As promised, I will be sharing my healthy living guide with you for the next 4 weeks. This is not just going to be about what I am eating, but also about busting some myths about food that are currently going around, as well as sharing all round general health tips. Having a healthy body and mind is not just about food and exercise, there are many other things you can do!
Now as you know, I am not one for hitting the gym or restricting myself to eating only raw vegan food! However there is something everyone can do to generally improving their health just by making small manageable changes. Remember, it’s all about elephant sandwiches 😉 (basically, you would never be able to eat a whole elephant! So break it down into bitesize pieces!).
I challenge you to make one positive change a day. Here are some examples of what you can start to introduce into your life over the next 4 weeks.
Imagine how different your life could be in 4 weeks if you introduce just 1 new habit every day?
Drink Water First Thing In The Morning
What’s the first thing you do every morning? Shower? Eat breakfast? Grab a coffee? Well more and more research suggests that if you drink at least 16oz (that’s 1 pint) of water as soon as you wake up, not only does it cleanse your liver and other organs, it also helps fight against long-term illnesses such as cancer and diabetes!
I’ve been drinking a pint of water every morning for the past 6 months and while it’s hard to get into the habit to start with, you get used to it pretty quickly and even start craving that water as soon as you open your eyes! It’s so simple and beneficial, it’s really something everyone can do!
Don’t have time to mediate? I call bullshit! All you need to do is get up 10 minutes earlier every morning. Or take 10 minutes out of your day at work. Or take 10 minutes before bed. There is constant and continues research showing the beneficial effects meditation has on our mental wellbeing and our brains. It really is too important not to try!
Sceptical? So was I. But ask yourself this. What exactly do you have to lose by giving it a try?
Leave Your Desk
Instead of sitting at your desk at lunch, get a friend and go for a walk for half an hour. Have a catch up, or call your mum/sister/grandma to distract you from the fact that you’re actually exercising! Studies have shown that sitting for 6+ hours a day makes you 40% more likely to die in the next 15 years than someone who sits less than 3! Even if you exercise! So get your butt out of that rut!
Cut Out Sugar
We all know that we should swap that chocolate bar for an apple, but did you know that there is sugar hidden in literally everything? Think eating 5 pieces of fruit a day is healthy? Or that the bowl of special K will help you fit into your jeans? Think again. Sugar is everywhere and the only way to avoid it is by staying away from anything processed and making things yourself.
I’ll be showing you some quick, cheap and easy ways of doing this over the next month.
Also be aware that in order to make anything ‘low-fat’, a whole heap of stuff, usually sugar, has been added to make up for the lack of taste when taking out the fat. So when embarking on that diet, make sure you’re not falling for the low-fat alternatives!
Start teaching yourself to look at nutrition charts differently. High calorie is not necessarily bad! Think about the value of those calories. Fat will not make you fat (ever heard of anyone get fat through eating too many avocados?) as long as you eat a balanced diet. No one’s saying you should eat high fat and nothing else, but all that hate you have for fat, start making sugar the culprit and you’ll start seeing changes in your energy levels and body shape.
I love my coffee in the morning. And there are many studies that have shown the benefits of that morning caffeine fix! But problems arise when you start to drink more than is healthy and as many articles that there are for the benefits, there are an equal amount showing the adverse effects.
Personally I have felt the effects caffeine can have on my anxiety and I have now tried to reduce my coffee consumption to one every two days, or have in the past done a complete ‘cleanse’ and then only had it as a treat over the weekend.
The most important point here it to ensure you are drinking double the amount of water to counteract the dehydrating effect of caffeine. But no two people are the same. Listen to your body. Do you feel more anxious on coffee? Are you lacking in energy and using the caffeine to keep you awake? If you’re tired your body is trying to tell you something. Listen.
We have a rule in our house. No devices in the bedroom. Bedtime is a chance to connect and spent time in the here and now. It also aids better quality of sleep.
As a society we have become absolute slaves to our screens and we spend a large amount of time missing out on what is actually going on around us because we are so fixated by what is going on in the online community. Real life no longer satisfies us.
As a writer/blogger I am grateful for the sheer opportunities the virtual world has given people like me. But I don’t think anyone could argue that there is an unhealthy obsession in our culture with all things tech. Ironically in our attempt to become more connected to the internet, we have become disconnected with our reality, and there is increasing concern over the adverse effects, specifically on mental health, that this habit has on us.
So start to become more conscious of how much time you are actually glued to your phone/tablet/laptop. Consciously have time away to reconnect with the life and people around you – this is what is important. Not what a girl you once talked to at school is currently doing in New York, or what that celebrity has decided to strip off and show the world this time and oh how wonderful it would be to have that bottom too…
I hope these things are useful. They are all things I have implemented into my own life with successful results.
Anything you have tried yourself that isn’t listed here? Please let me know! 🙂