10 Healthy Living Tips: Set Realistic Goals

by Crystal Moore-Stevens

Examples: “I will do yoga twice per day this month”, “I will eat a vegan diet for one month”, I will go for a 20 minute walk each day for 2 weeks” Make lists! Write down your goals! Set goal dates!

Visualize a happier you. Make a list of attributes that make up the “ideal you” in present tense.

For example:

  1. I eat healthy foods which nourish my body
  2. I exercise regularly
  3. I am kind to others
  4. I breathe and meditate regularly to reduce stress
  5. I fulfill my dreams
  6. I allow time for creativity
  7. I love who I am
  8. I am patient
  9. I speak only kind words
  10. I am living to my full potential

Smile More! Dance More!
Get together with friends more often! My mother and her girlfriends have been getting together once per month for over 25 years! They call it The Second Sunday Club. Friends are vitally important to our well being. Friends give comfort, practical advice, and bring us laughter and joy!

Spend quality time with your family!

Take candlelit baths with essential oils and lots of sea salt!
Dream Big! Try eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet in one fell swoop. It may sound intimidating, challenging and even impossible, but I assure you, from my own experience, it is actually surprisingly easy. It requires a mind shift and a commitment to your health. Recently I became vegan and gluten free. It was way easier than I thought. I got excited about what I was putting in my body, rather than regretful. I have found that the best way to avoid eating unhealthy foods is to quit buying them!

In the process, I found myself spending less on healthy foods than I had been on processed foods and dairy products. I noticed such an invigorating change within my body, that I chose a “high raw” diet, wherein most of the foods I eat consist of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It helped that I had a long history with Healthy Foods. I worked as a juice bar clerk and floral supervisor at Wild Oats for five years, so I had a basic understanding of the importance of wholesome nutrition. A dear friend of mine, Serene, let me borrow a wonderful book several years ago by Alissa Cohen, titled Living on Live Food. Recipes in her book have remained family favorites of ours for many years such as Fettuccini Alfredo, Blueberry Cheesecake, Fruit Cobbler, and Chocolate Mousse, all made with fresh whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I received inspiration this past year from a coworker whose diet consists of “green smoothies” containing fruits, nuts, and nutrient rich dark greens for breakfast and lunch. She has a salad after work and a simple vegan “2nd dinner” later in the evening. This diet keeps her vibrant and healthy. Juicing, green smoothies and raw salads are excellent ways to improve health. Seasonal cleanses and fasting are also great ways to detoxify the body. Fresh organic dried herbs in tincture or tea form such as dandelion, chickweed and milk thistle have excellent purifying properties!

Recently I created a recipe for Vegan Raw Pineapple Upside Down Cake with just a few simple ingredients.

In a food processor combine:
2 cups of organic raw unsweetened
coconut flakes
1 cup of soaked raw pitted dates
Blend until fine (1-2 minutes)
Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of raw honey
And 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple

Blend until fine (you will notice the mixture forming a ball in your food processor)
In a pie pan greased with a tsp of coconut oil, press the mixture down with your fingers.
Top with sliced fresh pineapple.
Optional: Coconut crème topping
Blend 1 cup of cashews in a food processor.
Add a tbsp of honey and one cup of coconut milk

Blend until very smooth. Enjoy!

Get outside more! According to Richard Ryan, Author and Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester, “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized physically and mentally is to connect with nature.” According to an article published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, ‘Research shows that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day was enough to significantly boost vitality levels.’

As the spring approaches, I like to spend half of my waking hours outside, which is easy to do as a farmer. Late winter evening walks are a great way to fulfill this desire for those who work indoors. On your days off, try hiking in places you’ve never been before. There are several nature preserves and hiking trails that are less than an hour from St. Louis including Powder Valley Nature Center, Emmenegger Nature Park, Castlewood, Laumeier Sculpture Park, and Shaw Nature Preserve. Illinois also has some great trails. Pere Marquette State Park and The Nature Institute are located near The Great River Road, the scenic byway into Grafton IL.

Here are links to some great spots in and around town. http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-st-louis-missouri.

There is a great book titled 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: St. Louis Guide Book written by Steve Henry. If you would rather stay close to the city, St. Louis has amazing city parks. Forest Park, Tower Grove, Carondolet, and St. Francis Parks all have lovely walking paths. Strolling through the Botanical Garden is a beautiful way to unwind after a long work week.

For a complete list of Parks and trails around town, visit http://www.stlouisco.com/parksandrecreation

For more tips on healthy living, visit Crystals face book page https://www.facebook.com/growcreateinspire or her blog www.growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com

Want to really make a commitment to your health this year? Join La Vista CSA Farm and receive fresh, sustainable, local produce grown without pesticides all season long! The average cost of joining is $25 per week! Know your farmers…know your food! Visit www.lavistacsa.org to become a member!