So you have decided to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and improve your wellbeing? Great! Living a healthy lifestyle has so many benefits.
But being healthy is not just having a healthy weight or looking skinny.
One can be after all too skinny. In other words, being healthy is more than just how many pounds you weigh or the diets you have been on.
Being healthy involves your whole way of being and relating, and choices, of course including food choices.
It is about the thoughts you think the way you feel the food you eat, the company you keep, and more.
So let’s take a look at what it entails to start living a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to be healthier starting today here are a few habits you need to start.
Get your mindset right
Once you decide to start living a healthy lifestyle, it is important to get your mindset right. At times, you will need the fortitude to make the right choices, to do that workout, and even to stay away from those sweets.
One way to have this fortitude is to have a great why you want to live healthier. Look at your why in the face daily for inspiration to stay the course.
Choose healthy nutrition
The best way to eat healthily is to eat a variety of foods.
This helps you get a variety of vital nutrients. That is why you want to avoid restrictive diets.
Be wary of diets that say to avoid carbs in general. There are healthy carbs to choose from.
There just cannot be a healthy lifestyle without eating healthy.
But what does eating healthy mean?
First of all, eating healthy is not going on diet after diet or any diet at all.
Eating healthy means eating natural food, and reasonable portions.
So as you embark on a healthy lifestyle you need to choose your food wisely. Make sure your food includes;
- fruits and vegetables
- Healthy protein sources
- healthy carbs
- healthy fats
Look for meal ideas and plans that incorporate these foods.
The best way to incorporate more vegetables and fruits can be to make healthy salads, such as fruit and vegetable salads.
Look around Pinterest for inspiration.
By the same token as eating healthy, it is good to know your specific health needs.
This means that for some people certain foods are bad or cause problems. If you have hypothyroidism, you want to stay away from goitrogens such as eggplants for example.
If you have a leaky gut, some foods can increase the inflammation associated with gut health and should be avoided.
The best way to start eating healthy is to ease into it if not used to certain foods.
Start adding more vegetables slowly and before you know it your palate will adjust and stop craving unhealthy food.
Do some healthy swaps and instead of reaching for that cookie for a snack, eat a fruit.
And so instead of getting empty calories, you will get the nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants in fruit plus fiber and good carbs.
Of course, if you are diabetic, eat the fruit in moderation.
Some great benefits of healthy eating include
- Good nutrition has the power to heal brain health issues such as depression and anxiety, or at least ease the symptoms.
- Reduce inflammation. unhealthy food causes systemic inflammation beginning from the gut, causing leaky gut, and eventually whole-body inflammation and metabolic problems like diabetes eat disease joint disease and more.
- More energy. Avoid fatigue and brain fog. Eating healthy will give you more energy, and make you clear-headed and able to focus so you can do more with your day.
- Age well and gracefully
- Keep your gut healthy. remember 70 percent of your immune health is in the gut. So eat gut-healthy food like sugar-free yogurt, fermented foods, and prebiotic foods like vegetables and fruits.
Supplements and vitamins are not always needed if you are eating natural healthy food. But in some cases, they may be needed.
Some vitamin deficiencies are very common such as vitamin D, and some B vitamins such as B 12, magnesium, and iron.
Please check with your doctor before supplementing.
Avoid processed foods
Avoid processed foods if you want to start living a healthy lifestyle.
Processed foods are inflammatory and are really the main cause of today’s many health problems.
It is no wonder we have extreme obesity and many chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances, and gut health problems, and many systemic health problems.
The problems with processed foods are many.
Some like those made with white flour are made from grains that have been stripped of all nutrients.
The germ the brain and the endosperm are removed.
That removes some nutrients -minerals like magnesium, some vitamins, and antioxidants making these foods pretty much empty calories.
And because the outer covering is removed along with fiber now these grains are just simple sugar that will likely elevate blood sugar and eventually lead to insulin resistance and likely diabetes.
Many processed foods contain too many simple sugars and high fructose corn syrup.
And that leads to many metabolic disturbances including obesity and inflammation.
Fast food is simply bad for you.
The problem is MSG and other bad preservatives, simple sugars, and omega-6 oils.
