New Year New YOU? WHY NOT! I want you to tell yourself that this year is the year! I don’t care if it’s January or September by the time you read this. I just want to help as many of you as I can so I’ve come up with a list of healthy habits for you to incorporate into your life. I want you to save this list somewhere (bookmark the page, Pinterest, Facebook, print it out etc.) and then take 1-2 things from this list and incorporate them weekly. It’s in a random order so don’t worry about that… And although there are 10 habits, each one can be expanded into so many categories. Once you’ve incorporated 1-2 things you want to focus on, you can then switch it up to focus on other goals/areas or add additional items if you think you can handle more. What you choose depends on where you’re at and what your goals are! If you’re looking for more tips on how to set realistic goals, you can read this post I wrote back in 2017 by clicking here.
P.S. This is meant to be a general guideline for MOST people. However, since everyone is unique, I do recommend speaking to your doctor/health professional with any concerns you may have or if you’re ready for a personalized wellness plan, email me to work together at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s dive into this list shall we!
- Aim to drink 1-2 glasses MORE water a day than what you’re currently doing. Forget the gallon a day and let’s just increase your current intake first. However, if you think you can drink that much, then I like the idea of having a gallon water bottle with lines showing you quotes and timing. They’re relatively inexpensive off of Amazon like this one.
- Get your sleep routine consistent. Going to bed around the same time and having a routine will help your body know it’s time for bed. I like to wind down with some tea, read, play some music or meditate. I don’t recommend supplementation with Melatonin as something to rely on to fall asleep as your body naturally makes it and by supplementing, you reduce the body’s need to create its own. The only time I normally recommend Melatonin is for jetlag and when your body needs a reset (for example: with shift workers). If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s important to get to the root cause.
- Start a supplement regime (with good quality supplements!). Due to farming practices, our soils are more depleted than ever before and sadly many people aren’t getting optimal levels of their vitamins and minerals. Although not required, a few supplements can greatly improve your energy, immune system, gut etc. Everyone is unique but my general favourites would be Vitamin D3, Omega 3 fish oil, Magnesium & B Complex. P.s. I can’t stress the importance of buying a good quality brand. I’ve linked some of the brands I trust and are nutritionist approved (please don’t buy a shitty drugstore brand with a pretty label and low $). Please don’t flush your money down the drain! Quality matters here. I’m always happy to provide personal recommendations once I know your health history or you can always go into a local drug store and see what they recommend. I don’t always take each pill daily, I like to keep my favourites on hand and then rotate daily.
- Consume more probiotics via supplements or food. Probiotics are one of my favourite supplements because you can feel the difference they make rather quickly. I like to rotate the type I use because each brand will use a different combination of bacteria strains, which offers more diversity for your gut! Generally, I stick to HMF Genestra probiotics. The strain/CFU you get will depend on your needs. FYI The higher the number, the stronger they are. In addition to supplementing, I also like to incorporate food sources of probiotics like unpasteurized fermented saukerkraut, pickles, tempeh, miso, kimchi etc. If you’re getting anything that you think is fermented, make sure it’s in the refrigerator and not shelf stable! Shelf stable products are usually pickled in vinegar/ are pasteurized and thereby kill all the good bacteria you would get from naturally fermented foods.
- Swap your laundry soap for fragrance free/more natural brands. Personal care products are one of the biggest allergens for many people and can affect your respiratory system. I like to start with laundry soap because it’s easy to replace when your current one is finished! Personally, I like using Nellie’s Laundry Detergent. It cleans my clothes and leaves no significant smell. Trust me, once you’ve swapped over and you try your old detergent, you will be like WOW the other one smelled so strong.
- Exercise by way of walking, running or traditional exercise at a gym or at home etc. Did you know that your immune system relies on you to move the lymph around your body? Our immune system needs movement of the lymph to do its thing! The exercise doesn’t need to be intense but you’ll be happier and healthier for it. I love at home stretching/yoga or even some band work. Exercise bands are relatively cheap from Amazon and take up very little space if you want to start exercising at home. I have both the smaller loops and larger loops for some variety as well as a few light dumbbells when I’m not going to the gym.
- Try something new like cooking a vegetable you’re not familiar with. For me this was eggplant! I grew up eating it but always found it so daunting to cook with but now I love it! We’re so eager to rely on what we know but that’s not always the best. Different vegetables offer different nutrients so it’s worth it to try something new.
- Read a book. Many of us (me included) gave up reading for quite some time. It seemed like I was always reading for school that I never found time to read for pleasure anymore. 2020 was the first year I read fictional books in SO long and I loved it. As someone who is always working, getting lost in a good book is such a nice habit to have.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Whether you’re doing sober January or not, limiting how many drinks you have per week is always a good idea. Since alcohol enters the blood stream very quickly, it affects your liver as your liver needs to work hard to process the incoming “toxin” and transform it into something that can be eliminated. Your liver can approximately process only 1 ounce per hour so the rest of the liquor sits in your blood stream and organs until this process can be completed with all 10 drinks you had! Limiting your intake really depend on where you’re at but perhaps that means having only 1 glass of wine per night or only drinking (in moderation) on weekends or swapping your fancy cocktails for a vodka, soda and lime. I really want you to acknowledge where YOU’RE at instead of forcing this mold that you think you should be. Make yourself an attainable promise.
- Increase/check your protein intake. Unless you’re eating the Standard American Diet, surprisingly many people do not get enough protein in their diet. This is something I really like to focus on because if you’re always hungry, snacking or unsatisfied, especially after eating your meals, it may be that you’re not getting enough protein or fat into your diet and are instead consuming simple carbohydrates. Both protein & fat make you feel full and satiated and simple carbohydrates are processed by the body quickly. By swapping simple carbohydrates with complex grains like whole grain pasta, oatmeal or brown rice, you retain the fiber, which slows down the absorption of foods.
I hope you found these healthy habits helpful! I’m here to support you in your health goals and just remember it’s not all or nothing. The key to life changes are baby steps so incorporate some things and if you’re ready to work 1:1, feel free to reach out!