Do you ever ask yourself, "why do I want to be healthy?" Most of us will respond, "to simply feel better, to be there for our loved ones," after all who wants to be unhealthy, right?
Many of us are walking around, living life day to day with no real purpose and eating mindlessly. Food is definitely not our number one priority especially when it comes to healthy foods, yes we do feed ourselves but what is it that we are really nourishing our bodies with and is it benefiting our bodies or malnourishing it. Many of us have a misconception about healthy foods and think that eating healthy is expensive and not satisfying.
Here are 12 steps that you can take to better your health:
1. Drink more water. Being hydrated lightens the body. If you're stressed, tight and contracted, water can bring the body back to balance. It can prevent premature ageing, eliminate pain and headaches, lower blood pressure and promote weight loss.
2. Practice cooking. Eating at home is one of the healthiest choices you can make. It's not difficult, it just takes some practice to get your groove down. Plan a weekly menu, shop and prepare as much as you can beforehand. The actual cooking part takes much less time than going out. It just takes a little planning!
3. Increase whole grains. People are gaining weight because they're eating too much processed food, caffeine, sugar, nicotine and alcohol. It's not because of carbs. Whole grains or complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, beans, nuts and legumes help us maintain steady blood sugar, contain fibre and because they're absorbed slowly, provide long- lasting energy.
4. Increase sweet vegetables. Most of us crave sugar, but turn to processed sugar to get our fix. Try adding naturally sweet veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, squash and cabbage. These foods are grounding and soothe internal organs and energise the mind.
5. Increase leafy green vegetables. Did you know that Greens are the food missing in modern diets? They're also the most important, nutrient- rich foods you can have, proven to prevent disease, improve circulation, immunity, digestion and so much more. This does not include iceberg lettuce, I am talking about greens like callaloo bush, spinach, broccoli, patchoi.
6. Experiment with protein. Protein equals energy and is essential for having a healthy immune system. We associate protein with animal products and most of us eat too much meat and especially chicken. Protein needs vary by individual. Some people feel lighter and clearer with less animal products while others feel more grounded when eating meat. Open to a variety of protein rich foods such as nuts, beans and legumes and see how you feel.
7. Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemicalised, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, tobacco and alcohol. Contrary to what we have been taught, dairy is not an essential part of the human diet. This doesn't mean you can't have it again, it's just not nutritionally necessary. In fact, most of us have an intolerance to dairy and don't even know it because we lack the digestive enzymes needed to digest it. After all how many of us are lactose intolerant? As for the others go, consuming less is best!
8. Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body. Taking naps, warm baths, slowing down, getting outside. All so these things soothe our soul, allowing for our body to respond magically.
9. Have healthy relationships that support you. Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, support your efforts to grow and live your best life is essential to lifelong health. When you don't, you feel stifled, restless, lethargic and out of sync with your true self. Ask for support from friends and family or a professional.
10. Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly. Movement aids digestion, circulation, respiration and has a major impact on mood and quality of life. Even the healthiest eaters need exercise to ensure lifelong good health
11. Find work you love or a way to love the work you have. Careers can be one of the most dysfunctional areas of adult life. Being in a job you don't like or having a bad attitude about work affects your health. Find ways to be more encouraged about exploring options.
12. Develop a spiritual practice. Spirituality gives depth to life. It is also incredibly individual. Find what nurtures your soul. It could be the religion you grew up, a meditation,a walk in the park, a yoga class, playing music or dancing. Find it and do it religiously.
Always looking out for your health!