2015 has just begun…
If you’ve ever set resolutions before, you know how easily they can fall by the wayside. So, this year I’ve put together a fail-proof list of “habits”—not resolutions—that will make you feel so good, you’ll never want to turn back.
1. Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression with Probiotics
Brand new research has made another compelling argument for the importance of the normal flora in our bodies. A study published in Psychopharmacology showed that pre-biotics (fiber that feeds good bacteria) make a significant difference in our emotional state. Volunteers taking a pre-biotic had lower cortisol levels, reduced anxiety and depression, and less of a stress response to negative stimuli than the volunteers who received a placebo.
I’ve taken Flora-Key for years now. I pop it into my morning smoothie, use it as a sweetener and add it to no-heat recipes. I’m thankful it provides complete microbiome support offering prebiotic FOS and probiotics acidophilus, B. longum, B. bifidum, L. reuteri, and L. plantarum.
2. Practice Oil Pulling
This ancient Ayurvedic technique is the swishing of oil (coconut, sesame or macadamia nut) to remove harmful bacteria from your gums and between your teeth. Benefits include fresh breath, whiter teeth, fewer sick days, less sensitivity and reduction of gum pockets.
First thing upon waking up, take ten to twenty minutes to swish about 2 teaspoons of oil as you go about your morning routine, checking email doing yoga stretches and reading the news. When you’re finished, spit the oil into a plastic baggie and discard. Follow by rinsing and brushing your teeth.
3. Drink Hot Lemon Water
Let the first beverage of your day be one that packs a punch of healthy advantages. Squeezing half a lemon into a cup of hot water creates an elixir that alkalizes your body, improves digestion and fat burning, stabilizes blood sugar, detoxifies your liver and strengthens immunity.
Lemon rind contains limonene, a compound that PubMed explains, “Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
4. Quit Comparing Yourself to Everyone Else
Social media often serves as a platform to present a “highlight” reel of our lives. Engaging in too much online activity prevents you from being present in your real life.
We often compare our seemingly mundane every day life to the more exciting experiences our friends are sharing non-stop. The truth is, we all are presented with amazing opportunities throughout our lives, and wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out because we’re too busy living vicariously through others?
5. Get Back to Your Roots
Your ancestors really knew a thing or two about sustaining themselves by selecting nourishing foods that were available in their immediate geographical area. You can do the same!
Learn which particular foods best suit your unique blood type and genetic heritage in my book Your Body Knows Best. Apply those principles as much as you can to foods that are locally grown and sold. Not only will you thrive nutritionally, but so will your local economy and our global environment.
6. Bone Up On Broth
Create nourishing homemade soups for yourself and your family by simmering this simple soup that offers the ultimate in nutrition. Beef, poultry or fish bones can be boiled with vegetables to create a stock rich in minerals, collagen (for beautiful skin, hair and fingernails), glucosamine and chondroitin (for healthy joints) and gelatin (to fortify the digestive tract to protect against and heal leaky gut).
7. Start a Food Journal
Food sensitivity awareness is on the rise. Gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs and nuts are gaining recognition as common dietary culprits. But, how do you know if they aren’t for you? Right off the bat I’ll tell you that corn and soy have got to go! They are both major GMO crops. Corn is frequently a source of toxic mold. Unfermented soy is a hormone disrupter.
The best way to narrow down your food sensitivity risk is by keeping a detailed food diary noting your body’s experiences and reactions to each food in question. Reactions like gas, bloating, sleepiness, headaches or cramps can occur anywhere from 10 minutes to 12 hours after you’ve eaten. By honestly tracking these types of responses, you’ll be able to clearly identify which foods are hidden sources of inflammation.
8. De-Clutter Your Life
Feng Shui principles help direct the flow of energy in a positive way through our homes and business environments. Clutter traps and blocks that flow of energy, so take some time to clear out your personal spaces.
Each time you clean or organize a room, use the rule of 5. Find 5 things (garbage, old magazines, broken items, stained clothing, etc.) that you can throw out or donate. Let these things go and you’ll be surprised as you open yourself up to receiving better things in the future.
9. Meditate Daily
I’m reluctant to even put a label on this one, as meditation can be something different for everyone. You might enjoy a minute of deep breathing before entering the office in the morning. Your best friend may daydream while looking at photos of tropical locales and imagine feeling the sun on her skin and sand between her toes. Maybe your mother winds down by knitting or crocheting in the evening.
Whatever promotes a sense of peace and allows your mind to relax—do that. Every day. Even if only for a moment!
10. Turn Your Cellphone Off at Night
Sleeping with a smart phone inches away from our heads is increasingly common in our digital society. Not only does this cause distraction as we are trying to fall asleep, but these devices actually emit electromagnetic frequencies that disrupt our very basic biological processes. The non-ionizing radiation from cell phones triggers the production of over 20 stress proteins that negatively impact your adrenals and thyroid.
For ideal rest and rejuvenation, power down your mobile devices about two hours before bedtime. At the very least, set your phone to “airplane mode” or remove it from your bedroom.
Weigh in below with your game plan for 2015 and share any helpful tips that you would like to pass along. I’d be thrilled to hear from you!