My Top 5 Healthy Living Rules

by Sarah on June 19, 2012 · 23 comments

Do you have your own set of healthy living rules? Do you always workout in the morning or end each day with a Hershey kiss? Here are my hard fast rules that I live by to make my life a bit healthier to maintain.


I love my sleep but studies have shown that if you workout in the morning you will burn more fat and be more likely to consistently do it. However, studies have also revealed that if you are sleep deprived (less than 6 hours a night regularly) you will be more likely to be obese. Try going to sleep earlier if you can, and if you can’t, save your workouts for the afternoon or evening.

And not all studies show mornings are better. Some have indicated that people who workout in the morning move less throughout the day. The attributed this finding to morning gym goers feelings entitled to be lazier in the day since they worked out already, despite the intensity. Lazier means they took less total steps in a day, by doing things like taking the elevator or parking closer to the store.

For more tips on how to make morning exercise easier if you do get the right number of hours but think you are not a morning person check out my exclusive new blog post on The Laughing Cow community pages. I went from taking walks last winter to HIIT workouts this summer as my morning routine. People, the advise works!


This is a rule that I try really hard to keep. It doesn’t always happen on the weekends but I find that the days I stray, are the days I crave sweets and eat junk food!


I need to eat breakfast. If I am doing my booty call workout, I will wait until i get back but the workout usually does not last longer than 35 minutes. It’s important to eat within an hour of getting up. It’s also ideal to have at least 15g of protein to feel full until your next meal. My go-to is the protein pancake.

In the summer, I forget to grab groceries on Sundays so I make my pancakes with oatmeal instead of bananas. I love this recipe just as much and sometimes more because it adds more volume and is not as sweet.

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

  • 3 TBS Dry Oats – cooked in the microwave with 6 TBS water for 2 minutes
  • 1 scoop of Protein Powder
  • 3 TBS Egg Whites
  • 1 TBS Flaxseed Meal
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • 2 TBS Almond Milk – or milk of choice

Combine ingredients and pour into a heated skillet on medium. Flip once the edges are set and enjoy with your favorite jam, Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread Cinnamon Cream or peanut butter!

RULE #4 SWEAT ONCE A DAY (or at least 6 outta 7 days)

I don’t workout every day but almost! The one day I don’t is always my splurge day. When I exercise I just don’t feel like eating garbage. Even if it’s a bike ride that lasts 10 minutes, if you break a sweat it counts. If you walk to the store, that doesn’t.


I drink a lot of water. It’s important for everyday health. Studies recently reveal we do not need as much as they used to think. Water packed fruits and veggies count towards our minimum daily needs. So do tea and coffee despite containing caffeine. I like my caffeine in the form of coffee with almond milk and stevia. Yes, I always bring my own sweetener.

What are your rules? Do you break them often or do you usually stick to your guns?

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ Katie Moves June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I agree! my rules are lots of water, berries, and i try to eat a salad every day too! when i stray i get crazy cravings for bad things! greens fill me up!


2 Danielle June 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I love these rules! They are some of my go-tos also especially staying active as much as possible and getting enough sleep! So important!


3 Alyssa Miller June 24, 2012 at 3:29 am

I agree! Sleep I feel is the most important rule for your health – it impacts your sugar cravings an more! I like the salad a day idea too! :)


4 Traci June 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Does this recipe make one pancake?


5 Sarah June 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Yes, this recipe is for 1 serving :) It’s about 200 calories depending on your protein powder.


6 Dynamics June 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Eat breakfast within an hour. Eat protein at least two meals. Never, never go to Ralphs!


7 Kelly Runs on Cake June 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Love your health rules! I jump on and off the salad bandwagon and I’m not really sure why I can’t just stick with it – I *always* feel better when I do, and you can make a salad out of almost anything.


8 Wainy June 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I try not to eat food with more than 10g of sugar per serving. I’m a little flexible with it if its a high protein or fiber item. You would be surprised to see how much sugar is a lot of food items!


9 Marc Mason June 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

My Five Rules Plus One Bonus!

1. Stay away from simple sugars and go easy on the saturated fat.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Sleep well.
4. Exercise because it’s fun and so good for you.
5. Never be hungry or full.
Bonus Rule: Smile and mean it.

Thanks for letting me share!


10 Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit June 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I need to be better about salads. I’ve never loved them, but rather make myself eat them because I know I should. My main rules are protein with every meal and drink at least 90oz of water a day.


11 Kate June 20, 2012 at 12:45 am

Drink half your body weight in water? What does that mean? Literally, it would mean drinking approximately 65 lbs. of water each day (if you weight , e.g., 130 lbs.).


12 Jillian June 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

It means to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 130 lbs, you would be drinking 65 oz of water per day.


13 mary @ minutespermile June 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

thanks for the tips! as a morning runner i’ll be sure to take the steps today whenever possible!


14 Patty June 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Great rules! I have definitel found morning workouts more efficient for me and just naturally my body craves more sleep since I get up at 5A, so I have been indulging it more snooze time.


15 Cathy June 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Thanks Sarah,

I’m currently to establish a few rules of my own so happily I already had some of yours on my list and even more happily, I now have added the ones I didn’t have. Now to abide by them….


16 Viviana June 21, 2012 at 5:57 am

Great article, Sarah! As a TIU member I try to limit starchy foods :) I also normally stay away from refined sugar and saturated fat. Other rules includes:
-At least a portions of veggies for lunch and dinner
-Protein for breakfast to keep me full
-Workout 3-4 times a week mixing up strength training and cardio

I signed up for my first marathon ever (The Tinker Bell in January) so I am sure I will have to adjust my diet a little to make sure I eat enough calories since I will be training 5 times a week between running and strengthening/conditioning.


17 Alyssa Miller June 24, 2012 at 3:31 am

Awesome “extra” tips Viviana. Good luck with your marathon training! I like the idea of keeping in check with eating a serving of veggies at EVERY meal.


18 Eva @ committed2nutrition June 27, 2012 at 3:28 am

Great post! Totally agree, sleep is so, so important. I love the recipe for protein pancakes. I have been on a kick lately on reading pancake recipes and just need to get myself in the kitchen to make them! I am glad you also posted that coffee and tea count towards water consumption. I drink my coffee black and drink a lot of it (I mix decaf with regular) and I am not dehydrated. People at work think I am crazy! But I always tried to tell them it still sorta counts as water! (may be TMI, but if my pee is clear, aren’t I ok?! haha)


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