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Living Healthy -Where To Start And How To Sustain It!

High Blood Pressure Wellness Lifestyle Podcast, Episode #50

Do you ever feel like there's too much to do in terms of living healthy? You might feel like you have no idea where to start or that so much needs to change you feel discouraged. While I understand those feelings completely, I want to encourage you that there is a more effective and less stressful way. 

Mentioned In This Episode

  • Join an online program that's designed to empower you with strategies that create a lasting, impactful change….Balancing blood sugar through the magic of whole foods is all about sustainable health wins. It's not about overhauling your life overnight but embracing small, consistent tweaks in your eating habits. Remember, chasing perfection isn't the goal here—it's about consistently making choices that are just a bit better. And yes, always chat with a healthcare pro before you dive into significant dietary changes.

  • Buzzsprout - our podcast distributor, has added a new feature where you can click the text message link from our podcast and send us a quick message. Looking forward to your feedback and you might be mentioned in one of our podcasts in the future.

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Living Healthy - Where To Start And How To Sustain It Podcast Transcript!

Hello, you’re listening to High Blood Pressure Wellness Lifestyle Podcast with Donna Williams. Hi, I’m Donna Williams, Certified Holistic Health Coach, owner and creator of website.

hbp podcast picture.

I teach and guide my community, especially women of color in variety of ways through my website pages, one-on-one coaching, online courses, on how to prevent, treat and reduce high blood pressure numbers. A mindful eating program which is a powerful eating approach that changes how you think about meals forever. Also, an interactive coaching program on how to eat your way to balanced blood sugar control.

These programs are designed to empower you, equipping you with tools, techniques, and strategies that create lasting, impactful change. It’s a lifestyle change where wellness is not an afterthought but a way of life. Its a transformation.

Also do you know you can now click on the Fan Mail section of my podcast and send me your text message. Looking forward to hearing from you. Know that you might be mentioned within one of my podcasts going forward.

Today’s topic is Living Healthy: Where to Start and How to Sustain It!

Get Started On Living Healthy

Starting a healthy lifestyle can often seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With a few simple steps, you can begin your journey to better health and find ways to sustain it long-term. Here's a practical guide to kick-starting a healthier you.

  • Understand Your 'Why':  The first step to living healthy is to understand your motivation, whether improving your energy levels, managing stress, or just wanting to feel better in your skin. Having a clear why will keep you anchored to your goals when the going gets tough.

  • Set Realistic Goals:  Start with small, achievable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment. For example, if you want to eat healthier, begin by incorporating one new vegetable into your diet each week.

  • Create a Balanced Diet: A balanced diet is foundational. Focus on whole foods that provide nutrients and energy. This step means incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and be mindful of portion sizes.

    balanced blood sugar control.
    Balancing blood sugar through the magic of whole foods is all about sustainable health wins. It's not about overhauling your life overnight but embracing small, consistent tweaks in your eating habits. Remember, chasing perfection isn't the goal here—it's about consistently making choices that are just a bit better. And yes, always chat with a healthcare pro before you dive into significant dietary changes.

    By welcoming whole foods into your life and paying attention to how you eat, you can see a big boost in how you manage your blood sugar, how much energy you've got to tackle the day, and how good you feel overall. Let's dive in together by stepping into the world of whole foods. My aim here is to inspire you to use your unique strengths to create lasting changes in your life.

    With eat your way to balanced blood sugar control interactive health coaching program, we'll embark on a journey to:
    • Discover the power within you.
    • Ensure those meaningful changes stick around.
    • Hit your health goals.
    • Build a well of confidence that never runs dry.

    I’ll be teaching you how to take on the challenges of high blood sugar control, celebrating every win along the way, big or small. Are you ready to level up your energy, manage stress, fine-tune your eating habits, enjoy deeper sleep, lose some weight, or refresh your outlook?

    Your adventure to a richer, more vibrant life kicks off with simple, actionable steps. Are you up for the challenge? Join the program today!

  • Get Moving:  Exercise doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym. Find activities you enjoy, like dancing, hiking, or yoga, and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. Consistency is key.

  • Prioritize Sleep:  Adequate sleep is crucial for health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

manage stress.
  • Manage Stress:  Stress can undermine health goals. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or journaling into your daily routine. Find healthy outlets for stress, like exercise or hobbies.

  • Stay Accountable:  Keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable. This could be through a journal, an app, or a health coach - like myself. I'll help keep you accountable, guiding you through your creation of sustainable habits that fits your goals of living healthy.  Celebrate your successes, no matter how small.

  • Educate Yourself:  Knowledge is power. Read books, follow reputable health blogs, or take classes to learn more about nutrition, exercise, and wellness.

  • Find Support:  Surround yourself with people who encourage your healthy lifestyle. Find support from friends, family, or online communities. Consider finding a workout buddy or joining a group related to your health interests.

  • Be Patient and Flexible:  Change takes time, and there will be setbacks. Be patient with yourself and flexible in your approach. If something isn't working, be willing to try a different strategy.

  • Make Health a Lifestyle:  Finally, integrate healthy habits into your lifestyle. It isn't about short-term diets or workout fads. It's about making sustainable changes that improve your life.

For example, you might choose to eat more fruits and vegetables, cook with less salt, include more plant-based protein sources in your diet, or drink plenty of water throughout the day. By picking something manageable that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, you'll find that making small changes becomes much easier over time.

How To Go About Creating Healthy Swaps!

I'd like you to start by creating one healthy swap this week to get the ball rolling! But do you know how to make simple swaps for a healthier life?

healthy swap.

