Written by Lucie Villeneuve, nutritionist, M.Sc.
I definitely think that living a happy, healthy life comes more from the everyday little things that you can do rather than from huge life changes.
This is why I always discourage people from going on drastic diets or lifestyle changes because they are very difficult to maintain and they can be overwhelming. What I do recommend is finding a few different things that can be a big benefit to your health without costing too much effort.
After mastering one of them, you can move on to the next one and this will help you build healthy and sustainable habits that you can keep for a lifetime.
So let’s get into the 10 daily things for better health, with 5 nutrition tips and 5 wellness tips!
Plan your meals
Meal planning can definitely help you eat healthier all while saving time.
By this, I don’t necessarily mean meal prepping your entire week of meals, but taking 10-15 minutes every day to think about the meals you are going to make the next day will already be a huge help.
You can think of a recipe, think about prep time and cooking details, and make sure that you have the right ingredients. This shouldn’t take long.
What you want to avoid is having absolutely no meal plan whatsoever, coming home from a busy and stressful workday, and feeling overwhelmed because you don’t know what food to cook. This will lead to ordering food, eating out, or making meal choices that aren’t the healthiest, and this isn’t ideal to do every day.
Eat fruit and/or veggies
Fruit and veggies are so good for you: multiple studies  have shown that people who eat more fruit and vegetables have greater health benefits and lower risks of diseases.
Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced rate of coronary heart disease , a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes , a reduction in strokes , a reduced risk of cancer , , and can improve your psychological well-being .
So if you’re not used to eating them regularly try to make it a goal to eat at least some every day: have an apple with nut butter as a snack, have some grapes as a dessert, eat some cherry tomatoes as you cook, mix in some spiralized zucchini into your pasta… You can also get some more ideas here.
Water is a very important nutrient that helps your body in a lot of ways: it helps regulate your body temperature through sweat, it helps excrete waste through sweat, urination, and bowel movements, it helps lubricate all your joints and tissues to protect them, it forms saliva, it helps keep your skin and hair healthy and hydrated…
Water also helps with nutrient absorption as it aids the breakdown of food and dissolves water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Drinking water may also both boost your metabolism and help curb your hunger, which can lead to some weight loss.
Not getting enough water may lead to having less energy, reduced cognitive function, constipation, kidney stones, urinary tract infections…and more unpleasant things.
So make sure to drink water throughout the day, every day, and read my article on water if you want more info.
Most people know that they should be eating fruit and vegetables every day— but did you know that legumes were incredibly healthy as well? They are full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and their consumption is associated with a slimmer waist, lower blood pressure, better insulin levels, and cholesterol, as well as lower risks of certain diseases .
You should aim to eat at least a portion of beans every day, and there are tons of different options for this. You can have some hummus, some red beans, a split pea soup, some tofu, a bowl of lentils…
Eat a food you love
Finally, it is also important to focus on eating food you enjoy in order for your healthy diet and lifestyle to be sustainable. I always encourage my clients to eat food they enjoy all the time, and to make sure to have one food that they particularly love every day as a treat.
Indeed, if you wait until the weekend to eat the foods you love, you are likely to binge on them when the time comes or to have entire cheat days to make up for the restriction. So make sure to leave room for a food you really love each day: a piece of chocolate, a cookie, wild salmon, some chips, some fresh berries, mac and cheese…
Move your body
It’s a well-known fact that exercise is excellent for your body and has amazing health benefits. It can lower your risk of diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer… It’s also great for your mental health, your stress levels, and your sleep quality. More info on exercise here!
Even if you may not have the time or motivation to go to the gym every day, there are still ways to move your body on the days you don’t exercise. You can do some stretching in the morning, a few push-ups and abs in your living room, some squats while you watch TV, some jump rope, some dancing to your favorite music…
Being outside has many health benefits. While you may not be able to go running, hiking, or bike-riding every day, just going out for a short walk or reading a book outside (when the weather allows it!) is a great way to get that vitamin D.
This is something I really force myself to do because I’m naturally a very indoor person, but I realize that my mood gets affected every time I don’t go outside for more than a couple of days.
Talk to someone you love
If you work in an office where you don’t particularly get along with anyone or you work from home, it’s important to carve out some time during the day to talk with people who actually care about you and who can help make you feel good.
Personally, this really helps with my outlook on the day. Spending 5 minutes texting a friend or talking to my mom instantly makes me feel more positive. Feeling like you are heard, like your concerns are valid, and like people are there to support you and love you no matter what is really priceless.
Do one thing productive
I’m really not for toxic productivity or being productive every single second of your day. However, I do find that I’m much prouder with myself when I’ve accomplished at least one productive thing during the day.
I’ve found it to be a good idea to always set a little goal for achieving something productive daily.
Obviously, there are days when I have to be very productive, but on other days I like to spend at least 30 minutes learning a new piano song, grocery shopping, reading a personal development book, cleaning the house…
Every day, pick something to do that makes you happy that you accomplished it.
Do one thing that makes you happy
I’ve started doing this last tip since covid when I realized that we never know what the future is made of, and that tomorrow may not look like the tomorrow we envisioned.
This should help you realize that you can’t live as if all of your happy and good moments were going to happen in the future— you should have something that you look forward to every day. It doesn’t have to be something— even a small thing can brighten your day: watching a movie you love, grabbing a coffee with a friend, watching the sunset or sunrise, listening to your favorite podcast, playing a video game, having a dance party, picking flowers…
Hopefully, you enjoyed these 10 things to do for a better life and are going to try to incorporate a few of them into your daily routine! Remember that the seemingly small things turn into big things!