Many of us wonder where to start making changes for a healthier lifestyle. Honestly, the best place to start is ANYWHERE (but that doesn’t help, does it? ;). There is so much info online, I wanted to streamline it and give you a few action steps you can start right now.
Like any list, don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. Small changes over time will yield big results, because you’ve given yourself time to implement them into your daily routine, and they become habits. Habits are EVERYTHING! If you try to do it all at once, it can backfire because it’s hard to juggle all the new things and you’re more likely to get frustrated and give up altogether.
- Eat real food, mostly plants.
Anywhere you look online, you’ll find more and more studies show what’s really just common sense: plants are AMAZING for us! We digest more easily when we eat raw plants (hello, enzymes!), get all those antioxidants and vitamins, and the people I know with the glowing skin are eating lots of organic fruits & veggies! I know my skin certainly takes a dive when my diet lacks plants. Just imagine what it does on the inside!
2. Exercise consistently
The simplest way to do this while getting results for your health (think blood sugar regulation!), looks, and the way you feel, is to do three 20-minute HIIT sessions per week. As a busy mom, sometimes this is all I can do in a week! And it’s so much easier than playing the dread-mill or Stairmaster game for hours every week.
3. Think “green”
When I’ve over-indulged in sweets or dairy, I get right back on track by seeing how much green I can get on my plate, at every meal. For example, I’ll have a green smoothie for breakfast, then salad with avocado for lunch (double green!), then fill most of my plate with green veggies for dinner. Before I was so sensitive to caffeine, I’d even drink a glass of iced matcha green tea for added green power! I always feel tremendously better after just a day of eating like this.
4. Receive regular chiropractic care
I believe people (at least in the US) seriously underestimate the benefits of chiropractic adjustments. When our infant daughter had mild constipation issues, and a chiropractor was recommended, I didn’t make the connection. I didn’t think an adjustment would help. When it did, I and when it was explained to me that locked or out-of-place vertebrae can affect all kinds of body systems, I started to understand. Since then, I’ve seen improvement in my own sinus pressure and headaches from regular chiropractic adjustments – I’m talking immediate improvement following an adjustment, that returns after going too long between adjustments. I’m a true believer now!
5. Start a simple essential oil routine
Just start with a few oils a day in, on, and around you. Drink a few drops of your favorite citrus oil in water (glass or metal container only, please) to uplift your mood. Apply Frankincense and Peppermint to your feet in the morning to feel refreshed and invigorated. And use Lavender or Cedarwood (or both) in the diffuser or on your feet or with water for a pillow spray at night to sleep deeper.
6. Drink more water
There are tons of ways to make drinking water fun on Pinterest – like adding fruit or decorating your water bottle. My #1 tip is to drink at least a glass of room temp or warmer water FIRST THING in the morning, on an empty stomach. Makes digestion soo much easier throughout the day.
7. Rest one day a week
This one should be so easy, right? Wrong! In our culture, anyway, it seems easier to be busy all the time than to take a break. Relax. It is OK not to reply “Going” to all 5 events this weekend on your Facebook event page! Attend the events that really matter – that close friends or family are hosting, that fuel your creative side, or you’re really interested in. Leave the rest. Make one day a week “leftover day” and you won’t have to cook anything or wash dishes. Spend that day praying, meditating, and doing things that make you come alive! (Cue my current favorite song, Come Alive, found here.)
8. Read a book every month
Beside the escape from reality that only a good book can provide, there are so many health benefits to reading. I’d clarify by saying – read one book per month that makes you a better person. Imagine the difference a year from now after reading 12 books for personal development! Some of my favorites are The Slight Edge, Quiet, and (the classic) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.