Making healthy lifestyle changes can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are trying to make many significant changes at once. But taking things one step at a time can make gradual and sustainable improvements that won't overwhelm or discourage you. 

One simple way to start making progress is to pick one healthy swap each week and focus your efforts on that. 

Lasting change happens one decision at a time. While you don't need to change everything on your to-do list at once, start with a few small changes in your day that can start to compound and make a difference. Once you get the ball rolling, you'll be encouraged to continue down your to-do list and keep working toward those goals. 

Here are a few simple swaps you can do to start feeling better:

hydrate water.
  • Make hydration important:  Is that warm cup of coffee the first thing you think about when you hop out of bed in the morning? You don't have to give that up - but start your day with a tall glass of water first. This will help jumpstart your metabolism and help to rehydrate you from your night's sleep. If you struggle with this, try leaving a glass of water on your bedside table so it's the first thing you see in the morning.

  • Practice listening to your body: Often, if we choose to move our bodies each day, we stick to a strict workout schedule. Cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Weight training and yoga on Tuesday and Thursday. This rigid schedule can sometimes burn us out and cause us to ignore what our body is asking for at the moment. Instead, make a "workout menu" of options that sound enjoyable. Then, each day, check-in and see which option sounds most appealing and most beneficial.

    I go to the YMCA in my area, and they have daily exercise schedule of different classes for you to choose from. I love this because I can mix up my exercises, even try new classes while having fun always.

  • Healthier food options:  Making a healthy food choice can sometimes feel overwhelming when it doesn't have to be. Each day, choose one area to make a swap. This may be using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta. Or it could be grabbing a square of dark chocolate instead of a candy bar. They may seem like insignificant decisions at the time, but they can really add up in the long run, and the practice of making these small decisions will start to stick.

  • Create a sleep routine:  If your evening routine could take a tune-up, now's the perfect time to create a healthier routine focused on sleep hygiene. Turn the lights down, take a hot bath, use clean sheets, diffuse a relaxing scent, enjoy a full skincare routine, read a book or journal. It doesn't matter which activities you choose -- any of them are better than spending time scrolling on your phone before bed. A better nighttime routine will not only get you to sleep earlier, but your quality of sleep will also be much better. I usually give thanks that I am home, safe and in my bed.

Be Intentional About Your Wellness Non-Negotiables

Changes in living healthy don't happen overnight -- it takes one small decision after another to build a healthy lifestyle that sticks. So be intentional about small efforts, and you'll start to see lasting shifts that lead to the desire for more healthy swaps.

I’d like you to be intentional today.

One way to make sure your goals are realized is to make sure you have a plan -- you have to know what your destination is to know what path will get you there. 

I find it helpful to have some firm guidelines built into wellness goals when mapping out any wellness plans. These non-negotiables are the most important goals to focus on first – I like to think of them as anchors. Other goals spring from these, but these are strong foundations to build upon. 

So, what does a no-fail blueprint for living an active life with better choices look like? Here are some pointers to get you off to a solid start and keep you on track.

Find a system for prep:  It doesn’t have to be a full-on weekly meal prep where you spend hours on Sunday afternoon shopping, cooking, and divvying up portions. Within my eat your way to balanced blood sugar control program, I provide you with a workbook guiding you on getting comfortable focusing on creating a balanced plate with each meal you make.

Knowing what you enjoy eating that hits your food goals while also keeping and traveling well can go a long way in sticking with a healthy eating plan. Focus on getting a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables mixed with lean protein, healthy fat, and a few complex carbs. Create a running list of recipes you can rotate to have a good home base of ideas without getting stuck in a recipe rut.

home workouts.

Move every day:  You’d be surprised what thirty minutes of movement can do for physical and mental health. I know that it can be a hard habit to get into (especially during those cold, grey days), but once you do, it’s hard to go back. Keeping it fresh by changing things up helps, too -- try a new walking path or route for your run, sign up for a new class at the gym you attend, and stretching or meditating at home on a low-energy day can make a big difference in mood.

Get in a sleep routine:  Are you noticing how I’m always mentioning sleep which is a wellness non-negotiable. If there is one thing that can throw everything else out of whack, it is a non-existent sleep routine. Sleep is truly the foundation of everything else, so giving proper attention to creating positive habits is necessary. Map out your ideal nighttime routine and begin implementing those things. If this seems too tall an order, start with eight hours of rest. Then slowly work up to adding items like a hot bath, a cup of herbal tea, journaling or reading, etc. Or whatever relaxes you enabling you to easily fall asleep.

Be careful with too many restrictions:  Giving ourselves too many restrictions right off the bat can often lead to burnout, leading to an increased chance of quitting those habits that we were beginning to form. Instead, give yourself more grace and acceptance, knowing that the end goal is to do things that support both the body and mind--not one at the cost of the other. This means we do not beat ourselves up to stay on a healthy eating plan. Both are equally important.

Starting with these steps can pave the way for a healthier life. Take it one step at a time, and you'll find that these healthy habits can become second nature. And finally, above all else, remember that life is fluid. Priorities may change, and it’s our goal to roll with the punches while still putting our health first.

Thanks for listening to High Blood Pressure Wellness Lifestyle podcast. If you find this episode on ‘Living Healthy: Where to Start and How to Sustain It!’ please take a moment to share your feedback using the text message link.  You might be mentioned in one of my upcoming podcasts. Remember to also subscribe and rate this podcast. Thank you again. And do tell your friends and family about us.

Remember to text me your feedback. Looking forward to hearing from you.  See you next week.

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