Healthy Habits for Your New Year
Are your New Years wellness goals in full swing? If so, Congratulations! One of the quickest ways to achieve your goals is to develop specific day to day “healthy habits” that over time create amazing results. All too often we get lost in a sea of health gimmicks and quick-fix fads, and forget basic principles to health and wellness. No matter what your health goals are this year, it would be worth taking another look and fine tuning them with some sure-fire strategies to get you there.
Some of these are obvious, while others may not be. Nonetheless, they are tried and true and withstand the test of time. They cover some of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects that are universal to radiant health. There is no need to feel overwhelmed about doing all of these right away, just see which ones speak to you now and start practicing today!
Don’t underestimate the power of small changes and what they can bring for you!
1. Start your day with lemon water.
This is a simple routine with huge effects! It helps to stimulate digestion and boosts your pH. Before you put anything in your belly, start with half a lemon squeezed into a few ounces of purified water (room temperature, not cold). Add a pinch of sea salt if you have any. Natural sodium and lemon will give your adrenals a gentle kick start! If you’re used to coffee to energize you and get your bowels moving, give this a try. You’ll be surprised! >>>Drink Lemon Water in the Morning
2. Digestion is the cornerstone of good health.
In the science of Ayurveda, there is nothing more important to your overall health than the quality of your digestion. It is considered to be your biggest ally in restoring and maintaining optimal wellness. In fact, a popular saying known in the Ayurvedic tradition states, “If you could digest it properly, even poison could be good for you, while with poor digestion, you can die from drinking nectar.” This is very profound. Even if you eat the healthiest of foods, if you can’t digest them they will form toxic compounds in the colon. The best place to start with improving your digestive function is with proper food combining. Our culture is notorious for horrific food combing. Making it a habit to properly combine your foods with each meal will have a profound effect on your long term health. >>>Food Combining Chart
3.Chew your food.
Keeping with the theme of powerful digestion, thoroughly chewing your food is one of the simplest, yet most powerful habits to get into. Often times, even when we’re not eating under time restraints, we have a tendency to wolf our food down. Have you ever seen a dog eat? One, two, three chews then swallow. A lifetime of gulping our food puts a tremendous amount of stress on our digestive system. Important enzymes that initiate digestion are produced in saliva. To assimilate nutrients well, the food needs to be finely masticated, to the point where it is liquified. This means you need to chew everything well, including your liquid meals like smoothies and green juices. It is also a great mindfulness meditation. Be fully present and experience the taste, smell, and effects of the food that is nourishing you.
4. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
Drinking water is the most important therapy of all therapies, because EVERYTHING in the body ABSOLUTELY depends on it. Dehydration severely weakens kidney function and sets the stage for toxic accumulation in your body. Your cells must have enough water to function properly. Make sure to drink half your weight in ounces of purified water daily. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink around 70 ounces.
5. Ditch dehydrating beverages.
If the beverage is acidic your body will use precious water to flush it out. Coffee, alcohol, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc., are all acidic and dehydrating. Coffee and alcohol are the biggest culprits for draining your body of fluids. For every cup of coffee you consume, your body will use approximately 24 ounces of water to flush it out. So if you’re sticking to half your weight in ounces of water daily, you will need to add and additional 3 cups of water to maintain adequate hydration. That will be a lot of work!!!
6. Seek and avoid hidden refined sugars.
White death, crack, toxic, whatever you call it you know that it’s bad for your health. But what you may not know is that this stuff deceptively finds its way into your food all the time. There are literally hundreds of disguised names for refined sugar. A few popular ones are: disaccharides, polydextrose, sucanat, dextrin, galactose, fructose, sucrose, carbitol, fruit juice concentrate, and the list goes on. Key words to look for: anything with sugar, even natural sugar; anything ending with “ose” or “ides”; anything with syrup, fruit juice, barley, caramel, and beet. Be a stickler and read labels.
7. Fruit is not 100% innocent.
Whether we like it or not, fruit has sugar. Of course it is not the same as the white beast listed above, but it is sugar nonetheless. No matter how you slice it, cancer cells and candida love all kinds of sugar. An occasional fruit meal in my opinion is still fine, though it shouldn’t be daily. Try to stick with low glycemic fruit, and no more than 1 piece a day.
