Are you lacking energy, always finding yourself at the doctor or feel like your quality of life is slipping away? If so, it’s time for a fresh start to healthy living!
Transforming your health will lead to a stronger, alert, more confident, beautiful you. Yes, we have doctors and professionals who are “in charge” of our health. But are they really? Do they really have our best interest at heart? Ok, some do.
I’m not telling you to ditch your doctor. But I am telling you that your health is your own responsibility. They can guide you, but ultimately you need to know your body and be aware of what’s best for you.
It can seem difficult if you’ve never been conscious of this before, but it’s not impossible. You can start today.
Don’t wait until the morning or next week on Monday, start right now! You can make small adjustments that will lead to major habits and transform your life.
I’ve been where you might be. I’ve been careless about my health and allowed myself to depend on “professionals” to advise me and make recommendations for me.
But I decided to educate myself, and incorporate natural, organic habits. I benefit more, my children benefit more and my family benefits more. Win, win, win.
Ok, I have a lot to say here guys. Here are my top 10 tips to help you get going today!
1.) Make Sure That Your Spiritual Life is Sound
Get your affairs in order and be conscious of staying in good graces. At the very least, try to be a good, moral person.
There is a lot of peace in knowing you’re doing the right thing, knowing you’re helping someone, and knowing that your presence brings positivity and benefit to the world.
2.) Start Small
Make small changes daily. They will lead to long-term habits and right into your new lifestyle.
Don’t become overwhelmed thinking you have to know everything or do everything just right or it won’t work. That’s just not the case.
You only need consistency and determination. You have to want this, and you have to see it through. This is for life. Create, nurture and grow good habits.
3.) Drink Water
Let’s face it, we know a lot of what we drink is packed with sugar and a bunch of other ingredients we can’t even pronounce and know they’re not good for us.
Drinking water has lots of health benefits.
- At least increase your water intake. Again, start small. If you’re not used to drinking water, start drinking 1 bottled water throughout your morning and 1 throughout the evening.
This will allow you to increase your water intake and decrease the junk. Most physicians will tell you to drink at least 8 cups a day, so work up to that.
- You can infuse your water with different fruits or herbs to add flavor and more health benefits.
- Drink a cup of warm lemon water in the morning. It helps flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body. Fresh start to the day. More benefits here.
4.) Drink Green Tea
Green tea is an ancient gem of healthy goodness. It’s packed with antioxidants which aid you when you’re sick, it speeds up your metabolism and gets your bowels moving.
If you’re looking for an added drink to your new lifestyle, alternate between water and green tea. Even expand into different flavors of tea, pretty much every blend has different sets of health benefits.
Common Green Tea Benefits – See Healthline Newsletter for more:
- Improves brain function
- Increases fat burning
- Antioxidants in Green Tea may lower your risk of various types of cancer
- May protect your brain in old age, lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- May reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
Have a cup in the morning with breakfast, or at your meals throughout the day to replace sodas and juices. My kids love it!
5.) Get Moving
Whether you choose to just walk for about 20-30 minutes a day, your health and your body will see massive improvements. Walking for just 30 minutes a day can improve your mood and endurance.
If you want to scale things up a bit, try a few of these ideas:
- Sign up for a class at your local gym. Group fitness is a big deal these days and options for classes to take, continuously expand. You can take Zumba, Dance Classes, Cycling, Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, you have possibilities for days.
- You can get a membership at the gym and just go freestyle it. You can find lots of workouts on YouTube if you need some ideas for the gym, or even Google. There are also apps for tailored gym workouts that you can get right from your phone.
- Get some comfortable work-out clothes, get something cute if you need that for motivation.
- Be sure that if you’re lifting, get some protein in your system within 45 minutes of the workout to replenish your muscles.
6.) Track Your Food Intake
What you put into your body plays a huge role in how you feel and your overall health.
Ok, some may oppose this, and some may love it. I get that no one wants to count calories because it can seem very tedious. Even if you don’t track your calories, jot down what you eat and drink.
If you’re aware of what you’re eating and how much, you can easily see where you can make improvements and find patterns to cut off.
- Make mental notes if you’re not one for writing things down, but be sure you have a good memory.
- Use a journal. There are tons of free printables online if you’d like something creative and flexible. Or you can just buy a notebook from any local store.
- Apps. There are lots of apps available on your Android or iPhone to look into. MyFitnessPal is a calorie tracking app, you can also use the desktop version straight from your computer. The beauty in the app is not just about counting calories. Because you’re tracking calories, it forces you to be mindful of portion sizes which is where a lot of us mess up.
- You may see the calorie count for a huge candy bar and think, oh wow, only 140 calories. But if you look closer, it’s 140 calories per serving and it may say the serving size for the bar is like 2 or 3! Using apps like this one, make us more conscious of serving sizes. It can make a huge difference in itself.
My little portion size horror shock came the first day I started tracking. I’d had dinner at iHop. Once I entered in the meal I had eaten, it was like over 1,000 calories by itself!