Rethink those crackers, cookies, white bread and french fries, and many many of the prepackaged foods including those from the refrigerated section in the supermarket.
Instead, opt for whole grains.
Whole natural foods. Shop organic. Go to the farmer’s markets. Buy local.
Move your body
So many of us are not moving enough. We have desk jobs, and after that, we go home and scroll social media while sitting, watch TV and then go to sleep and do it all over again.
The thing is if you are not into exercise, it is hard to get started. I should know.
But you have to psych yourself into it and adjust that mindset by thinking of all the benefits you will get. Does a slimmer summer body and looking good in clothes motivate you?
Set a healthy goal even if it is just saying you will do a 30 min walk every day.
And really it is not hard to move your body. These days it is easier than before.
Now you can move right into your home.
- You can watch exercise videos on youtube for your TV or even your cell phone and do those exercises
- There are many other ways to include more movement in your day:
- You can do chores
- Take out your old WII if you have one of those
Other ways to move your body that are also easy to do may also include:
- Parka a little further so you can walk a bit
- Go to the park and walk around- just keep social distance while there.
- Take the stairs often at work and in other places you go.
There are so many benefits to moving your body which include
- Improved circulation means nutrients reach all the organs and toxins removal through your lymphatic system is better.
- You feel good. Your mental health improves as you have more endorphins released when you exercise.
- You strengthen your muscles and bones.
- You strengthen your heart(it is a muscle) and that improves cardiac output.
- Improved elimination ( stop that chronic constipation)
Take care of your mind
Be protective of your mind.
A healthy lifestyle means nourishing your mind with healthy food and avoiding toxic foods like excess sugar. ( sugar is a toxin, esp toxic to the brain.)
Also, expose your mind to healthy things. Be careful about what you watch on TV. Some TV shows, and other media. Something has a negative effect on your mind.
For me watching violent shows is toxic, too much negativity on TV or other media has a negative effect on you.
Improve your mental health through regular meditation and yoga. These quiet your mind and center you so you feel balanced.
Are you sleeping enough? This is one area of healthy living that many people fail at as they burn the midnight oil side hustling or sometimes just binge-watching Netflix.
Lack of sleep affects health in many ways including making you crave certain foods that are bad for you, and you eat more too.
The result is weight gain with its implied health complications.
The health benefits of good sleep are many including
- Mood and mental health
- Improved immunity
- weight loss
- Having more energy-meaning increased productivity and better mental fortitude and clarity.
But sleeping well and enough is hard for many people. If you struggle with insomnia, there are a few things you can do to improve sleep quality ad quantity.
- Improve your circadian system. Nature is smart and everything including sleep has a pattern, a rhythm. So the best way to be in tune with your internal clock is to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
- Develop a night routine that includes healthy rituals like a relaxing bath, journaling, prayers, reading, and no blue screens an hour before bed.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary of peace and comfort
And here are a few more tips for improved sleep to help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep.
Get regular check-ups
No one likes to go to the doctor or at least many people don’t. it is a hassle. But keeping up with regular check-ups is important.
Just in case. If anything starts going wrong then hopefully it can be found on time and treated.
So keep up with your physicals even if you feel well.
While you are scheduling your check-ups, make sure to see your dentist regularly too.
Drink more water
You cannot be healthy if you’re not drinking enough water. Remember most of the body is mainly water.
Water is needed for all your metabolic needs from energy production to waste removal.
Drinking adequate water is very important for optimal health. When you are adequately hydrated it will help you
- lose weight
- feel more energetic
- make your skin look radiant and glow
- improve cognition and decrease mental fog
- improve gut health digestion and waste removal) and resolve issues like constipation
- improve the function of your vital organs like the kidneys and the heart: dehydration can lead to acute kidney failure and the heart beats rapidly and erratically when you are dehydrated.
You can drink other things than water such as tea, soups or even juicy fruits and vegetables to help with hydration.
But you need to avoid sugary drinks.
Those just don’t do you any favors. They even dehydrate you.
The body responds to excess sugar by making you go to the bathroom more so the sugar can come out through urine.
So sodas are not really hydrating.
Invest in great relationships
We are social beings and we thrive in healthy relationships. we crave those good friendships.
And I know we get busy with kids and jobs and commitments, but find a way to schedule time with friends.
