The end of the year can inspire reflection and introspection as we consider what we have accomplished and all the things we have left to achieve.
Staying healthy and fit usually tops the list of our New Year’s Resolutions, as people seek to cleanse and detoxify from the gluttony of the holiday season. But we’d like to throw an idea out there: what if you were able to maintain your health habits all year round, rather than abandon them a few weeks later?
These five health habits are straightforward, simple, inexpensive and don’t subscribe to any fad diet philosophy. They are attainable, which means you can start practising them after you finish reading this post and won’t get sick of them by next week.
After all, today is the day!
Start off your morning with water and lemon.
Drinking a cup of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice helps to kickstart digestion, encourage detoxification and alkalize your body. Plus, since some of us struggle to drink water throughout the day, coming right out of the gate with a full glass of water hydrates you and will perhaps encourage you to drink more of it!
Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice (not juice from a lemon-shaped bottle, please) to receive the best health benefits. If you find it a pain to cut and squeeze your lemons every morning, juice several lemons at once and keep the juice in a jar in the fridge. It will last for about a week, and you can use the juice in other recipes like salad dressings or other condiments.
Move your body each day.
Our bodies aren’t meant to sit in front of computers all day. We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but using your thumbs on your smartphone doesn’t count as a workout.
While working up a sweat is great for detoxification (remember – our skin is our largest elimination organ), gentle exercise every day helps to improve circulation, bring oxygen to our tissues and lift our mood. Try walking, cycling, rebounding, dancing, or hatha yoga to get yourself moving.
Eat at least one green thing daily.
Green foods – including dark leafy greens, broccoli, seaweeds, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, avocado, green beans, parsley, mint, dill and more – are jam-packed with a plethora of nutrients that support our overall health.
Antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre, anti-cancer compounds, amino acids, anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, blood-building minerals – green-pigmented foods are like taking a multivitamin. With the wide variety of green foods to choose from, you’ll be sure to find at least a few that you can rotate throughout your meals daily.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, check out this post detailing 5 ways to eat dark leafy greens.
Fuel yourself with high-quality protein sources.
Good quality protein is crucial to daily function, and some of us don’t get enough of it. Protein helps us to produce digestive enzymes, generate hormones, build our immunity and blood, structure our bones, teeth, hair, nails and skin, and offer us energy.
It’s important to choose protein sources carefully, particularly if you eat animal products. We recommend purchasing organic animal protein sources, preferably from a local farmer that you know and trust. If you’re vegan, ensure you choose organic, non-GMO soy products, and opt for raw, organic nuts and seeds to avoid pesticides. To make nuts, seeds, beans and legumes more digestible, soak them and cook them using these tricks.
Gratitude lowers our stress levels, enhances our relationships and improves sleep. Gratitude is a muscle that we need to ‘work out’ daily – and here are some fantastic tips for how to practice it.
Think about the things you are grateful for: food, partners, parents, friends, children, a roof over your head, a warm bed to sleep in, sunshine, the possibilities are endless. Write down what you are grateful for, either in a list you can consult to remind yourself of your blessings or on post-it notes that you display around the house where you can see them. If you feel so inclined, write someone a love letter to tell them why you are grateful to have him or her in your life.
The more gratitude you display, the more likely it is that gratitude will return to you and enhance your daily life.