LIVESTRONG.COM had the opportunity to sit down with fitness expert and wellness coach Jillian Michaels at the BOLD Conference in Hollywood.
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We talked to her about everything from alcohol and caffeine to meditation and what she thinks about mobile calorie tracker apps.
Most importantly, Michaels told us four small habits that you can use to make a big impact on your overall fitness and wellness:
1. Quit drinking calories.
Yes, you heard it. That means everything from soda to alcohol and juices.
“Alcohol is terrible for you,” Michaels said. “I love wine and beer, but, honestly, it’s really bad for your health and your waistline.”
Michaels’ recommendation is to limit it to one night a week, two drinks max. “I know this is challenging for most,” she explains, “but alcohol is linked to breast and ovarian cancer, weight gain and more.” Check out our list of The 13 WORST Alcoholic Beverages.
2. Prioritize sleep.
Go to bed an hour earlier instead of watching that last TV show or browsing social media on your phone. If you’re having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, try our 10 Proven Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep.
3. Get your yearly checkup.
Early detection is 50 percent of curing cancer. Are you getting all the right tests? Be sure you know these medical checks every woman needs to be healthy for life and medical checks every man needs to be healthy, at whatever age.
4. Choose to buy organic whenever possible, especially when it comes to meat, dairy and thin-skinned fruits.
“Pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. are no good for metabolism and no good for health overall, Michaels said. Not sure about the most important items to buy organic? Check out our list of 21 Foods to ALWAYS Buy Organic.
What Does Michaels Think of Calorie-Tracker Apps?
“I think calorie trackers help people stay motivated because they provide information, and information is empowering,” Michaels said. “They allow you to make knowledgeable decisions that will yield powerful results.”
Try LIVESTRONG’s free MyPlate calorie tracker app for iPhone and Android to get your best fitness and weight-loss results.
What Is Michaels’ Policy on Caffeine?
“I believe that, like everything, caffeine has tremendous benefits when consumed in the appropriate amount — 200 milligrams to 400 milligrams a day, or two strong cups of coffee,” she explained. “Coffee, however, must be organic, because coffee is the second heaviest sprayed crop in the world — second only to cotton — with gallons of poison dumped on it per acre from herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers.”
Michaels insisted that if you drink coffee it must be organic or it could be actually extremely bad for your health. Read our piece on The #1 Most Essential Thing to Look for When Buying Coffee.
She’s a fan of cold-brew coffee (and is the lead figure in an investment group that has taken a controlling interest in Lucky Jack Coffee). Michaels says cold-brew coffee tastes better because its process filters out more of the acids and tannins that give coffee a bitter flavor, and that it is healthier for you. Read our piece on Is Cold-Brew Coffee Actually Healthier for You?
What Is Michaels’ Favorite Way to De-Stress? Does She Meditate?
“Hell no! I don’t meditate. I can never ‘clear my mind,’” she says. “To de-stress I play with my kids, ride my horse, work out, go for a drink with a friend or have a date night with Heidi [Michaels’ longtime partner, Heidi Rhoades.]” Michaels explains that being around loved ones or loved creatures (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) can really help lift our moods and make us feel loved.
To de-stress quickly right now, try Deepak Chopra’s One-Minute Meditation You Can Do at Your Desk With Your Eyes Open.
What Do YOU Think?
What are some small changes you’ve made in your life that have positively impacted your wellness? How do you practice self-care? Let us know in the comments section below.