Happy New Year 2019!
You’re probably hearing, reading or thinking a lot about new year’s BIG resolutions/ intentions/ goals! I am a firm believer in setting intentions; We all deserve a life filled with possibilities. I am also a firm believer in small simple steps. Why? Because small steps lead to lasting changes. It works.
Not sure where to start in terms of your wellbeing…? I found 10 simple ways to nourish and care for yourself starting today. Remember we are zeroing in on working on You today, this very moment= body adopts= lasting changes. Here we go.
Simple and subtle daily shift 1
Eat any super green food (spinach, kale, collard greens, traditional greens etc) with every meal for a week and see how amazing you feel. Remember a daily serving of greens will improve/ increase your cognitive ability plus many other health benefits. Remember the key word is every meal.
Simple and subtle daily shift 2
Pay attention to how your body feels when you take dairy. It’s no longer a secret that many of us are dairy intolerant. How? Your body simply gives you feedback. The feedback could be constipation or your skin breaking out as soon as you take dairy products. This year, it would be great to eliminate dairy and see how you feel. Try unrefined; cold pressed coconut oil as an alternative to butter. Use plant-based milk options (almond, soy, almond) as opposed to cow/goat milk. Use olive, coconut, avocado, ghee (clarified butter that contains no casein and lactose) for cooking. Remember the key is to listen to our body for any bloating/ constipation/skin break-out.
Simple and subtle daily shift 3
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! I am often asked how much water we should be taking because there are different guidelines. One thing we (health practitioners) agree on is that we should be drinking more water. My guideline is simple; drink water until your urine Is clear. Simple. Did you know that your brain is 80% water? This means any sign of dehydration can affect your cognitive ability. Now that’s a motivation to buy a glass bottle and keep sipping that water! Remember the key is to drink water until your urine is clear.
Simple and subtle daily shift 4- Practice mindful eating
It’s about listening to your body’s hunger cues—so eating when you’re actually hungry and stopping when you’re full. This sounds simple but can be a challenge when you’ve become disconnected from your body. Becoming more aware of how your body feels before, during, and after mealtimes can bring back this connection. Get more mindful by;
Removing any screens from the table (hard for some, I know)
Focusing on chewing your food
Putting your fork down in between bites
Taking a deep breath in between bites
Reminding yourself there will be more food later if you’re hungry
Simple and subtle daily shifts number 5- Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is good for everyone all the time...humans fasted intermittently since the dawn of time as they didn't have grocery stores. And it's the body's chance to clean up and metabolize errant cells like cancer and bacteria.
No one should worry about "starving" in the first world. Won't happen. Start with 14 hours (e.g. if your last meal of the day was at 7pm, your next meal will be at 9am) and then extend to 16-18-20 etc hours. Remember to listen to your body; every single body is different- eat when you are hungry. Some of the Benefits include- heightened energy, longevity (turns on anti-inflammatory genes) healing etc
Simple and subtle daily shifts number 6- Include magnesium
An essential dietary mineral yet magnesium deficiency is the second most common; the first being vitamin D.
A lack of magnesium will raise blood pressure and reduce insulin sensitivity. It is also used for overall health (influences body systems) cardiovascular and testosterone boosting. Some Food sources include- green leafy veggies, fruits (avocado, banana, berries) nuts and seeds, legumes etc.
Supplement dose 200-400 gms
Simple and subtle daily shifts number 7- Embracing silence!
There is beauty in silence. It is in silence that we can touch the infinite intelligence. It is in silence that answers, healing and creativity come to us. See how nature, trees, flowers, grass, grows in silence, see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence …
In such a fast-paced world, we rarely experience silence. This year, tap into some of the key health benefits;
lowers blood pressure
increases concentration and mental clarity
increases ability to deal with emotional issues
Go for a very early morning walk
Turn off your cell phone and let it go to voice mail for a day, turn off your computer, TV and radio
Enjoy spa treatments like massages
Sit quietly- pray, breath
Enjoy a cup of your favourite tea on your own in your favourite room or space
Go on a silent retreat
Being in nature- sea, waterfall, trees, flowers, mountain etc.
Simple and subtle shifts number 8- Morning and evening routine
The things You do first thing in the morning and before bed should be very intentional and specific because they set the stage for your health that day and sleep quality that night.
A great morning routine will drastically increase your energy, focus and, yes, improve your metabolic function. Did you know that there's a circadian clock in every single one of your cells? It's true. This means that there's an optimal time to wake up, go to sleep, and even digest your food.
ending your meals around sundown- time varies according to your location. Mine is around 6.30am EAT.
Maintaining a sleep-wake cycle that honors your circadian rhythm is one of the best things you can ever do for your metabolism.
Ensure you get direct sunlight for a few minutes every morning, just before 10 a.m. Getting direct sunlight sends signals through the retina in your eye to reset melatonin. Not only does that help your sleep that evening, but it improves your energy levels that very day.
Workout- stretches, HIIT, run, walk, pilates, weights etc....
Simple and subtle daily shifts number 9 – Transform your kitchen to a safe zone
This year, make your kitchen a safe zone. How? By Bringing fresh energy and fresh food into your kitchen and purging it of all of the foods and items that make us sick and unhealthy is the first step to making better choices and embracing great health. When you win in the kitchen you set yourself up for optimal success.
So, is your kitchen a safe zone? Is it stocked with only foods that nourish your body- whole, fresh foods that have zero ingredient list? Fruits, lentils, greens, yams etc....
Unsafe zone- A kitchen that has a lot of questionable items- foods that come in boxes, jars, cans and other packaging; all refined and processed foods that have added sugar.
Transform your kitchen into a safe zone by throwing out all these boxed “foods”- toss them into the garbage! Restock your kitchen with happiness/ Joy/ energy/ health- fresh, and Whole Foods.
Here is to a stunning Year 2019!