Happy New Year !! It’s that time of year again where many of us are tired of making excuses and are finally ready to bite the bullet and give up those unhealthy habits that leave us feeling, malnourished, overweight and just plain exhausted !! I myself am feeling overworked this holiday season, with little time for sleep, exercise or finding balance. As I begin to get back on track, I will start my rejuvenation with a well deserved trip to the beautiful north, western coast of Costa Rica!! This trip is well overdue for Ronny and I, as we have just completed 2.5 years of hard work, school and mass-life chaos. I will take in the suns energy, enjoy the sand between my toes, fill my belly with nourishing fruit and get plenty of outdoor activity in: Slowly resetting my souls spirit!! This will be the perfect mental, physical and emotional break that we, ALL require to feel human again!!
For many of you, a trip may not be in the cards just yet! Not to worry!! There are other ways that you can create the same feel good emotions, just by making changes and feeling better!! Sometimes these unhealthy habits spin out of control and we get to a point where it feels like we have strayed so far off the path of healthy, that it may feel next to impossible to get back on. I am happy to say, that with these simple and easy-to-follow changes, you can get back on track to a healthy, vibrant and energetic you! All it takes is making that first step.
Step 1: Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep is such an integral component to our overall health and well being. Our bodies use this time to “catch up on it’s work”. Doing such things as, repairing cells, rebuilding tissues and detoxifying toxins. There is truth to the saying “Get your beauty rest`. The less we sleep, the more toxins build up in the body, creating an unhealthy, hostile, internal environment within the body.
Step 2: Drink at least 500 mls of fresh, purified water as soon as you wake up!
As soon as you wake-up, be sure to hold off on coffee and food, first drink water!! During the night our bodies loose up to 2 L of water. When we wake, it is important to replace this water lost and to help flush through all the toxins that have been collected through out the night. Be sure not to stop there ! It is important to continue to replace water lost throughout the day, drinking at least 2-3 L of water per day! Remember, the human adult body is made up of 60% water, replacing it is not an option, its a requirement:)
Step 3: Eliminate refined sugars!!
This is that addictive white powder that is found in everything processed!! Cookies, muffins, cakes, even milk!! Start reading labels and stay away from this legal drug. Research now shows that sugar lights up the same neural pathways as heroin !! (1) If it says, glucose or fructose, it’s sugar…the food industry has a tricky way of manipulating us to thinking we arn’t getting eating sugar. There are at least 55 Alternative names for sugar, we may not know about being printed on the labels of our everyday grocery store items.
Step 4: Eat 8 – 10 cups of fruits and vegetables everyday!!
Not just 10 cups of lettuce, I am talking 8 – 10 c ups of a mixture of different coloured fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables as simple as this seems are truly, the foundation of good health. They contain a wide variety of quality of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, not found in other foods. These nutrients support the immune system, help cell function and support detoxification. By adding this into your diet, you will not only feel satisfied, you will increase energy, heal the gut, improve digestion and so many other incredible health supporting functions. Each individual colour or fruit or vegetable offers a different health property that the other may not have. When eaten together they act as a superpower creating magical, internal, body function!!
Step 5: Get moving!!
You may think that exercise and activity is just a way to speed up weight loss. The truth is, its so much more then that and even the thinnest of people, should make exercise a habit. A lot of chronic diseases are due in part to lack of movement in today’s society. Many of us sit for hours at a desk and then spend our evenings sitting again on the couch. This leads to immobility, muscle deterioration and the inability to properly detoxify our bodies of all the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. You don`t have to join a gym or take up yoga if that`s not your thing. You just need to find something that you can do at least 20 minutes a day. Something that will get your body moving, your digestive juices flowing and your heart rate pumping!! Snow shoeing, skiing, power walking, running, cycling, swimming, dog walking – what ever you enjoy, pick 2- 3 different activities and do these each week. Not only will your body begin to feel amazing but your health will slowly begin to improve from the inside out!!
Health is a journey, not a destination…the first step to change is to take that first step!!