I like reading tips on how to stay healthy, but I get so tired of the same old advice like, “Take the stairs instead of the elevator!” I take the stairs all the time. I go out of my way to take the stairs. Sometimes I run up and down the stairs to the second floor of my apartment building even though I live on the first floor just so I don’t miss an opportunity to take the stairs. For those of us who have already used all the old weight loss/healthy living tips in the book, here’s some new ideas to stay healthy:
Pop your own popcorn
Ever since I started making my own popcorn on the stove top, I can’t even look at a bag of microwaved popcorn without hanging my head in shame. I can’t believe how many years and dollars I wasted on this stuff. Stove top popcorn is not only a healthy alternative because it doesn’t have all those chemicals and preservatives, but it tastes so much better than microwaved popcorn. It also takes about the same amount of time to make and it’s about 1/5 of the price. Season it with just salt or salt and pepper or even a little bit of melted butter. I’m a popcorn purist (just salt for me), but if you’re feeling frisky, try adding different spice combinations or cinnamon and sugar.
Make your own salad dressing
Bottled salad dressing is like a giant party for calories and preservatives and not only is everyone invited, but they’ve RSVPed and are bringing a lovely bottle of chardonnay. Most bottled dressings contain about 200 calories per serving, which is the equivalent of topping your salad with a scoop of ice cream and at that point why are you even bothering with salad when you could be eating ice cream? Making your own dressing is easier than you think and lots of recipes can be found online. You can make great dressings using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry like olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and Dijon mustard.
Freeze Grapes for a Snack
I love eating something sweet after dinner, but keeping any sort of dessert in my house is a dangerous game that usually ends in empty ice cream cartons, stomach aches, and regret. To avoid this situation, I’ve started freezing whole grapes in Tupperware containers. Frozen grapes have a great popsicle-like texture, and they taste delicious. And I’ve never cried myself to sleep after accidentally eating an entire bushel of grapes in one sitting.
Drink Sparkling Water in a Fancy Glass
As soon as I come home from work, I always have the same thought, “I want to watch Jeopardy and drink a glass of wine.” But by the time Final Jeopardy rolls around, I often find that that one little glass has turned to two or three just because the bottle was sitting there and my glass kept getting empty. I realized it wasn’t actually the wine that I wanted, but the ritual. So now a few nights a week I replace the wine with some fancy sparkling water, but I still drink it out of a wine glass. Yeah, it might be insane, but the tactile experience is just as satisfying and I’ve never been so hydrated.