10 ways to clean up your diet and simplify your life

Do you feel gross? I feel gross. I ate way too much junk over the holidays and am just now getting back to normal with my food and workout routine. (I had a little assist from a week of eating according to Clean. Highly recommend it.) If you’re still struggling to get back on track with food, fitness, and taking care of you, here are a few thoughts to get you over the hump:

  • Eat breakfast. I know, I know…you’ve heard it all before. Just try it. For me. Just for a week. Come back and tell me how you feel. (If you’re on Twitter, ask @chadschomber how his oatmeal breakfast experiment is going.)
  • Do it inside. It’s cold outside in many parts of the country – Seattle is in the middle of a three-day snowstorm! – which may make it a challenge to workout outside. If you find yourself making excuses, try this 10-minute upper body workout I sent to a client recently. At least your arms, back, and chest will be buff come spring. :)

  • Strap on a pair…and do it outside. Whoa! Mind out of the toilet, please. I’m talking about Yaktraks. These little gadgets hook over the toe and heel of your running shoes, allowing you to frolic, run, and walk in winter wonderlands of packed ice and snow without face-planting.Tips for cold weather running
  • Try a new grain. Sick of the “gluten-free” craze? Yeah, me too; but I will say that I tend to prefer gluten-free grains for their “head-clearing” quality. I just feel less hazy when I skip wheat. Quinoa, amaranth, millet, brown rice, and polenta are some of my favorites.
  • Drink more water. Have a glass first thing in the morning. Easiest thing in the world. Make this a habit and you’ve taken a big step towards cleaning up your body and feeling better.
  • Cut back on sugar. If you’re like me, you’re in full sugar addiction mode after the holidays. At the very least, opt for “gentler” sweeteners – like agave, maple syrup, honey, or brown rice syrup – instead of refined sugar. To really tackle your addiction, try these other tips.
  • Commit to a plan. Despite what you may think, I don’t do as much meal planning as I’d like. I have my go-to dishes that I just throw together; but that haphazard approach puts me in a food rut pretty fast. When I schedule time to make a grocery list, go grocery shopping, and prep meals – and put it in my calendar – my life gets ten times easier during the rest of the week. What day will you go grocery shopping this week? Which meals will you make? When?
  • Reduce the options. I’m not a fan of restricting food, but sometimes giving yourself fewer options is a major relief! Pick a cookbook. Choose 2 recipes to try each week. You can survive on the leftovers for the rest of the week if you have to.
  • Choose three things. Every morning – before you get sucked into the vortex of work – choose three things you must get done that day. ONLY THREE THINGS. Factor in both work and personal, ’cause it’s really all the same (ie, life). When you get those three things done, yay! – anything else you do is gravy. Forcing yourself to prioritize to such an extreme is surprisingly freeing (and makes you far more productive, believe it or not).
  • Breathe. Breathing cleans out the stale air from your lungs and makes everything feel simpler. Try this breathing exercise when you feel overwhelmed.

What have you done in the past couple of weeks to clean up your diet and get back to basics?