Making Healthy Living Sustainable

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.

As you guys know, I’m all about making healthy living a sustainable, long term thing. Unlike most diets will tell you, you don’t have to eat perfectly or exercise for 4 hours a day to be healthy. And living a healthier lifestyle does NOT mean depriving yourself of things you love, either – that’s not sustainable! The key is to focus on healthy habits most of the time, while also allowing yourself some leeway for indulgence when it’s worthwhile because life it too short to avoid your favorite foods (and that will backfire long term, anyway).

In my opinion, working to become healthier in a sustainable way means making a simple tweak, then making some more, until they slowly become habit. Breaking it up into small, actionable changes like this not only makes living healthier a lot more manageable, but it also makes the changes more sustainable, because you’re not trying to change too much at once, getting overwhelmed, and giving up.

Going along with the spirit of healthy, sustainable changes and balancing fitness and food, a few weeks ago I attended the John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia.

John Hancock Fit Foodie_Starting Line

As host of the 2016 race series, John Hancock is sponsoring the John Hancock Vitality Village, which is a fun and delicious post-race experience to celebrate the participants’ hard work!

I always love post-race celebrations and this was one of the best I’ve seen, even in the rain, due to how much there was going on. In addition to a main stage with live fitness and cooking demos, there were a TON of vendors (local restaurants and brands) there sharing yummy and healthy food and beverage samples. There were also raffle prizes, giveaways, and meet and greets with elite athletes. Here I am with four-time Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon champion Bill Rodgers, and Caroline Rotich, the 2015 Boston Marathon winner! So cool.

john hancock elite ambassadors

It was unfortunately pouring during our race adventure, but don’t worry – when free food is involved a little rain didn’t scare us runners off – there were free samples to be had! ;)

John Hancock Fit Foodie_Vitality Village

So, why is John Hancock hosting a race series and how are they related to small healthy changes adding up to long term health? As I learned through this partnership, they have created John Hancock life insurance with Vitality, which rewards people for the healthy choices they make, like exercising, seeing the doctor, and even purchasing healthy foods at the grocery store (so cool!). With John Hancock life insurance with Vitality and the new HealthyFood program, you can save up to $600 a year on the nutritious food you buy, significantly save on your life insurance premium, and earn valuable rewards and everyday savings for those healthy food purchases. They are the first U.S. life insurer to reward consumers for healthy eating. Awesome!

I love seeing a company providing such great incentives for healthy behaviors – anything that makes it more appealing and easier for people to be healthier gets a thumbs up in my book! And as we all know, fitness without good nutrition is not nearly as impactful on your health as when you combine the two. You can visit for more information on how you can be rewarded for the small steps you take towards a healthier life.


Here are some of my favorite small healthy tweaks for a little inspiration on your own healthy living journeys. Feel free to share some of yours in the comments!

Ideas for Small Healthy Tweaks That Add Up to Big Change

  • Set up a standing desk at work and alternate between standing and sitting.
  • Make your own salad dressing! Store-bought dressings are usually way less tasty, more expensive, and full of sugar and weird additives. My favorite dressing is a simple mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and lemon juice!
  • Make half your plate veggies at both lunch and dinner. The volume goes a long way with keeping you more satisfied!
  • Eat as you are starting to get hungry – don’t wait until you are starved! Getting too hungry not only adds way more stress to the situation than there needs to be, but it also means you’re more likely to overeat.
  • Having a sandwich? Pile on the veggies. I like adding baby spinach, broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, sprouts, etc!
  • Find a workout buddy! Having someone to meet makes working out a lot more fun – and is a simple way to hold yourself accountable, too.
  • Spend at least 20 minutes each day enjoying some fresh air. Walking and taking in nature does wonders for the soul as well as the body.
  • If you’re driving somewhere, park as far away as time allows to get in some extra steps that day. Similarly, if it’s a nice day, get off the bus or metro a stop early if you can and walk the rest of the way.
  • Always take the stairs instead of the using the elevator – and walk up escalators!

One last tip, of course, is to sign up for races – such a great way to stay motivated to get in your workouts and to see the results of your hard work! :) The John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend is currently making its way around the country, so check their website to see if it’s coming to a city near you.


What are your favorite tips for small tweaks that can add up to long term health?

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Find John Hancock on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.


  1. 1

    I love your tips! Weather permitting, I try to go on a walk every day as a break from my desk. I do need to wear sunscreen to protect myself, though. Whoops. Another tip I would add is to do some meal-planning to ensure you make better choices even with limited time to prepare a meal. I love sitting down with my fiance on Sunday and developing plan for the week. Even if it just says, “Monday – chicken, vegetables, whole grain”, it provides something to work with. :) Hope this is helpful to others too!

  2. 3

    One of my favorite tweaks is having a big bag of cut up veggies to snack on if I get hungry but lunch or dinner plans are just right around the corner.

  3. 5
    Roadrunner says

    Great advice and recommendations, Anne

  4. 6

    love the tips! i made myself a treadmill desk and love using it while reading or working on the laptop, especially since i realized i walk a TON at college and not nearly anywhere close to that at home.
    however, i came home for the summer to find out that it’s broken D: so standing desk it is for now haha

  5. 8

    Hi Anne! These are great tips. I’ve never been concerned about being active my entire life until the lat several months or so, and I can tell from my own experience that it’s the little changes we make that add up to big results. I’ve never been a fan of shocking my body into something that is completely foreign to it. I find that that method quickly backfires on me. Over the last several months, I”ve made really good habits of drinking enough water, working on a standing desk, and including proteins and veggies in all my meals. What I’d like to work on next is to go out for a nature walk every day (aside from my daily morning workouts), but I’m having difficulty with that because I live in a city.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.