10 Expert Healthy Living Tips

Holistic Health Coach Jared Vaughn gives great advice for making changes this year!

I sat down with health coach Jared Vaughn of Helios Health and Wellness recently in search of advice for making healthy lifestyle changes. What started out as a slideshow of five tips, quickly exploded to ten, because I didn’t want to leave any of his great advice out.

If you would like more tips, ideas, recipes or if you’re looking for your own personal holistic health coach, please visit Jared Vaughn on Facebook or at the offical Helios Health and Wellness website. I hope some of this helps with your New Year’s goals!

#1 Make it a resolution and don’t just try!

A resolution is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Nowhere in that definition does it say “try” to do something. So the first step is in making a commitment to yourself and holding yourself accountable or finding an accountability partner, (friend, spouse, family member, trainer, coach or counselor), to help keep you on track.

#2  Start slow.

Transition gradually rather than jumping into a new lifestyle that might not be as sustainable in the long run. The key here is to be patient with ourselves. Love and appreciate who we are each and every day. Be kind and gentle to ourselves. As we look to treat ourselves like we would someone we love, we can then start to be mindful of how we feed ourselves emotionally and physically and with that make better choices in every aspect of life.

#3 Focus on loving yourself. 

Love: the secret to just about everything! What are you willing to do for those you love? Don’t you accept, support, appreciate and encourage them? This is exactly what we need to do with ourselves.

#4  Understand emotional triggers.

These are very important as they relate to our eating choices. If we are stressed, depressed, or anxious, we might not be in the best frame of mind when it comes to what we elect to eat and how much food we consume. As we begin to better understand our triggers and our relationships to food, we can then start to make some positive changes going forward.

#5 Establish SMART goals.

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely goals that you can monitor. This will increase your likelihood of success over the months and years to come. I recommend keeping a food journal for this so that you can track and monitor your progress.

#6 Crowding Out

This is a simple strategy! It merely consists of filling up on the “good stuff” (fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds, water and healthy fats), before allowing oneself to eat questionable foods. For example, if you’re used to eating donuts or bagels and coffee in the morning as your breakfast, perhaps you start with some fresh fruit or a fruit or veggie smoothie first. If you still have room and want to eat that donut, go for it! What you end up doing with this strategy is adding in more good foods into your diet and crowding out the bad stuff.

#7 Use the 90/10 Rule

This is another technique that I use that allows me to focus on eating healthy but not to miss out on those little indulgences in life—especially around the holidays or activities with friends and family. This ratio is completely arbitrary: one can use whatever percentage that works. Myself, I try to stick with 90 percent whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats) and allow for 10 percent indulgences (animal-based products, chocolate, holiday drinks, dining out, etc).

#8 Hydrate!

Water makes up the vast majority of our bodies and is essential for everything such as supporting metabolism, digestion and elimination of waste and toxins and aid with recovery with training just to name a few. Drinking water before a meal will allow us a moment to pause before devouring a large meal and regretting it later.

#9 Burn Baby Burn

Exercise benefits us in several way; here are just a few: it helps us to control or lose weight, combats numerous health conditions and diseases, improves our mood, boosts energy and improves our sex lives; exercise can also be a lot of fun and a chance to engage others socially. As we increase our exercise we will inherently look to be kinder to our bodies with what we choose to put in it on top of all these other benefits.

#10 Love Life!

Ultimately health is all about living a life that we love. We all want to be healthy and vibrant, but not so strict or rigid that we take the fun out of living.