Happy 2015. It's going to be a phenomenal year!
Here are just a few of my simple top tips/reminders that can have a profound impact on your health and wellbeing. This list could certainly be longer but in the vein of ease and simplicity I will keep it short and surface level/doable with more to come.
Get vegetables into your diet more frequently. This is a no brainer! Not only are vegetables high in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and low in calories but they fill you up and are delicious. Choose a rainbow of colors daily, the darker the color the higher in antioxidants, and aim to get some into your day early; breakfast or a mid-morning snack is a good start. Wondering how to do this? Slice up an avocado (okay, technically a fruit but close enough) for breakfast, add sauteed kale and onions to scrambled eggs, or pack a mason jar with a handful of organic spinach or greens and drizzle on some lemon juice and olive oil, maybe a few walnuts and voila, your mid-morning snack is ready to go. Keeping some bags of frozen organic vegetables in the freezer makes dinner fast when necessary.
Ditch the sugar in your day (can’t stress this one enough). Sugar drives insulin, insulin drives inflammation (typically silent meaning you have no symptoms), and inflammation drives chronic, degenerative diseases. It creeps into your day in the form of breakfast cereal, breads, crackers, condiments, yogurt, juice (100% fruit juice is just too much), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. And don’t be fooled by natural alternatives such as maple syrup, dates, agave nectar, and honey. While these are a better alternative to processed sugar in that they do provide some vitamins and minerals and have a lower glycemic index, they still spike insulin levels to some degree so best to use in small quantities. Consuming less sugar will have profoundly positive effects on your health and while this sounds simple the ubiquity of sugar can make it difficult to do.
Consume some superfoods every day. Superfoods are just that; super high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and enzymes to name a few. They work wonders in keeping your mind and body healthy. Inflammation beware! Eating superfoods is like putting extra money in the bank as we all have days that our eating is less than perfect and superfoods make up for the shortfalls. There are different types of superfoods including greens such as kale and wheatgrass, fruits such as blueberries and goji berries , and seeds such as ground flax and chia. Keeping a bag of chia and ground flax seeds on hand is easy as they incorporate into many foods such as oatmeal, granola, salads, baked goods, smoothies etc... I put flax seeds into my kids banana nut smoothies and they love the taste. Other examples of superfoods are cacao (in dark chocolate), maca, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, strawberries, quinoa, black beans and coconut.
Drink more water. I have yet to have a client not feel better drinking more water. Its an instant energizer as most Americans are slightly dehydrated all of the time leading to low energy, brain fog, and cravings for sweets. Drinking more water not only flushes out our kidneys and promotes liver health, it fills you up so you eat less. Drink several glasses upon waking to ensure you get enough into your day. Sip water throughout the day rather than waiting to feel thirsty. Our bodies do not translate the need for hydration well, or “thirst” as we know it. Once thirsty, dehydration is already happening.
So, are you going to replace some sugary foods with vegetables, keep hydrated with lot's of water and eat superfoods every day for increased health, happiness, and wellbeing? I hope so!
All the best for a terrific 2015.