So it's a new year and you’ve made a lofty list of health goals you want to achieve - and by the third week of January, somewhere in between staying sane in this chaotic world and managing the at-home pandemic life, you realize you haven’t so much even glanced at your goals in at least 10 days.
No worries. You are not alone.
Many people believe starting a healthy life requires an insurmountable time and effort, but the reality is, it doesn’t have to. Cultivating a healthy life is more about intentionally choosing healthy habits that you can easily incorporate and sustain in your life.
Living a healthier lifestyle does not have to be overly complicated. Often our biggest hurdle is inertia; breaking through our autopilot mind and choosing differently is key. You don't need an overly priced gym membership, or an unrealistic plan to become healthy - just some simple steps you can incorporate into your life to choose differently!
I'm over making life more difficult than what it already is (especially these days!) so I've created a list of simple things you can do to help jumpstart a more healthy life in 2021!
Leave a water bottle by your bed before going to sleep!
Water is Life! Literally. Our bodies are made of 60% water. Our muscles, organs, tissues all need water to survive. Studies show that lack of hydration can lead to chronic muscle pain, acne, headaches and many other dis-eases. Drinking plenty water nourishes your body, helps you eat less and lose more weight. Not only does H20 help flush out toxins but it also gives a natural skin glow in the process!
Lifehack: Before you go to sleep at night, fill up a water bottle and put it by your bedside. In the morning, before the thoughts start racing in, take a big sip of water. Make sure to use a 24 ounce or larger bottle (I use a 36 oz HydroFlask!) and keep the water bottle with you at all times. The more accessible you make water (and the less you have to go get it) the more you will train your brain to drink more!
Tip # 2
Eat less. Chew More.
Did you know that you're supposed to chew each bite of your food for at least 20 seconds before you swallow?! Yes I know what you're thinking - wouldn't it be nice to have all that time to eat?! You see here's the thing: Digestion is a complex process. Food must go through five organs before the digestion process is complete (i.e. mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine). Generally, it can take anywhere between 24 up to 72 hours to fully digest a meal. Yes! 72 hours! So in the end, taking an hour to masticate your food doesn't sound so bad, does it? And while we may not all have two hours to eat our lunch, here's what you can do:
Lifehack: Eat Mindfully. Even if you only have 30 minutes. Eat with all your attention! Put your screens away and devote all your attention to your food. Let the food you eat be the only thing you do in that time. By bringing mindfulness into the eating process, the body becomes relaxed and much more effective at digestion. Also it takes the brain up to 15 minutes to get the message that you are full so instead of eating to that point. Pause in between and let time determine that for you!
Tip # 3
Get your Morning routine on!
What you do in the morning strongly influences your mood for the rest of the day. So if you wake up cranky and rushed, you will go on feeling cranky and rushed for most of your day. Similarly, if you wake up and do at least one thing you love mindfully, you will move through your day more mindfully and in love.
Lifehack: Develop a morning routine. Set your alarm clock 15 - 30 minutes earlier than your usual time and do something you absolutely love! (Some ideas can include: gentle stretches, journaling, making your own breakfast, reading a book or magazine article that nourishes your thoughts (do not read the news!) or even start a dance party! Whatever makes you heart happy!
Tip # 4
Move your Body!
Whether its a vigorous cardio exercise, walking, running, or dancing in front of the mirror, moving your body does wonders for your soul. Not only does it get your adrenals going, it physically enables the production of serotonin and moves residual trauma out of your body! (Somatic Experiencing).
Lifehack: You don't need 30, 60, 90 minutes or an intense cardio HIIT workout to receive the benefits of moving your body. Simply pause during your day - morning afternoon or night - and put on on your favorite song and pump it up or shake it out for 5-10 minutes. This will do wonders for your body, mind and spirit.
Slow Down and Watch Your Thoughts.
Most people think meditation is about emptying the mind to be without thoughts, but really meditation is the art of slowing the mind down enough to be able to observe your thoughts. As though you are taking inventory to see what's in stock up there, on that day. If we could all empty the mind permanently, we'd be enlightened!
LifeHack: All you need is 10 minutes of meditation to rewire your brain! (Start with 5 minutes and build your way up if you need to!) Sit comfortably. Erect spine and start taking deep breaths in, and equal breaths out. Begin to observe the thought and thought patterns floating in your mind and when you notice yourself starting a story or a to-do list, bring your focus back to the breath. The breath is the gate and your thoughts are the residents. Give yourself permission to walk into your own home and take up space! You will feel the effects instantly! From a relaxed mind to being a kinder person! :-) And if you need some guidance, I love Insight Timer. It has such a good and diverse set of meditation practices.
And because I love you, here are three extra bonus and *juicy* tips on me!
Give yourself an at home spa treatment.
Whether a facial, pedicure, a foot soak or a yoni steam bath (recipe coming soon!), treating yourself to the luxuries of life without breaking the bank is an excellent way to live more healthy!
Yes, you read that right. Orgasms are a powerful way to release endorphins, lower stress levels and invoke our inner creative! All things critical to living a healthy life! Also not to mention, our sexuality and spirituality are interwoven. Being healthy in our sexuality is essential for moving energy up in the chakra system. So no shame, no judgement. Just breathe, explore and invoke your creative life force! ;-)
Above all, USE YOUR JUDGEMENT!
Most of us function on autopilot. In the same way we don't think about brushing our teeth, we often don't think about the habits that make up our daily lives. For example we may often go for a cookie or donut when we can consider an apple or banana instead. Natural sugars not only satisfy our sweet tooth but they also don't make us crash after! Instead of getting a latte, opt for a cup of coffee or green tea instead. Both options will fix your caffeine crave, but with less calories and sugar! And instead of sitting down in front of the TV after dinner, or the computer after lunch, consider going for a walk. Not only is it good for your heart, but it also supports your digestive system!
Instead of setting intentions that are destined to fail, consider setting your intentions on making simple decisions that rewire your brain out of bad habits and into ones that are easily accessible and nourish your mind, body, and soul.
Just a simple little blog with some simple little recipes to simply treat yourself to a little love and care.