To live a healthy lifestyle requires us to have healthy habits. This can be challenging at times, though so very worth it if you can stay consistent with what works for you.
Having healthy habits helps our body stay balanced in all areas, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So here are some habits you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine and experience a healthier version of yourself straight away. Just pick one or two, to begin with, and do these for one to two weeks before choosing to include and introduce any more. Enjoy the process, be kind to yourself and find what works for you.
- This is key to our health, it is so important to be flushing out the toxins we feed our bodies and what it takes on, daily.
- Staying hydrated not only supports our gut and bowel movement, but it also helps support our liver health too.
- So an idea of fluids that count towards hydration is plain water, water infused with fresh fruits and herbs and herbal teas.
This helps to repair every part of our body. If you do not get enough protein, you can feel run down, lack energy and feel weak. Foods that are high in protein are: poultry, seafood, eggs, lentils, beans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, nut butters, Greek yoghurt, quinoa, clean protein powder and good quality meat.
- Probiotic foods feed bacteria, natural foods are fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, Kombucha, kafir and yoghurts with live bacteria
- Prebiotics promotes the growth of bacteria, natural foods here are onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, chicory root, bananas, apples, oats and flaxseeds.
- Digestive enzymes help break down foods and enable better absorption of nutrients.
As we age our bodies do need help in this area and so I would highly recommend taking a supplement. You can purchase supplements that have pre and probiotics alongside the digestive enzymes. This makes life easier in only needing the one supplement and is great as they all work together for supporting the gut.
- Collagen is a well-known nutrient that is often recommended for our skin health, however, collagen is also essential for our gut health, as it helps strengthen the stomach lining and gut wall. Which helps prevent things like leaky gut, and so this has a healthy impact on our mental health too. Foods rich in collagen are fish, chicken, garlic and eggs, I would also recommend taking a supplement to ensure you are getting enough.
Enjoy your food
Sit down and take the time to enjoy and chew food properly. This will help with absorption, bile production and healthy stomach acid levels, alongside digestion and preventing indigestion and other symptoms like bloating.
These are important and when I talk about fats I mean in the form of omega 3 and not omega 6. Like protein, healthy fats help reduce cravings and are also essential for our, joint, ligament and brain health. A good source of fats includes olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, nut butter, seeds and oily fish.
This is very important for feeding the diverse bacteria needed in our gut. Foods high in fibre are fruits, vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, fresh herbs, baked potatoes both white and sweet, beans, berries, buckwheat and pearl barley.
Gluten and Wheat
Limit or eliminate gluten and wheat, these turn to sugar rapidly and quite often feed any inflammation that may be present in the body. They have also been linked to many neurological issues like anxiety and depression.
Plan ahead, preferably a week and batch cook where possible. You can pick up meal planners or even make your own to help keep you on track.
Be aware of the time you eat and keep that routine if you can. I recommend it to my clients too. Eat-in a 10-12 hour window and have your last meal by 7pm at night if possible. This helps the gut to repair and regenerate whilst you sleep. If you work shifts or evenings, try to create a routine around that, which still enables your gut to have downtime so to speak.
- Movement every day helps to keep the body flexible and the organs strong. Both cardio and strength training is important and you can do these in many different ways.
- Stretching, yoga, walking or the gym are all strong suggestions. We are a society that sits for long periods, so stretching the spine and moving the back often is really important if you are able.
- Focusing on the breath is important here too, try to be aware of how you are breathing. Is it shallow or deep? Shallow breathing puts stress on our bodies, whilst deeper breathing helps to expand and stretch the lungs and also keeps the body in a more relaxed state, which feeds more oxygen to our muscles, joints, ligaments and brain.
- It’s important to take some time out for yourself every day, doing something that you love, even if only for 10 – 15 minutes.
- You could take a bath, journal, read, practise gratitude or meditate. Taking time out to observe how you are feeling and if your body is trying to communicate anything to you is vitally important and a great step to living intuitively.
Have a regular time to go to bed and wake every day, it is recommended that our bodies rest and sleep for 7-9 hours in complete darkness. This enables us to produce the hormone melatonin which helps regulate our sleep and helps us relax.
- I have mentioned some of this earlier, reduce or eliminate processed sugars like dairy, gluten, sauces like ketchup, cereals and packaged foods.
- Alcohol comes under this category too. All of these choices turn to sugar rapidly and feed disease and any inflammation in the body.
- Lifestyle illnesses like diabetes type 2, digestive issues, skin issues, thyroid problems, menopause symptoms, anxiety and depression, fibromyalgia to name a few
We are a product of what we feed our bodies, every cell is made up of the food choices we choose and the things we feed our minds. What we read, watch and listen to.
Create healthy habits, not restrictions and you can create a sustainable lifestyle, healthy isn’t a goal, it’s a way of living.