3 health and wellness hacks that will give you life in 2018

Well, guys, it’s been fun. But today is the last day it’s respectable to be a Christmas-cookie swiping, champagne-guzzling, Netflix-binging sloth. Sorry. I know some people can snap back into their pre-Thanksgiving (ok, pre-Halloween) regimented routines with no problems, but for the rest of us here are three ideas to get into a fit frame of mind for the New Year.

1. Get Your Beach Body On*

In my BK (before kids) days, I was a fitness class junkie. Spin, boot camp, aqua fitness, cardio hip hop, I loved every second of it. But then I got married, had a couple babies and trips to the gym became less and less doable.

Which is when I found Insanity.

If you’re an “at home fitness” convert like I am you probably know all about this program and the love/hate (but mostly love) relationship we all have with Shaun T, former Mariah Carey back up dancer turned fitness firebrand.

Marketed as the “hardest workout on DVD”, Shaun leaves a group of ridiculously fit people writhing in pain on the floor. Oh yes, the first couple of times through a workout are GREAT for your self esteem.

But last year as I was halfheartedly searching for my worn out DVDs, I did a quick web search and found that Insanity and about 40 other programs(!) are now streamable through beachbodyondemand. Praise, Jesus!

This find has been huge for me as it’s a snap to download the app onto your smart TV or iPad and get working out. There are what seem like a million different trainers and programs to choose from and depending on what kind of time you have, you can squeeze in a 20 minute yoga practice or go for a full-on P90x beast mode.

The best part? It’s $99 bucks a year. No, not a month.  A year. 

That’s like one extra fancy Starbucks and a pack of Hubba Bubba every 30 days. We can make it happen. 

Anyway, try it, love it. Let me know how it works out for you.

2. Try a gentler way to track your journey

You do it. And you say you’ll never do it again. And you do it again. And then you sink into a spiral of depression based on three wildly fluctuating numbers on your bathroom floor.  

Weighing yourself everyday can be a nightmare. The euphoria from yesterday’s two pounds down can wear off in an instant when you find yourself back where you started despite “doing everything right”.  Is it excess water or cookies doing all that damage? Who knows. Bodies are weird.

If you like weighing yourself often (and that’s ok if it works for you), there’s a marvelous app that can take the edge off the constant ups and downs.

It’s called HappyScale and I absolutely love it.

Happy Scale can help change the way you feel about your progress by removing your focus on day to day fluctuations. With some fancy “behind the scenes” math, Happy Scale can show you your overall (hopefully downward) trend in weight- which may mean the difference between giving up and soldiering on.  

The app is completely customizable so you can enter your goal weight and the app will break your journey down into milestones for you. My favorite thing about the app is when you lose, you can tap the screen to “unleash your progress”. It’s a fun reminder to see how far you’ve come and how much farther you can do.

All this and the adorable little scale icon will make you look forward to your weigh in. Can you imagine?

3. Pre-prepare your protein

Ok, this might be a bit of a weird one, but I swear this is the trick that has FINALLY peeled off my second round of post-baby pounds (he’s 19 months now, don’t judge).

For all my vegetarians, I apologize but this hack is really for my animal protein eating friends. Definitely check out my next post about the veggie dishes you are passing by at Trader Joe’s- and shouldn’t be!

I am and have always been into high protein eating. I don’t really care about bread and pasta, give me a pork chop and I’m happy. So the current high-protein, low carb way of thinking has suited me well.

I guess the problem is protein is sort of, labor intensive. It’s not grab and go like a bagel or smoothie.

For a while I was buying a big pack of chicken breasts or boneless pork chops and preparing them all at once. Then I’d go into the fridge and microwave some three day old chicken, choking it down before I stopped and asked myself “WTF am I doing?”

The next time I went to the grocery store, I still bought the protein, but I decided to slice, dice and season and then leave the raw “nuggets” in the fridge. Then I just threw a handful in a saute pan and it was hot, delicious made to order chicken that took about the same time as the microwave.

It may not be the sexiest meal but with side salad, it’s as low carb as it gets.

So there you go, guys! I hope you have a great, great New Years Eve. Have one last glass of champs with Anderson and Andy and look forward to more to come from me in 2018.

*Just a note that I’m not a paid sponsor or affiliated with the BeachBody folks in any way. I just think this is a badass deal that I’m shocked more people don’t know about.