Once I looked at my total from the day, it was somewhere around 3,000 easy. It was an eye opener for me. Seeing portions for what they really are can make a huge difference in trying to get to your optimal health. This brings me to my next tip.
7.) Watch Your Portion Size
Like I just mentioned, it’s easy to go overboard when you’re eating something good. Just controlling your portion size can make a drastic difference in the way that you feel and look.
Here are a few ways you can try to avoid eating too much.
- First things first, know the serving size of what you’re eating and just eat one serving.
- For food in large amounts, transfer it and then eat it. By this, I mean like if you have a big bag of chips and the serving size is 15 chips, take out 15 chips and put that on a plate or in a baggie and then eat it from there vs. eating straight from the bag. It’s easier to just keep eating if you don’t.
- Use a smaller plate. If you use a smaller plate, naturally you will put less food on it.
- Make sure that you give yourself some time for your food to settle and register to your brain that you’re not hungry anymore.
- Eat slowly. If you eat slower, you give yourself a chance to break down your food properly and, again, allow your body to register that you’re actually full.
8.) Eat as Clean as Possible
Try to focus on eating food as close to its natural state as possible.
- I’m referencing to staying away from overly processed food as much as you can. You know, the ones with the label that have an ingredients list about a paragraph long. Now this won’t always be the case. Sometimes you have organic/natural processed foods with a lengthy ingredients list too, those foods may not be as bad, just be mindful of what the ingredients are.
- Stay away from the middle aisles at the grocery store (as much as you can). The bulk of the healthy food, like produce, dairy and fresh meats are along the outer areas of the store. Stick to those sections.
- Eat natural and organic food as much as you can. It can seem costly in some places but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in your city, they have store brands that are still organic and cost a little less than the rest of the food in the store. Shop around and get creative. If it comes down to it, pick and choose what you think is more beneficial to eating the organic version of and buy that.
- Experiment a little. Find some healthy recipes and play around with them, make it fun. Pinterest is awesome for that.
- Visit your local farmers market when you can. The produce will be fresh, maybe a little easier on your pockets and you’re supporting families from directly within your community.
- Make shopping lists. Be prepared when you go grocery shopping so that you only buy what you need. Good for your pockets and you’re more likely to stick to the proper food you went looking for.
- Meal plan. Pick a day of the week to sit down and plan your meals for the week. You’re more likely to stay on top of what you’re eating when you know what you will be eating in advance.
- Eat healthy snacks. Reduce eating unhealthy snacks. I’m not going to tell you not to eat your favorite snacks or things you love, but just remember to eat certain things in moderation or try to find a healthier version of it.
- If you eat out, choose healthier menu options. Just about everyone has them now.
- Oh yeah, don’t skip breakfast. This is your fuel for the day and will get you off to a good start. Choose healthy breakfast options that will benefit your mind and body and not give you a sugar high or weigh you down.
Again, start small. Take baby steps to add these tips into your routine.
9.) Organize your Life
Living a life of chaos is toxic for your mental health. We cannot plan for everything in life, but things we can plan for, plan for them. Be as organized as you can, in your space and in your daily activities.
- Use planners. Anytime you have a doctor’s appointment, sports activity, meeting, etc. jot down the date and time. Be prepared.
- Have an idea of how your day is going to go. Plan for what you have going on, the night before.
- I’m Muslim, I have 5 prayers to do throughout the day, so I have to plan when I’m going to certain places based on the time I have to go and if there will be some place to pray nearby. If you have regular activities such as this, everyday, then plan around the timings accordingly.
- Set regular times for meals, sleep, exercises and running errands. If you know when you’re going to do something, it relieves your brain of trying to remember to fit everything in.
10.) Get Your Sleep In
Understand that your body needs the recovery that only sleep provides. You must get in a sufficient amount of sleep if you want to function at your best potential.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends ranges between 7-9 hours a night depending on age. Try these tips to help you sleep better.
- Shoot for going to sleep at the same time every night. It will become routine for you and your body.
- Make sure you have the right mattress and a comfortable pillow. This can make a huge difference in sleeping sound.
- Set the scene:
- Make sure your room is dark.
- Keep electronics away from your sleeping area.
- Use a good old-fashioned alarm clock so that you can keep your phone far away.
As you can see, living a healthy lifestyle includes everything from your spiritual and mental health to physical well-being. You will need to make adjustments over time to cater to all of these aspects of your life.
Accept that this will be a journey and a lifestyle change. It’s going to take discipline and consistency but if you achieve the goal of making the full transition, you will be so happy with yourself!
You’ll have all of the natural benefits that come along with living a healthy lifestyle. You will have more energy and clarity and be prepared for all that life has to throw at you.
Stay the course. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. You owe it to yourself and I’m rooting for you!
Go start now! Go drink a bottle of water, have a cup of tea, go to bed on time tonight, go for a walk, make your next snack a good one and make your next trip to the grocery store a health food shopping binge. Start right now!
Have you recently adopted any habits that improved your quality of life? Share with us, comment below.
Best to you, Shante ♥