4 healthy habits to do daily to live in a body you love
I’m sat on my sofa with a glass of ginger and cherry infused kefir water (my latest experiment which I’ll share with you in the next couple of weeks, results pending), and it is POURING with rain outside. We’ve had more rain in 12 hours than we usually get in the whole of November, following a tornado which rippled through the island earlier this week – it’s been a crazy week on the weather front.
Today I’m sharing my hopefully very honesty, straight-talking approach to the below question which comes up a lot with my nutrition and
I thought I’d share with you some 4 things I do everyday to make sure my life is in balance and my health and emotional needs are being met.
Before I begin, one thing to note is that it’s totally okay to have your ups and your downs. I’ve just come out of an emotional dip and it made me want to share this with you to remind you that everyone is human, and even though I share sparkly content with you, nobody is perfect!!!!We are all going through our own unique journey but the amazing thing is, you all have people in your life that are cheering you on all the way and I am certainly one of those people.
1). FIND A WAY TO MOVE YOUR BODY IN A WAY THAT YOU LOVE
Yoga, walking, weights, dancing, swimming whatever it is that you love doing – you’re more likely to commit to a style of movement you enjoy so if you haven’t found something you love or have got out of the habit of doing it then focus on getting one session in. I’ve just signed up to ClassPass and I am LOVING it! It’s such a fun way to try different types of exercise and so far I’ve done spinning, ballet, reformer pilates and I’m so enjoying it.
Regular movement is not only good for your mood, it also decreases your risk of osteoporosis, bowel cancer and improves glucose metabolism keeping your energy levels even.
Plan out the days & times you are going to work out at the beginning of the week and mark them on your calendar or find yourself a training buddy. Once they are in the calendar they are non-negotiable! Clients, meetings and work come second.
But do what you LOVE.
2). STAY HYDRATED
Without water, a human will usually only live for a mere three days. So essential is this liquid to our survival that we need it more than food. Hydrating your body should start the minute you get out of bed in the morning as your body is likely to be dehydrated when you wake up as it has gone 8 or so hours on a water fast. I recommend having a big glass of water first thing in the morning and pairing it with the juice of half a lemon to kickstart your digestion and aid detoxification.
Don’t forget to keep drinking water throughout the day – set a water reminder on your phone or Outlook calendar or keep a litre bottle of water by your desk with interval markers on. Whatever jogs your memory and reminds you to keep on sipping.
Herbal teas and soups also add up. Foods and drinks containing caffeine and alcohol, draw water out of our body and the more of these we consume, the greater our fluid requirements.
Top tip: Try drinking your liquids at least 15 minutes before eating and then up to an hour after. Digesting food is a delicate process, and your stomach and intestines work very hard to break everything down, absorb nutrients and utilize them. Drinking water with meals dilutes those digestive enzymes so your digestion has to work extra hard to get the same result and it becomes less efficient.
3). FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
Science has shown that the human nervous system cannot focus on two things at once, so when we are grateful, we cannot be stressed or feel overwhelmed. Volunteer, say something kind to someone or be grateful for all the people in your life or the food on your plate or the beautiful nature that surrounds us in this country. I know it sounds airy-fairy to say it, but I can’t tell you what a positive shift this mindset shift has had on the quality of my emotions.
When I’m feeling stressed, I force myself to think of three things that are positive in my life right now. Initially it’s hard because your instinctive reaction will be to say to yourself “I don’t have time to be doing this right now”. If this is your thought process then it’s even more important that you focus on some positivity.
For example, I’ll think, “I’m so grateful that I was able to make a smoothie this morning and have access to all this amazing food and that the Nutribullet makes life so simple,” or “I’m so grateful for the hug my fiancé and I had this morning and the connection and friendship that we share,” or “I’m so grateful that I’m able to go to a yoga class this lunchtime and take some time out.”
Always take time to slow down. Take a look around you and be grateful for all that you are and all that you have.
Top tip: When you wake up, write down three things you’re grateful for in the world – it could be that you’re happy it’s not raining and that you get to walk to work, or it might be that you’re so grateful for your warm mug of coffee that’s tasting and smelling beyond good right now.
4). SUNDAY SET UP
The trick to looking after your diet is to be prepared. Your health takes notice of what you do consistently and taking some time out on a Sunday to set yourself up for your busy week ahead is a success habit worth mastering.
Batch cooking some recipes and freezing them in portion sized bags and freeze recipes makes for healthy and tasty meals throughout the week. This way you control the quality of oil, salt and produce you use and, as an added bonus, you save money too.
My favourite things to make on Sundays is my hummus recipe, a roasted vegetable and quinoa dish, some energy balls and some marinated roasted salmon or chicken. I love opening a fridge to ready made food, especially on the days I get home from work late and I’m starving!
5). BREATHE SLOWLY
Life can be stressful. If you’re feeling stressed, I highly recommend trying out a deep breathing ritual such as meditation or yoga. It takes a few sessions to get into it if you’re new to it and don’t worry – nobody is judging you if you can’t do the poses and stand like a tree! It’s a space where people come together and learn to just c h i l l!
Breath is one of the most essential factors in regulating the balance of your nervous system. Long, slow belly breathing expands the muscles in your diaphragm, stimulating the relaxation response so things like digestion, rest and repair can happen much more efficiently. Try focusing on your breath anytime you feel overwhelmed. So any activity that encourages this, such as tai chi, meditation, yoga, pilates or simply 20 nourishing breaths before you get out of bed in the morning, will be beneficial – moving your tummy in and out with each breath.
If your digestion is sensitive, then deep breathe before each meal to allow the blood to flow to your digestive system rather than to your arms and legs.
I know mornings can be a bit hectic, so I have clients that do it on the bus or in their car (and they don’t want their journey to end).
Have a fab rest of your week.