We hear it all the time...this year is going to be better! It's a new year which means a fresh start, right?! For many, cleansing has begun, resolutions are being made and put into action, the gym is busier than ever, the produce isle at the grocery store is a bit fuller, and most people are looking for a way to improve their lifestyles - whether that is becoming more successful, focused, stronger, or healthier...some are just trying to strive for being more positive or spending more time with family. Whatever this new year means to you, I am sure we are alike in the fact that there is always room for improvement and growth.
When it comes to living a fuller, happier and healthier lifestyle, so many things come into play. Attitude, nutrition, exercise, spiritual life, relationships...so many parts have a major role in who we are, how we view ourselves and the world, and ultimately our all-over well-being.
As a holistic naturopath, I try to educate my clients on the importance of "cleaning up" each avenue in their lives, which does not always mean just diet! Of course, one of the major issues that leads to an unhealthy lifestyle and one of the MAIN things I do focus on is nutrition and healing through food, but it is good to keep in mind other ways to become healthier...(while striving at eating a healthier diet to fuel ourselves along the way!)
So as we begin a new year and are working towards living healthier, I wanted to just give a few tips towards this goal.
1. BE POSITIVE. THINK POSITIVE. Yes, yes, we hear it all the time...but doesn't hurt to remind ourselves DAILY. As you wake, start your day with a conscious decision to look for the good in your day and when stressful situations come at you, you can be prepared to handle it easier. I mean, a stressful situation is just plain stressful - sometimes you can't change that. However, you can control how you react to it. You can let it cause you anxiety which escalades into much more and usually other smaller stressors pile on top and makes for a "bad day"....OR...you can choose to acknowledge the problem and LOOK FOR A SOLUTION. Even if there is no easy solution, realize that it's most likely not a life or death situation and in the long scheme of things, it will pass and you won't even remember it! "90% of what we worry about never happens!"
2. BE THANKFUL. There is ALWAYS something we don't like or have complaints about...things we want to change...things we don't like...but if we strive to focus on the things that we DO have and not the negatives, we will be so much happier. Nothing and nobody is perfect - and that's ok. We each have our own blessings and don't forget to recognize those everyday. Don't compare yourself to others - everyone has their own story and path. You are special and created to be unique! God knew what He was doing when He created you, and it just wouldn't be fun if we didn't have some imperfections, right? :)
3. DRINK MORE WATER. It's such a simple health tip, but so overlooked. Just do it, ok? Our bodies can't function properly without being hydrated. A good rule of thumb is a glass for each hour we are awake. If you are a coffee drinker, up your dosage...one cup of coffee takes you down about 6 glasses of water. And if you are drinking soda, it's time to crack down and do yourself a favor - STOP. Just eliminating pop from your diet alone will start allowing it to function better and you will see a noticeable change quickly. HYDRATE!!
4. FOOD IS MEDICINE - NOT THE ENEMY. When cleaning up our diets, remember that it's not good to focus on what you "can't have anymore" as opposed to what foods you will be eating now that will be healing your body. Viewing food as fuel and healing tools is so much better than holding negative emotions to eating. The cleaner your diet becomes, the better you feel. Making a conscious effort to establishing a healthy relationship with your food sounds cliche but it's so important. For me, food saved my life! I mean, it nearly killed me too...so when people asked if I felt deprived when I didn't eat processed foods, not a single part of me felt that way. I categorized it as "poison" in my mind (which so much conventional/processed food is) and I never wanted to feel that sick again. The better I became with eating pure, whole foods, the happier I was and felt empowered knowing I was in control of my health...(by God's grace, of course!)
5. AVOID TOXINS. This is a loaded comment...I mean, we can't possibly avoid all toxins...but we can do our best! What does this mean? Well, let me give you a list.
- Eat organic when possible and NON-GMO. Find sources of food that do not use pesticides, additives, chemicals, hormones, etc. (MORINGA TREE!!)
- Switch household products to free and clear. Laundry soap, dish soap and cleaning products are FULL of toxic chemicals. Look for free and clear, organic, and/or natural products such as Seventh Generation or BioKleen. Avoid fragrances such as candles or air fresheners - these are neurotransmitter disruptors!! Use essential oils for a fresh scent along with their therapeutic properties.
- If you can't eat it, don't use it on your skin! Body wash, shampoo, lotion, deoderant, make-up, after-shave...all these common products can be LOADED with harmful chemicals that cause health issues. Your skin is your largest organ and whatever goes on it, absorbs straight into the blood system. Switching your body products to a natural/pure/organic source will not only cut off a constant flow of toxins into your lymphatic system, but it will allow your body to detox properly and give your organs a break! They work hard enough so let's be good to them.
6. MOVE. Our bodies were designed for movement - we thrive off of movement and become stronger mentally and physically from it. Movement can come in so many different forms and can be adjusted to fit anyone's schedule. You don't have to kill yourself at the gym to be healthier! You can join an exercise class or do activities at the gym that you enjoy! If you don't like running, don't run! Try a cardio class, toning, dance, Zumba or barre class...or maybe you like to be alone...a home video might work better for you. Even taking time to stretch is so important! Taking a stroll outside is one of my favorite things to do - destress out in nature! Even when it's cold out, a 15 minute walk outside can greatly decrease stress levels and make you feel more grounded. Whatever it may be, make an effort to NOT be stationary. Keep your body in motion when you get a chance! But don't forget to rest when needed, of course!
7. CONNECT. Be present with your loved ones. Tell them you love them and be there for them even if things are hard in your life. Sometimes just making an effort to reach out to a friend or family member might seem like a pain when you are busy, but it can really make a difference in their lives. We need to support each other and show LOVE. Connect with God and thank Him everyday for the gifts you have been given. Ask Him to help you be a better person - a LIGHT in the DARKNESS. if you don't believe in Him, then just acknowlege the fact that we are beings that are designed to love and be loved! We deserve love and we attract what we seek and what we give. Seek and GIVE love and it will be given. We are all here for a reason, so let's work together and strive to make this world a healthier, happier place!
Happy New Year to all of you, my friends and family...may the year ahead of you be the BEST and healthiest one yet!
P.S. Remember, if you are looking to take steps in becoming a healthier you, contact me about setting up a personal, one-on-one consultation. Call the Moringa Tree at 574-294-3394 to set up an appointment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you along this journey!