8. Juice daily.
Hands down the best way to increase your alkalinity and kick start your body’s healing processes is to consume a diet full of liquid sunshine. Drinking fresh raw juice is like fertilizing your inner terrain. It’s a garden-in-a-glass, intravenous chlorophyll, that provides you with a ton of live enzymes, oxygen, vitamins, and minerals. Chlorophyll contains powerful blood builders that increase red blood cells, improve circulation, and oxygenate your cells. Carrots, celery, and cucumber are a great place to start. Try to get a green juice in every day. Your cells will thank you. >>>Juicing 101 >>>Juicer Buyer Guide
9. Learn how to cook with fats and oils.
Cooking with the wrong type of fats and oils has become the Achilles’ heel for the average American. Because of the delicate chemical bonds of fats and oils, many of them oxidize when exposed to heat, light, and air. The more polyunsaturated the fat or oil, the more susceptible it is to oxidation. Oxidized fats act as free radicals inside our bodies, causing widespread damage to our cells and accelerating the disease process. Are you unknowingly using oxidized oils in your cooking?
The best fats to use for cooking are saturated fats, such as coconut oil and ghee. The worst fats for cooking are the polyunsaturated fats such as corn, canola, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed. Typically, these oils are also highly refined and yielded from GMO crops. >>>What You Need to Know about Cooking with Fats and Oils
10. Fast on liquids once a week.
Now that you know digestion is the cornerstone of good health, here is a powerful tool that actually strengthens digestion and helps with weight management. Just as you know you must give your muscles time to rest and rebuild after working them out for an extended period of time, the same applies to your digestive system. Allow yourself one day a week where you only consume liquids such as green juices, smoothies, blended vegetable soups, herbal teas, kombucha, and lemon water. Your digestive system and your other organs will get the much needed break they deserve. This is a secret key to longevity!!
11. Sweat and move your body everyday.
We all know that exercise is important to overall health. But it’s not just for burning calories. When we tend to look at exercise as a sole way to burn calories, we begin to undermine ALL of its benefits. Movement and sweating are two of the most important ways your body removes toxins. Movement also increases circulation and brings oxygen to your cells. One of the most essential benefits from daily exercise is improved lymphatic circulation. The lymphatic system relies on movement and sweating to circulate. Otherwise, it stagnates and toxicity builds up in our tissues.
Exercise also increases endorphins, serotonin, and other feel-good compounds. It is a fantastic way to de-stress!! Simply put, movement is essential for both our physical and mental well being. Choose the type of exercise that is right for you. Jump around, dance, do yoga, hike, swim, roller blade, power walk, P90X, Richard Simmons, pilates, whatever makes you happy! And do it everyday! Toxins will leave your system faster, elimination will improve, your skin will be brighter, and your mood will be lighter!
12. Dry brush.
There are many benefits to dry brushing on a daily basis, and it’s no accident that it’s a powerful technique used in many natural health therapies, especially for cancer. Dry brushing improves lymphatic circulation, stimulates blood circulation, tightens the skin, and reduces cellulite. Not only will you be improving your skin, you will be helping your body to eliminate toxins! >>>Dry Brushing
13. Health is 70% determined by the emotional state.
Yes, eating healthy, adequate hydration, and exercise– all are important to your health. But your attitude and beliefs play a huge role. Our thoughts literally materialize themselves into reality. Positive affirmations help to keep the attitude positive and, as a result, make us healthier. Do not let your current state of health become your identity- dissociate from it. Create your own vision of health and repeat if every day. Your brain will create the body that corresponds to your vision.
14. Tune out the naysayers.
There will undoubtedly be someone, or several in your life that will downplay your efforts to lead a healthier life. It’s just the nature of the beast. Tune them out!
15. Become Your Own Health Advocate.
No one has as much vested interest in you as you do yourself. If you have health issues take action. Learn all of the ways you have contributed to your current state of health, then change them. There is nothing more powerful than the right kind of knowledge that empowers us to take the right kind of action. There are people today healing their their own diseases and imbalances. A health condition or diagnosis is not a jail sentence. In fact, it’s often a one way ticket to figuring out how to live your life to the fullest. Kris Carr and Jess Ainscough are two shining examples of how this can be done. Both of them, diagnosed with rare forms of cancer, have decided to regain their health and reclaim their lives. Our fate isn’t our destiny. Our destiny is to change our fate!!!
No matter what your wellness goals are this year, I hope you find these tips to be useful. And remember, don’t stress about making changes all at once. Creating health and wellness is a daily practice. Do the best you can, and in time you will see amazing results. Many blessing for a joyous New Year full of abundance and good health. Magic and miracles await you!