who are very committed to living a healthy life. You know you should, you know that you can, but your body resists. I say: just DO it. Not only will your blood to circulate; it will also help you to clear your mind. Listen to your favorite music while you walk can actually elevate your mood.
Make walking a daily activity, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you want, you can increase five minutes each week. If you live in a big city, you try to do it when the streets are less crowded. And if you live in an apartment and don’t want to leave, try to walk through the halls or the stairs.
Find a class fitness that will inspire
For me, it is the ballet. I was on the dance team in high school, but that was the last of my days of dancing. In the last few years, I had the desire persistent of try the ballet. My daughters have been taking classes, but I never found the time. I went to virtual classes of ballet (thank you, Ballet Academy East!) and I find myself doing relevés and ronds de jambes in the comfort of my room, using a desk chair as a bar.
If classes are not your thing, and you’re looking for a strength training of the whole body using only your body weight or some items for the home, coach Lynn Montoya, an expert in physical conditioning for people over 50 years of age, has some ideas to get you started.
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Upgrade your breakfast
Eat a nutrient-rich breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day, and prepares the stage to make other healthy decisions throughout the day. Lately I’ve been loving oatmeal with low-fat milk and berries, although the Greek yogurt with berries is my typical choice.
Regardless of what you choose to eat for breakfast, make sure you include some protein. The breakfast rich in proteins include egg whites, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, smoothies with low-fat milk or peanut butter on whole wheat toast. The protein helps to preserve muscle mass as we age, which helps to keep the metabolism running at full speed. Consume a meal with protein also keeps us full, and can help us to consume fewer overall calories that a meal that consists only of carbohydrates and fats.
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Enjoy a vegetable with every meal
Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and healthy fiber, which keeps you full without contributing calories. You can also take the place of carbohydrates unhealthy like chips or pasta creamy.
Vegetables do not have to be boring. In my house, we enjoyed the roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, roast (a substitute for fun of the pasta) and radishes are roasted, when they are in season. My daughters also like the broccoli sauteed in a little olive oil and the asparagus with parmesan cheese.
Once you get used to eating vegetables, you can make the transition slowly to give you more space on your plate. In general, I recommend filling half of your plate with vegetables.
Choose two fruits to fun, to enjoy every day
Just like vegetables, fruits are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and provide sweetness without excess sugar. A handful of blueberries or raspberries, a banana, a cut melon or a clementine can count as your daily goals of fruits. Like the vegetables, the fruits do not have to be boring: you can try a dessert-centered fruits. Test my recipes bark yogurt chocolate ice cream and strawberry frozen or “ice cream” orange and cranberry.
Find your fiber fixed
Yes, fiber makes you feel full, but also reduces the risk of diseases, which can help you to feel empowered at this time.
I’ve talked about fruits and vegetables rich in fiber, but for other strategies of reinforcement of fibre, try sprinkling chia seeds are rich in fiber, or Fiber One on your cereal or yogurt favorite. You can also opt for crackers multigrain Wasa or whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
And if you’ve started to bake in quarantine, use white flour for whole wheat. My recipe of parfait pudding of chia seeds and strawberry with chocolate boasts 16½ grams of fiber.
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No, no alcohol –although a glass of wine occasionally is okay, especially in these days– but tap water or mineral water. Do this throughout the day will keep you hydrated and can help you avoid the cravings for unhealthy foods.
To achieve this goal, try filling a large water bottle each day and try to have drunk at the end of the day. You could also make your own flavored water naturally with slices of lemon, orange or cucumber. If you need a reminder to drink water, consider applying a Water-Minder that helps you monitor your water consumption, or even a bottle of illuminated water that will shine when you need to increase your milliliters.
Finally, don’t forget to give rewards
This is something that I always recommend to anyone looking to achieve goals of personal health. Know that you’ll get a small reward after achieving mini-goals can help you a lot to keep you motivated. (Yes, you can decide what your reward will be).
The rewards also give you a boost to achieve something significant. You do not have to be anything expensive, but even something like a pair of leggings, low-cost can give you a well deserved pat on the back. In addition, how much do we love our messengers these days?
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and a contributor for CNN on health and nutrition.