Now I know the time has changed since this COVID-19 scare.
But we can still meet virtually and talk on the phone. Friendships require maintenance.
And keep in mind that no one is perfect. Really. We all have our foibles.
So there may be a friend you have who may have a trait that you are not all crazy about. It is okay.
Focus on her many other good qualities. And when little strifes occur, talk, and iron things out.
Conversely, some people are JUST not good for you.
They bring all your vibes down and weigh you down and wear you out. Stay AWAY.
You don’t need that negativity. Focus on people who bring you joy and build you up and invigorate your mind. Healthy living requires healthy relationships.
If possible use your microwave less or not at all to reduce radiation.
turn off your WIFI at night and keep your cell phone away from you when you sleep.
Don’t keep it under the pillow. And I know this is hard don’t keep it in your hands all day long.
Take out the toxins
The good news is that your body already has a system of taking out toxins.
So if you have done most of the above tips then you are set and all you may need to do is to enhance the systems that do the detox work for you.
A few things to add would be like include more herbs and spices.
Take cilantro for example. Research shows it removes heavy metals and chemicals.
And if you like salsa, make a fresh batch and enjoy the protection.
Eat more broccoli, cabbage, and other sulfur-containing foods like garlic and onions, and eggs. These types of foods are great detoxifiers according to research.
Additionally, sulfur-containing foods support your body’s main detoxifier- your glutathione.
Glutathione protects us from reactive oxygen and nitrogen species or free radicals from the environment and by-products from the metabolic process throughout the body including the brain.
According to research, you can also support your glutathione function by eating the following foods and spices:
- chili peppers
- fruits( berries)
Read this article on many more ways of increasing and optimizing your glutathione.
More on toxins…
Okay, if you must drink, drink in moderation only.
Your detox center is the liver, and when you drink alcohol, the liver is loaded with the detoxing of alcohol and breaking it down, and eventually, with repeated exposure, it stops working well, and toxins build up leading to cirrhosis and systemic disease.
We all know how bad smoking is. It was bad enough when people only smoked tobacco without all the filler toxins, some meant to make smoking more addictive. Nowadays, cigarettes including e-cigarettes are full of toxins.
Use natural products
Also, we cannot talk about avoiding toxins without talking about the products we use daily.
Evaluate your beauty and care products where any toxins hide.
Go for natural beauty and care products from reputable sources.
Use natural household cleaning products
Many cleaning products are harmful. That is why when you are cleaning with bleach you have to open the windows.
It is better to just avoid such and use baking soda, vinegar, and other natural products for cleaning your house.
My favorite cleaner is VEO Active-Probiotics All Purpose Cleaner Spray.
This smells so good and has no bleach, formaldehyde, phosphates, or Quads. Just a heavenly clean house.
Buy yours on Amazon.
Live with passion and purpose
Life can feel so heavy and mentally draining when you are not living a life aligned with your purpose and passion. So ask yourself, what would you rather do in life?
What work would you like to do that fulfilled you?
Where would you rather live? How do you envision your perfect day?
These questions will help you clarify the vision for your best life so you can take steps to create it.
Start by taking steps daily toward creating the life you want.
Educate yourself, follow inspiring people, and most importantly take action.
Yes, it is hard but the action is what moves you towards accomplishing.
A healthy life is a life that you live on your own terms.
A life you wake every morning excited about. So go for it.
Take time for you
Don’t put your self-care on the back burner. You are important too and you need to balance your mental health.
That is why self-care is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.
Have self-care routines to help you with prioritizing self-care.
A night routine helps you to wind down for a good night’s rest.
And a good morning routine will help you start your day in a healthy stress-free way while setting you up for a productive and stress-free day.
Take time to relax and have your time breaks during the day for a happy healthy mind. Have a tasty cup of tea
- read a book
- listen to music
- eat a healthy snack
- talk a friend
- go for a walk
- write in your journal
And the list of self-care ideas is really only limited to whatever healthy way you like to relax.
So there you have it! These are the main elements of a healthy lifestyle.
Which of these are you already practicing? Are there some you need to start and add to your lifestyle?
Tell me in the comments.
And cheers, as you embark on a new healthier lifestyle!
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