By Olivia Janisch
1. Keep your expectations real
Yes, working out 7 days a week and eliminating sugar from your diet sound like excellent goals, but are you really going to stick to them? Instead of setting yourself up for colossal failure, set intentions that are doable and a step in the right direction. Try committing to 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week, and then bump it up to 45 or an hour as you feel yourself getting stronger. When it comes to diet changes, cut things out gradually. Try drinking your coffee without sugar or sweeteners, or not eating gluten on certain days of the week. As you slowly cut out foods that aren’t good for you, your body will crave them less and it won’t feel like such a shock to your system or your routine.
2. Take care of your stomach
Our stomach lining is where our immune system lives, where 80% of our serotonin is stored, and where we derive our emotional strength. The typical American diet is really, really hard on our digestive systems, which is why we have issues that vary from indigestion to full-blown Celiacs disease.
Nourishing your stomach is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Probiotics are a great place to start, although they can be expensive. Reducing overly acidic foods like dairy, coffee, gluten, and fried foods is an easy and effective way to enhance your gut health. Once you’ve done that, eating fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha helps to create the healthy bacteria that strengthens your system. Make sure to also pay attention to any foods that give you discomfort. If you feel bloating or indigestion after a meal it’s your body telling you that you ate something that is upsetting it. Typical allergens are dairy, gluten, sugar, eggs, or soy, so watch out for those. Continually eating things that your body is allergic to can grow to bigger issues that occasional discomfort, so the initial warning signs are worth listening to.
3. Curb your portions with smaller plates and bowls
Now that the festivities are over, three heaping plates of food per meal just isn’t acceptable. Practice some self-control by using smaller plates at home and when you have the opportunity. This will help slow you down when you’re eating and will reduce the likelihood of overeating. Eating too much widens your waistline, contributes to brain fog, and depletes your energy. Commit to eating small portions throughout the day to get the most from your food and to maintain healthy energy levels.
4. Bump up your Omega-3 consumption
Omega-3 deficiency is a massive issue in the United States. Omega-3s are hugely responsible for the brain’s ability to balance neurotransmitters, focus and stay alert, to regulate sleep, and to correctly distribute important hormones throughout the body. Omega-3s contribute to optimal metabolism functioning, clear and vibrant skin, and stomach health. Commit to eating omega-3s at every opportunity. Walnuts, olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, salmon, flax seeds and chia are all excellent sources of Omega-3. Because our body doesn’t make it it’s essential we get it from our diets, so pile on those healthy fats as your body, brain and skin will thank you for it.
5. Wear quality sunscreen every day
Wearing sunscreen daily is such a powerful way to protect our skin and promote our health. It is one of the easiest ways to maintain a youthful and healthy complexion, and is critical in protecting us from the harmful rays of the sun. All you need is 30 SPF, and make sure it has zinc or titanium dioxide in it to properly protect you from the UVA rays that cause premature aging and skin cancer.