10 Small Changes for better health and wellness in 2016

Although I mentioned that I began working on my “2016 New Years resolution” back in September when Liz and I first began blogging, I realized that I do have a list of small changes to strive for in the new year…geared towards health and wellness. Because I am already a health/exercise nut, the list is much less about working out or eating healthy (since I do that religiously anyway) and more about fine tuning my wellness in areas where I sometimes cut corners…like staying properly hydrated, stretching adequately, or turning OFF Netflix after my 3rd episode in a row of Making a Murderer.

Here are my ten “mini” changes that will contribute to better health and wellness in 2016!


DRINK MORE WATER: I work out in the morning and typically drink 20oz during the workout, a cup of coffee and then probably don’t touch water again until lunchtime. I know its not enough! Health authorities typically recommend drinking 8, 8oz glasses of water…which equals 2 liters OR… a half gallon per day! And if you exercise…you need more. How much more? Well, you can calculate it for yourself here. (I need about .7 liters more…since I typically do some sort of cardio exercise for 45min each morning.)  I plan on infusing my water bottle with fruits and cucumbers to entice myself to drink more!


TAKE A DAILY MULTIVITAMIN: When I was in college, I stopped eating meat (mostly because it was from the school cafeteria, and thus weirded me out). After 6 months, I noticed that my hair was significantly thinner and was breaking more easily. After a few blood tests, my doctor let me know that my iron levels were extremely low and due to the lack of nutrients – my body was compensating by using up all the proteins that were needed to grow healthy hair. Well, that was enough for me and I began eating meat again IMMEDIATELY. I also try to take a daily multivitamin and biotin pill to ensure that my body is getting everything it needs, but tend to forget a lot. This year – I will set them out on the kitchen table so that its impossible for me to forget.


CONSUME LESS SUGAR: Sugar is the devil reincarnate. Or thats what the experts seem to tell us at least! If you need to read up on why sugar is the epitome of evil, read this Huffington Post article. In order to avoid sugar, I am giving up my 1 Sugar In The Raw packet that I add to my coffee every morning and sticking to unsweetened vanilla almond milk only. The good news: we don’t have to give up all sweeteners! Organic raw honey, maple syrup and agave are delicious alternatives that are supposedly better for us (Paleo friendly) and sweeter than the white stuff – so we ultimately need less of it.


LEARN NEW GO-TO RECIPES: I enjoy cooking, but only if the ingredients are easy to find and the instructions easy to follow! Basically, the whole process needs to be pretty easy or else I will just end up making an omlette and calling it a night! However, one of my best friends gave me Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook for Christmas and I am pleasantly surprised with a lot of the recipes. I am looking forward to making these recipes for dinner (which also will make great packable next-day lunches):

  1. Buffalo Chicken Casserole
  2. Mexican Meatloaf
  3. Strawberry-Poppyseed Chicken Salad Sandwiches


STRETCH IT OUT: Typically, the instructors from various fitness studios in Boston reserve 5 minutes at the end of the class for stretching, however it usually ends up being 2 rushed minutes…while a third of the class has already bee-lined it for the exit. Because I work out a lot, 5 minutes at the end of class isn’t enough – and I have noticed that my flexibility has decreased a lot since starting ClassPass. To combat this, I am going to follow in my roommate’s footsteps and attempt to practice a little yoga in the evenings (even while watching tv!) Taking a full 90 minutes yoga class would be over-promising myself, so perhaps starting with a brief 10 minute nightly stretch will be a good idea.


DO SOMETHING NEW: This is what I am most excited for!!! Personally, I think its super important that people try new things regularly. Life gets boring with the same old, same old. In 2016, I am going to learn calligraphy. I have been following Lauren Hooper on Instagram, and am very inspired by her beautiful penmanship. I am also signed up for a trapeze class at the New York School of Trapeze at the end of January 🙂 which I cannot wait for.


GET MORE SLEEP: Sleep is a personal thing – everyone needs a different amount and has drastically different sleeping preferences. Personally, I sleep best with a cool room and my humidifier going in the winter (it also doubles as a noise machine…makes a very soft, calming sound.) I think at the end of the day, if we want more sleep…we have to go to bed earlier. Going to bed earlier probably means balancing a schedule better so that you are home earlier and not juggling chores in the evenings. It might mean putting your phone away for the night so that you can calm your mind, or making some tea post-dinner. There are so many variables for each of us. Determine what it will take for you to hit the lights 20-30 minutes earlier and give it a try.


READ A GREAT BOOK: So I know Netflix, HBO and Showtime have been killing it recently! Its tough to not binge watch every hot new show. However, I have read some pretty incredible books the past few months that rival these tv shows (The Goldfinch, The Opposite of Loneliness.) Most of us have some sort of commute to work – which is a great opportunity to read on the T or listen to a book on Audible while driving.


SAVE: When is the last time you adjusted your 401K deposit? Can you spare $20 per paycheck? What about $40? Think about upping your 401K deposit. Chances are, you won’t notice the $20 missing from your paycheck. Your future self will thank you.


EMBRACE CHANGES: This goal is pretty vague, however I hope it speaks to everyone. I truly believe that if you don’t like your job, or are unhappy with your current living situation, bored with your routine or just looking to improve yourself – a change is in order. I am the first to admit that change can be very uncomfortable, and even inconvenient – however its the best way to grow and improve oneself! I am looking forward to tackling these small changes in hopes of improved health and wellness in the new year.


Please share your News Years resolutions! Big ones and small. I seriously want to hear them all.


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