Dai Manuel’s top healthy tips

As the Winter Olympics begin, Vancouver’s Dai Manuel, life coach and personal trainer, has developed some basic and easy to implement tips to live a healthier, more active lifestyle.

  1. Lifestyle Baby Steps: Lifestyle changes don’t have to happen overnight. The journey to optimizing health and happiness is an everyday adventure. Creating small, simple lifestyle habits is the key to living a long, healthy and energized life. Even with a busy hustle-and-bustle lifestyle, be accountable to the small little actions that help reinforce a life built on health. Smart eating, daily movement and restful recovery… small daily milestones on the road to being more awesome in life.
  2. Breakfast of Champions: Break the fast each morning with something great. Mornings are busy, but ditching breakie can set one off on a path of bad decisions for the day. If you’re usually in a rush in the morning, many easy, healthy breakfasts can be put together the night before so you can grab your breakfast on the go. For example, make overnight oats or pre-mix a smoothie to be blended in the morning – both can be put together quickly with almond milk, almond butter, Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen berries. A recent study looked at diets where whole almonds, almond butter, defatted almond flour, almond oil or no almonds were incorporated into a carbohydrate-matched breakfast. The study found that the addition of whole almonds to the breakfast meal significantly increased satiety and decreased blood glucose concentrations throughout the day, compared to a high-carbohydrate breakfast without almonds. These results suggest that including almonds at breakfast may help stabilize blood sugar levels and feelings of fullness for the better part of the day.
  3. Move with Purpose Every Day: ‘Move every day, every way’ – this is your mantra. Hop off the bus a few stops earlier, take the stairs, or park on the other side of the parking lot at work… all simple hacks to help you get more movement in each day. Seemingly small actions build up and compound throughout our day-to-day life. If you’re inspired by cheering on our Canadian athletes as they are getting ready to compete on the world stage, dig up that pair of skates or rent a pair at your local rink and get a couple of laps in on the weekend.
  4. Sleep for the Win: Quality sleep helps keep stress under wraps, but more than that, a good night’s sleep will also help maintain a healthy metabolism. Have you ever noticed that your cravings and energy levels after a poor night’s sleep seem out of control? You’re not alone. It’s hard to get yourself to bed early every night, but simply trying to decrease your bedtime by half an hour when you can, will make a significant impact over time. To make the most from your sleep, power-down your screens 30-minutes before bed, and switch on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode so no pesky notifications wake you up.
  5. Mindful Snack Attacks: Fail to plan, plan to fail… this is so true when it comes to snacking on the go. Swap an unhealthy snack such as chips with one containing protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep you satisfied and fuller longer. Almonds are convenient snacks you can bring with you on the move. They’re not only delicious, but provide 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre in each serving to help satiate your hunger and fuel you through your busy day. In fact, a recent study found that a mid-morning snack (1 oz. or 1.5 oz.) of almonds helped control appetite and resulted in reduced calorie intake not only at the subsequent meal, but over the rest of the day.