Did you ever wish there was an easy solution, a magic bullet, so to speak, that would make you healthier without too much of an effort, counting calories, or spending hours in the gym?
Well, I have some great news. There's an actual universal solution that works for every single person and it's guaranteed to improve your health and wellness. Are you ready - let me know what you think of these very simple steps you can take NOW.
Don't try to jump in too fast, too soon. As my friend Lori says, "perfect one thing at a time." To YOUR good Health!
Eat REAL food.
Eat as much of it as you'd like, but stick with whole, real foods! By shopping the perimeter of store, where fresh, wholesome food is found, you will naturally reduce your consumption of processed food that is generally found in the center aisles of grocery stores.
Remember, that processed foods cause chronic inflammation in the body that leads to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, increased cancer risk, and even leads to increased risk of dementia. So load up on fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil. Don't forget dark chocolate!!!
Eat more VEGETABLES than animals
You don't have to become vegan to be healthier, but by simply reducing the amount of animal protein you consume will get you healthier. Start small by observing "Meatless Mondays", or simply add more vegetables to your everyday meals. Over time, you should work up to a minimum of 5 servings per day.
Aim for dark green, leafy vegetables as those have the most cancer fighting ingredients. But in general, eat all the colors of the rainbow by trying lots of different fruits and vegetables. Choose deep, rich colored produce that contain higher amounts of cancer fighting and anti-aging oxidants.
Eat lots of FIBER
Foods that are high in fiber not only help you keep full longer, but they also help reduce your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Beans, lentils, most vegetables and fruit, as well as whole grains naturally contain fiber. Your daily goal should be 25 to 35 grams, but work up to this amount over time to avoid tummy troubles.
I know, I know....we are all very busy and don't have time to eat breakfast at home. But any amount of food that "breaks the fast" in the morning is beneficial. Think about it....if you eat dinner at 7 pm, by the time 7 am rolls around, you hadn't eaten in 12 hours. Your body and brain need fuel to keep you in optimal health. Make sure you eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates to keep you happy.
Some examples of grab and go breakfast could be as simple as:
Egg cups with ham and veggies (bake ahead in muffin tin, grab from the fridge)
Refrigerator Oatmeal - so easy to make in a Mason jar, grab and go at its easiest. My favorite recipes are on The Yummy Life - https://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/browse/Refrigerator_Oats
RX Bars contain 12 grams of protein per bar and are made of all natural ingredients. Try any of their delicious flavors!
Peanut butter and banana sandwich on high fiber / whole grain bread
A smoothie made of high quality protein powder, fruit, almond or peanut butter.
......the list goes on and on.
Avoid TOXINS and eat ORGANIC when possible
You can avoid ingesting harmful pesticides and toxins by eating organic foods as much as it makes sense to you. The Environmental Working Group publishes its list of the dirtiest (most pesticide laden) fruits and vegetables every year. Interestingly, at the top of this list every year is strawberries. Why? Pesticides are sprayed directly on the fruit and because of the texture, it is impossible to remove all even after careful washing.
Even if you do nothing else, by switching to organic for these produce will immensely reduce your risk of cancer. The list can be found here - https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php#.WjLacVVKthE
You can further reduce your exposure to toxins by switching to natural cleaning products, as well as beauty and personal products. Start easy - with deodorants that don't contain aluminum, organic face and body lotions, etc.
Drink Plenty of WATER
Drinking purified water further helps detox by diluting toxins and remove waste materials from the body. Water is essential for all your body functions. It also helps you feel full. Drink a big glass of water 15 minutes before meals to lubricate and ready your digestion system.
Aim for 8-10 glasses of water (or naturally caffeine free herbal teas) per day. Add fruit, cucumber slices, mint, if you are not a huge fan of plain water.
MOVE Your Body
You don't have to be a marathon runner or weightlifter to improve your health. Simple movements, such as walking, dancing, housework, etc. are all it takes to improve your health. Elevating your heart rate 20-30 minutes 3-5 times a week will improve your cardiovascular health, but walking will still provide plenty of benefits. Whatever you do, just MOVE.
Find joy in moving around that's not exercise per se. Dance, hike, swim with the kids, throw a ball around, walk the dog. Anything and everything adds up to improving your health and well being.
MEDITATE or Find QUIET Time
Never underestimate the the power and benefits of simply sitting quietly with your eyes closed. There are many health benefits, both physical and mental that are related to regularly calming your mind.
Meditating, like anything else, requires practice. You will not be able to quickly jump in and meditate for extended amounts of time. Smart phone apps, like Headspace or Calm are great tools to help you learn to meditate and start experiencing immense benefits, even from as little as 3-5 minutes a day.
Make SLEEP a Priority
Restoration for both mind and body are achieved during restful sleep. Make sure you get 7-9 hours per night. If you think you can survive on less than 6 hours, be assured that you cannot do that long term. Your brain and vital organs need rest and repair time.
You can "train" yourself to go to bed earlier by setting an alarm and developing a nighttime routine. Don't eat or drink 2-3 hours before bedtime, avoid consuming alcohol or coffee too close to bedtime, and avoid using devices that omit light that disrupts your circadian rhythm.
Your sleeping area should be calming and inviting. Try to remove televisions from your bedroom and surround yourself with comfy sheets and pillows. Keep the room temperature on the cool side. Apps and/or white noise machines can help you fall and stay asleep. Night night!