6 Things to Get You Started if You Want to Pursue a Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re reading this, it means one of two things: 1. You’ve been thinking about gearing yourself up for a healthier lifestyle, or 2. you’ve just started on your healthy lifestyle journey and are looking for resources and inspiration. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve been trying to get better too, just like you, and in the past year have made many attempts to really get this healthy lifestyle going. As part of this journey of mine, I signed up for NT Summer Equinox, a holistic health program powered by GoWell. It’s a month-long summer program composed of four weekend classes all throughout March on workshops and group workout sessions. My good friend When in Manila Koji also signed up for NT Summer Equinox with me, and we’ll be writing all about our experience in the program. So watch out for our next articles!

The first session that took place was a talk on “Eating for Health” conducted by holistic wellness advocate and fitness instructor Nikki Torres. She is also the inspiring woman behind NT Summer Equinox! So, needless to say, her talk was very enlightening, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at food and health the same way again—for the better!

So, to help you and, most importantly, to inspire you to live that healthy lifestyle, I’m sharing with you 6 things I learned from Nikki at our first NT Summer Equinox class by GoWell:

6. Looking at what you eat is the most important thing in getting started.

When we want to get healthy, the first thing that we do is go on a diet. We hit the gym, too. But diet is not the solution. And hitting the gym is not enough. Because it’s really not about eating less, but eating right.

We tend to always look at our food last, Nikki said, when we should be paying attention to it first. Want to get healthy and/or lose weight? Look at what you eat, and start being more conscious of what you feed your body.

How to get started: You can start small, by avoiding processed and sugary foods—you’ll be surprised how big of a difference it makes just avoiding those!

Our delicious lunch from Berde Bowls (@berdebowls) where the first NT Summer Equinox class was held

5. Grocery shopping? Check the label.

Did you know that a lot of accessible “healthy foods” you can get from the grocery are—surprise, surprise—not really all that healthy? Nikki showed us a list of some “healthy” stuff you can find at a grocery store but aren’t really, and you might be surprised that some of your favorites might actually be on that list. Some of mine were: non-fat milk, yogurt, fitness cereals, muesli, granola, etc. Many of these products are actually packed with so much sugar to make them appetizing, because honestly, healthy foods aren’t that sweet.

How to know if you’re picking up the right products? Check the product label of the item you’re picking up. You want to make sure the sugar content is good (limit your sugar intake to 16g/4tsp a day), and that the product doesn’t contain ingredients like MSG, TBHQ, High Fructose Corn Syrup, or, as a rule of thumb, anything you can’t pronounce!

Our GoWell loot bags! (Official photo from GoWell)

4. Kick the thought that veggies can’t fill you.

As with most things in life, pursuing a healthy lifestyle also boils down to your mindset. Stop thinking that veggies can’t make you fell full! It can! You just have to eat right.

Here’s the thing about veggies: it’s all in the calories, Nikki explained. One cup of rice and a piece of fried chicken, for example, averages at about 400 calories. But one standard bowl of a tossed salad would add up to only about 200 calories. That’s just half of what you’d get from your usual rice meal. So, want to feel full? Double up on the salad. A win-win too as you can east as much as you want and still be guilt-free ‘cos it’s so healthy!

How about trying to make your own salad? You can start with this Zucchini Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing! Recipe here.

|(Official photo from GoWell)

3. Think of healthy living as an investment…on yourself.

“Pay the farmer now, not the doctor later.”

Most people are turned off with eating healthy because it’s an “expensive” practice. But you know what’s more expensive? A trip to the doctor. Putting your money into good, healthy food is an investment you make for yourself, so do it as early as you can. Do it now. Eating right prevents you from possible future illnesses, and you know what they say about prevention:  “Prevention is better than cure.” And it really is.

Plus, if you come to think of it, fruits and vegetables are not really that expensive. How much do you spend in a week for restaurant food and lattes, anyway? In that case, going on a green diet would probably cost you even less. Nikki shares that her weekly budget for food is only 2,000 pesos—and that already serves two.

Need a grocery guide? Here’s Nikki’s Market Cheat Sheet you can use for your next trip to the grocery. Feel free to save the image below!

Nikki Torres’ 2,000-pesos-a-week Market Cheat Sheet

2. Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people.

It makes all the difference in the world when you have people around you that understand and are with you on your journey. It’s great if your friends are on a healthy lifestyle journey too, but if not, there are groups you can join to help you become more inspired and determined to achieve your goals.

One group you can join is the GoWell wellness community, a group aimed at helping Filipinos live healthier, brighter lives through a fit and active lifestyle, healthy eating, and living a balanced life. The great thing is that sign up is free, and members can have access to community workouts, wellness perks, freebies, and, most of all, new friendships with like-minded people!

It’s always a great feeling to be surrounded with your tribe—it makes you feel like you belong, that your goals are much more attainable, because you have people walking that same path with you.

Join the community and sign up for free at www.gowell.com.ph/

GoWell Sun Life Nikki Torres NT Summer EquinoxMy classmates at NT Summer Equinox “Eating for Health” (Official photo from GoWell)

1. Never say “I want my old body back!”

We’re all guilty of this. We look at out our old photos, of our much skinnier selves, and promise ourselves we’re getting that body back. We make our old bodies the benchmark for our future bodies. And this is so wrong.

Bodies inevitably mature over time, so let your old self go. According to Nikki, here’s a more positive thing to do: Whatever the body you’re in now, love it. That’s the first step to a healthier lifestyle. Accept your body for what it is, love it, and then aim for better. Work on it. But, girl, love yourself.

Need a little boost in the self-love department? Maybe this article on “Loving Your Body” can help.

GoWell Sun Life Nikki Torres NT Summer EquinoxYoga instructor and holistic wellness advocate Nikki Torres (Official photo from GoWell)

Ready to embark on your journey towards a healthy lifestyle? Stay updated through the links and hashtags below, and watch out for our next NT Summer Equinox entries for the next couple of weeks here on WhenInManila.com!

ALSO READ: Sun Life Launches GoWell Wellness Community for Pinoys Who Wish to Live Healthier, Brighter Lives

GoWell NT Summer Equinox

Instagram: @gowellph


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