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7 Ways to Eat Healthier Without Changing Your Habits

7 Ways to Eat Healthier Without Changing Your Habits

Unless you spent the last few years outside of our solar system, you must have realized how our Western diet is causing an epidemic of obesity, along with other negative impacts on our health.

We all know we should exercise and eat healthy foods, but with today’s busy schedules, many people find it incredibly hard to take proper care of their diet. Too often, we end up with take-away fast food or random snacks from the vending machine.

Even if you can’t change your eating habits completely, you can make a few smart choices to get you started in moving towards eating better and more nutritious food.
We have listed seven easy decisions that you can make without committing to changing your eating habits; seven decisions that have a positive impact on your health, and overall well-being:

1. Replace juice from concentrate by fresh juice

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fresh juice

    If you buy juice from the grocery store, look in the fridges for the juice that is not made from concentrate. You will give yourself more vitamins and nutrients, and thus more energy by making this choice. Keep in mind that fresh juice lasts between 3 days (when containing berries) to a maximum 1 week (fresh orange juice) in your fridge.

    2. Ditch the sugary breakfast

    sugary breakfast

      When buying your breakfast cereal, turn the package around and quickly check the ingredients. If sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or a similar sweetener are among the first ingredients, don’t buy it. Try a cereal with more grains and less sugar instead.
      If you usually buy pre-packaged oatmeal, note that these contain lots of sugar and artificial flavoring as well. Buy regular oats, and add your own honey, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, etc. to it.

      3. Bring your own snacks to the office

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      nuts and dates

        Make sure you have something to snack on in your office, so that you can avoid expensive and unhealthy snacks from the vending machine. When shopping at the grocery store, simply get yourself some healthy items, and then store them in your office for whenever you need it. Fruits, nuts, dried fruits and baby carrots make great and energizing snacks to take to work.

        4. Bring your own lunch

        make own sandwitches

          Cook a little bit extra at dinner and take the leftovers to work for lunch. If you can’t heat food at your workplace, try to bring your own salad instead. Preparing a salad for the next day at home does not take more than 5 minutes: just toss some lettuce, raw veggies and a few toppings such as eggs, cheese, meat, or fish into a container. Don’t chop your tomato as it will make the lettuce soggy, and if you want to use dressing, take it in a separate little container.

          5. Make a batch of soup

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          a batch of soup

            A cup of soup before your meals tastes great, especially in the cold winter months. It also helps to fill you up before you reach out for the more caloric-rich foods on your dinner plate, and gives you an extra serving of vegetables.

            Soup lasts about a week when stored in a cool place (basement or fridge), and you can also freeze a few servings of your favorite soup.

            6. Check the labels of products

            200464106-001

              At the grocery store, make it a habit to turn your favourite products around so you can quickly look at the labels to check the ingredients. Use your common sense – if it contains ingredients that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, then don’t put it in your mouth. Try to find a different option to replace your Frankenstein-food of preference.

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              7. Leave out the meat

              cut out meat

                A few times a week, skip the meat portion from your dinner plate and get an extra serving of vegetables instead. You will learn to appreciate different types of vegetables and ease your palate into recipes that contain more veggies and less meat. This tip will not only make your body happy, but also our planet, as the carbon footprint associated with eating meat is very large.

                Which easy and healthy choices do you make in your daily life? Have these helped you with easing into a better and healthier diet?

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                Eva Lantsoght

                Eva is a university professor and a professional structural engineer. She writes about achieving excellence and success in life on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                Con #4: Unique Distractions

                Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                Final Thoughts

                Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                More About Working From Home

                Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                Reference

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