11 Small Changes That Had BIG Impacts on my Health

health and fitness tips

They say it’s small things that count – and apparently they are correct. These little changes have had a huge impact on my life: I no longer feel tired during the day, I no longer have chronic stomach aches, I’ve kept off the weight I’ve lost and I continue to lose both weight and inches. Obviously living a healthy lifestyle goes beyond a list of tips and habits – but these are all things I’ve learned and built slowly that have really changed who I am and how I live.

So why keep it a secret any longer?! Here is a short & sweet list of the small but significant habits and things I’ve learned while on my journey to better health and fitness.

1. Superfood smoothie every morning.

My morning smoothie is the same – every single day. As a previously sporadic breakfast eater – building this habit has been instrumental for my healthy lifestyle. My smoothie recipe, you ask? I blend up frozen berries + fresh kale + coconut water + chia seeds + green superfood powder + whey protein. But I love this infographic on how to build your perfect green smoothie (in case you need measurements or don’t like my recipe).

Blackberry Green Smoothie | www.kitchenconfidante

2. Switched from lattes/etc. to drip with no sugar.

I used to have a double tall soy latte – sometimes with flavors – at Starbucks almost everyday. And it wasn’t really doing anything for me. Being lactose intolerant – soy is the only other option currently at Starbucks (don’t get me started here). So I decided to switch to drip – specifically the Blonde roast. I actually enjoy a nice, hot cup of drip coffee. And occasionally I’ll get an almond or hemp milk latte from my favorite local coffee shop (Cafe Vita of course).

3. Became one of those annoying label-reading people.

I’m THAT girl at the grocery store – standing in the aisle, hip popped to one side, carefully ready every single ingredient on the label of the food I’m about to buy. Why? Because there is ALL KINDS OF WIERD SHIT in our food. Things that aren’t actually food – chemicals, GMOs, etc. And while I’ll still occasionally enjoy a bag of crunchy somethings, generally I like to think of food as fuel. So if what I’m putting into my body doesn’t actually do anything to help it work better – it is completely unnecessary.

4. Kale salad as my lunch staple.

I always have kale in my fridge. It’s delicious and packed FULL of the good stuff, including Vitamins K, A and C plus magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron!

Kale also keeps me surprisingly full during the afternoon. Every morning I stuff a bunch of kale into a tuperware – add in some sort of protein (baked chicken breast, salmon, falafel, organic cheese or eggs) & some organic dressing and WALLA! Lunch is served.

5. Eating more fat in the morning.

Seriously. I used to get hungry everyday around 11am – right before lunch time. Even after I started drinking my daily green smoothie. So I asked my nutrition coach Jenn, what the heck is up with that?! And she pointed out something that wasn’t obvious to me: I wasn’t eating any fat in the morning! Protein & vitamins – yes. But having a deficiency in healthy fats was causing my tum-tum to grumble. So I began adding in a teaspoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil into my morning drip coffee. BOOM. No more late-AM hangryness.

coconut oil

6. Started walking to work. And anywhere else I could.

In February I started a new job as a creative director at PBJS – which happens to be within about a mile of my apartment. So…I began walking to work. And then, I stopped hating walking everywhere. Why NOT walk downtown if it’s nice out? Why NOT park farther away and walk to the store? You get the point. Now get movin.

7. Working out in the morning.

At 6am. YES. That is incredibly early – and it means I have to actually wake up at 5am. But you know what? It’s worth it. By getting my [intense] workout done first thing in the AM – I don’t have to worry about it after work. I’m free to do whatever I want, including get to bed early. I often tell people – oh yea, I work out at 6am most days – and they drop their jaws in shock, proclaiming “oh my goddddd I literally can’t even at that hour.” But you CAN. You literally can. Because if my lazy ass can get into the regular habit of 6am workouts – anyone can. You just have to decide you are going to drag yourself out of bed, put on your yoga pants, and GO. Speaking of my workouts – here are two of the method workout videos from my trainer (who is also my nutritionist). They are part of the For The Glow program – of which I am a lifetime member. These workouts will kick your booty. Check out the HIIT training “Epic Cardio” video and the yoga-inspired “Glow Flow” sculpting video.

8. Stopped keeping processed foods at home.

If it’s not at home, I’m not tempted to eat it. I know myself TOO well. If there is a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos (my seriously ridiculous weakness) in my apartment – I WILL find them, and I WILL crush them (into my mouth). Sometimes when my friends come over after a night out to crash on the couch – they are disappointed at my lack of drunken-food options. Yup. Sorry buddies.

9. Shopping at the local farmers market.

Fresh fruits! Fresh veggies! Cute baskets! Organic! Local! In season! Live street music! What the hell else do you need on a Sunday morning? There is barely anything unhealthy being sold at the Farmers Market – so go buy up a storm and feel great about yourself.

Picture 42

10. Changing what I considered a “treat.”

I’m not a dog [or cat] so why did I used to reward myself with food? It took me a while, but I’m slowly starting to change my mindset around what I consider a treat. Rough day and need to do something to feel good about myself? How about some yoga at home (via my Yoga Studio app) and a pedicure?

11. Made it clear to my friends and family that pursuing a healthier lifestyle is important to me.

This is a big one. It can be really hard to tell your loved ones that you are trying to make a huge life change. Admitting that you NEED to make a change, even to yourself, can be difficult. It means having to admit that you are doing things wrong – that you aren’t the best version of yourself. But you know what? That’s OK. Being vulnerable, being imperfect – it’s beautiful. As long as you are open and honest with yourself first. Then – telling your friends and family becomes much easier. You are worth the life that awaits you – the future person that you will become. So don’t let anyone stop you. Be selfish. Work on yourself. This is your life and nobody is ever going to live it for you!

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  1. Kate says:

    Love these tips! It is amazing how the small changes can impact your health in so many larger ways. I’ve been able to cut coffee out of my diet entirely (something I never thought I’d be able to do!) and I have totally become one of those annoying label readers. It’s disturbing the amount of sugars, sodium, and just plain CRAP that’s in our food!

  2. Avyanka says:

    Which green superfood powder and whey protein do you use?

    • Natasha says:

      I use Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Drink Powder in Berry. It was recommended to me by Jenn (nutritionist), and it’s full of all kinds of greens + superfood berries Acai and Goji. It also tastes good in my smoothie, blends well. I feel more alert and focused when I use it, and I can tell when I forgot to put it in!

      – Natasha

  3. Love this. I recently started a gluten and dairy free diet on recommendation from my doctor so we could start to figure out why I was having so much stomach pain and general health issues. I took the whole thing as an opportunity to just work on getting healthier: exercising more, eating better foods, etc. and just two weeks in I already feel like I have so much more energy and like I’m a normal person instead of a constant zombie. The biggest thing that made this switch official was when I started looking at food and thinking about how it was going to make me feel instead of how it was going to taste (kind of like how you talk about fuel), it is such a small mindset change but it makes a world of difference.

    As far as telling your family, that is super important. When I first told some of my family/friends I got a lot of “you don’t need to do that” and “that sucks”, it was hard to convince some people that I was excited for the change and that it wasn’t something I was dreading and being forced to do, but instead a long overdue lifestyle change that was exactly what I needed. Once they understood and supported me it was so much easier.