24 Jul 5 Easy Things You Can Do for Your Health Right Now
By now it’s almost common knowledge that to live a healthy lifestyle, you should eat more fruits and veggies and in general eat whole, unprocessed foods. But for those of you looking to make a few small changes that will have a big impact, here are a few things you can do.
This is by no means a complete list, but just some simple recommendations that won’t require you to change your whole diet overnight.
You know this will always be my recommendation right? Yes, I’m obsessed, but I have good reason. Did you know that most people absorb about 90% of the nutrients from liquids and only 40-60% from what they eat? That’s because liquids (unlike solid foods) don’t have to be broken down in the small intestine, so all those nutrients can get into your bloodstream stat. Also, most people’s guts are compromised so they may not be breaking down everything efficiently and many of those nutrients get lost during the digestion process.
Plus, how else would you ever give your body the nutrients of half a head of kale, 2 celery stalks, half a cucumber, an apple, ginger slice, half a lemon and 2 carrots? That would be a lot of food to eat! Just be sure if you are juicing to do so on an empty stomach and use mostly veggies and only 1-2 sweet items (apples, carrots, etc). There are some great juice recipes for you here. For me, even a few times a week (at less than 15 minutes for prep-clean-up) does wonders for my energy, digestion and overall feeling of well-being.
2. Use Coconut Oil
If you haven’t heard…coconut oil is the new olive oil, especially for cooking at high temperatures (if you are still using other vegetable oils, you really need to jump on this train!) Olive oil can actually go rancid at higher temperatures and have a negative impact on your body, so save olive oil for salads and drizzling over already cooked foods. Coconut oil stands up to high temperatures and has the highest MCT’s (which are healthy fats, in regular people terms) and has all kinds of other properties that benefit your brain, heart and much more. It’s the superfood of healthy fats!
3. Get Sunlight
If you live in San Diego, this should be really easy. By now you may know that getting at least 20 minutes of sun on your skin a day gives you the vitamin D you need. But did you know that your body takes in sunlight from your eyes and then sends it to a gland in your brain to produce serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood, appetite and sleep)? To get the most benefits, don’t wear glasses or sunglasses…and don’t stare directly at the sun (duh), just get outside and let the light in! For extra energy benefits..walk in the grass with bare feet (or for even more fun, do cartwheels!).
Connecting with the outdoors and the earth is good for you on so many levels. I may sound like a cheesy new-wave hippie, but try it, and then tell me that you didn’t feel at least a little better afterwards.
4. Use Natural Sweeteners
I think you probably know by now that white sugar is no bueno . And all of those fake sweeteners on the market aren’t any better. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of all of the harm they can cause to your body, but trust me on this, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose (sweet & low, nutrasweet, equal and splenda) are not your friends. My favorite replacement is Stevia, but make sure you get a good quality brand like this one (might seem pricey, but you use very little so it will last forEVER). Honey is also really good for you on so many levels and great to incorporate into your every day diet. I also use agave nectar, though I know that there are some mixed reviews lately. It’s still waaaaay better than white sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners though.
5. Take Vitamins
I have gone back and forth about taking vitamins and supplements, since I tend to eat super healthy most of the time and juice almost every day. But after taking nutrition & herb classes, I have a fully stocked natural-product-pharmacy in my house. If you want more information…check out this article on how vitamins can help your health. Remember, vitamins ARE NOT a substitute for a healthy diet, but our food sources have been depleted of many nutrients and sometimes it’s hard to eat perfectly all the time, so why not help yourself out a bit?
In addition, be sure to always drink PLENTY of water…especially in the summer heat! You’d be surprised how many simple ailments are simply the result of dehydration.
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