Valerie’s 5 rules for healthy living
1. Eat breakfast everyday! No seriously, I mean it! Studies have shown over and over again that people who eat breakfast are thinner than those that don’t. Starting the day with a nutritious meal jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for eating right for the whole day. No, your Starbucks latte and fat free muffin are not what I am talking about. You want your breakfast to include protein and a slow digesting carb.
My “go-to” breakfast options:
¼ cup of Eggology egg whites scrambled with veggies (just about any will do, except potatoes) over 1 piece of Ezekiel l toast
1 packet of plain instant oatmeal with 1 scoop of chocolate Designer Whey protein powder with a handful of mixed berries or 1 tablespoon of California raisins
1 piece of Ezekiel toast with 1 tablespoon of almond butter or all natural peanut butter (not JIF or Skippy)
2. Exercise (almost) daily. Exercising daily is the one sure way to relieve stress and fix a bad mood. But let’s not forget the big picture. Getting fit, and by this I mean getting stronger, becoming more flexible and increasing your cardiovascular endurance as well as changing your body composition, is the key ingredient to getting more from life. Having a fit body gives you more energy and more opportunities for adventure. Plus, think of your workout as the Norton Utilities of your body. It just seems to run better if exercised. It is a way to dump the stress and physically improve what we have.
3. Notice what makes you happy and then be happy about it! It is easy to get annoyed with life’s little inconveniences like being stuck in traffic, being on hold forever when you’re trying to reach customer service, or when the weather is too cold, too hot, too wet, etc. I like to notice things each day that make me happy and focus on that. More often than not it spreads out over the day for a general feeling of happiness. For example, if the sun is shining, for me, that means it’s a beautiful day and that makes me feel good. I live in LA so this happens a lot, but I still greet it each time as if I haven’t seen the sun in months. When I hug my dogs Cody & Lexi I feel happy. They get hugs many times a day so that adds up to a lot of happiness. I am always in a great mood after I workout, so I remind myself of this when I don’t feel like doing it. I feel grateful to have this body that can run and jump and play, even while I’m still working to improve it. I am happy when a client is really into their workouts so it is fun for me to work on new ways to help them achieve the body of their dreams. Do I get stressed, frustrated, annoyed or depressed? Of course I do, but I use the strategies above to help pull me out.
4. Eat more vegetables. This is a diet cliché for a reason. If you want to be thinner, have more energy, improve the quality of your skin and build up your immune system, then eat your veggies. These low calorie, nutritional powerhouses can do all that and more. Plus they fill you up without filling you out. Choose fresh, in season and locally grown when possible. Keep frozen on hand for emergencies. The key to getting your loved one to eat more veggies with you? Be a little sneaky and add different kinds to your salads, to your pasta and to your soups or casseroles. They don’t always have to sit separately on the plate. Take your kids with you to the farmers market and let them try the fresh fruits and veggies. The experience of choosing them might make them more inclined to eat them. The farmers market will also tell you what’s local and in season. All produce tastes better when it’s fresh.
5. Love what you do but remember it’s your job, not your whole life. I absolutely love being a trainer. It has been almost 20 years now and I still get an absolute thrill turning someone on to fitness and seeing their confidence grow as they realize the potential of their body. However, it is also important for me to find other ways to feel fulfilled. Whether that is my family and friends or a new interest or hobby. I am constantly seeking ways to grow as a trainer and as a human being.