This morning my husband sent me a great article titled 10 Small Changes With Big Health Payoffs. I felt it was worth sharing.

My number 1 was their number 3:

Make your coffee at home.
If a trip to Starbucks is as much of a morning ritual as showering and blow-drying your hair, you might find this advice crazy, but health experts like Gregory J.E. Ladas, author of the book The Couch Potato Diet, say it will not only save you money but possibly hundreds of calories. When you brew your java at home, you “avoid the unhealthy temptations at coffee shops like doughnuts,” he says. And who hasn’t fallen for a sprinkle donut or a piece of fat- and calorie-laden pumpkin loaf?

I can tell you that weekly I fall for *treats* at Starbucks. Whether I get myself a blueberry scone because I felt I deserved it after a hard run, or splurge on not just a latte but a Venti Soy White Chocolate Mocha. The calories soon add up.

I am a big believer in the principle of all things in moderation. When you deprive yourself of something it will backfire, it might not be tomorrow, it might not be this week, or even this year, but it will backfire. Being healthy for life means treating yourself at times and holding back at others. If you don’t splurge at Starbucks, you can splurge on that margarita at your friends party, or something else more meaningful.

Lately rather than spending almost $3 for plain black tea at Starbucks, I make a pitcher of it at home. I’ve found that Red Rose Black Tea, tastes the most similar to what they serve. I take a large pitcher, boil a large pot of water and tie about 5 or 6 tea bags together. Fill the pitcher with the water, add the tea bags, and let steep on the counter for 20 minutes or so. Remove tea bags and put in the refrigerator for later.

To complete the effect, I have one of the reusable Starbucks cups that looks just like their cold cups. For $12.95, you can save yourself lots of $$ in the long run. I also like to think about all the cups I’m not buying and throwing away, thus helping in a tiny, tiny way to save the environment.

Why do I care about the environment so much? I care about having nice places to run. If we as runners don’t care about the earth we run on, how can we even begin to get others to care.

My next favorite small change on their list was:

Wear a pedometer.
Boston-based personal trainer Helena Collins calls the affordable little pedometer “the most effective fitness tool known to man”—or woman. “Becoming aware of how much you move is such motivation to move more,” she says. “Not only for you, but for your whole family. Kids love pedometers—it becomes a family challenge about movement, not exercise.” It also may be fun to track how active (or inactive) you are each day. For starters, 2,000 steps is the equivalent of one mile. To boost your physical and mental health, wear a pedometer and challenge yourself to increase your steps every day.

It’s been noted that while runners are very active and often get out there and pound the pavement for miles, they take the easy way out the rest of the day when doing every day tasks that involve walking. A pedometer helps keep you accountable for the steps and miles you walk, that you aren’t tracking with your Garmin.

My husband recently participated in a pedometer challenge at work. The first team to 1500 miles won(don’t quote me on that number – it may have been higher – but I’m forgetting right now). Each member could only walk a maximum of 10 miles a day but could do that every single day until the contest ended. Hubby lost weight simply by walking. Every day he became more conscious of the days of how much or little he was walking. If he walked too little that day he made sure to include an after dinner walk around the neighborhood.

When talking about running shoes, a mile is a mile, whether walking or running, it all adds up to your 300 – 500 miles.(the point at which running shoes break down) Same goes for walking with a pedometer. A mile is a mile. If you walk a mile around the block not included in your morning run, that’s 100 more calories that your burned that day!

Do you have any of your own small changes that you think add up big??


  1. Emily WK says:

    Using cloth napkins instead of paper towels at home for meals. We don't make huge messes – we just need something to wipe our hands and mouths, so we can even use them for more than one meal. Saves money and the waste of paper towels.

    Also taking a cloth napkin to work to use instead of wasting lots of paper napkins for takeout lunch, etc.

  2. parking.

    I park as far away from the store I am going to as I can and always take the stairs no matter how many flights I am needing to go up or down.

  3. Karen the "Hungry Mom" says:

    i have recently curbed my starbucks addiction with my new plastic cup!!! i used to go EVERYDAY, now I make my morning coffee at home and have the leftover as iced coffee in my great cup later!! That cup was worth every penny for me!

  4. misszippy says:

    Great timing on this post–I was just at Starbucks this a.m. and looked at one of their calorie charts in terms of their treats. I have only ever indulged in their vanilla mini-scones, and even those, just two or three times. But I was shocked to see how many calories one of those tiny suckers has! So yes, it's wise to stay away.

  5. I just read this article before you even posted this blog!! Great minds..anyway, why did you post on here, to do your kegels. Don't you think that is important? ;);)

  6. Rebecca Samson says:

    We stopped buying water bottles. Although I like the convenience of having nice cold water in the fridge we just fill up a pitcher and keep it in the fridge. Works just the same and if I'm on the go my running water bottle works just fine.

  7. Kerrie T. says:

    I actually passed up getting coffee at Starbucks this morning after my workout because I knew I'd be tempted to get a scone. I went to the grocery store, instead, and got a bag of thin bagels and some Nutella to stash in my desk at work for the mornings I work out and can't make coffee at home in my Keurig (which I love). I'm lucky that coffee is provided for free at work. :)

    And my hubby lost weight using a pedometer, too!

  8. these are great, thanks for sharing

  9. Great ideas….I try to make my coffee at home, but I always buy it out on special occasions. The pedometer is a great idea. I often wear my running shoes out after a run and I never consider the extra mileage!

  10. I used to get all kinds of crazy drinks and breakfast items at Starbucks. Then I looked up the nutritional facts and I couldn't agree with you more. The calories def add up.

    Cheers to a valuable post…as I sip my Unsweetened Skim Iced Coffee!

  11. "Eat every 2 to 3 hours during the day" – this one is my motto!!! I also should work on your number 1 . . .

I love a good comment!

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