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Top Ten Simple Changes
That you can make towards a healthier lifestyle
I’m a big fan of making small and simple changes wherever I can, that help me to lead a healthier lifestyle. And I am an even bigger fan of helping and encouraging others to do the same.
Simple changes don’t seem quite as daunting as a huge lifestyle overhaul. When we can make and incorporate simple changes into a healthy lifestyle, we feel those small changes as BIG WINS and we feel successful. With a few small and simple changes you will also feel healthier.
These are my Top Ten Simple Changes that you can make towards a healthier lifestyle.
Top Ten Simple Changes
1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. Not just any ol’ ACV, but a quality, raw, unpasteurized one, such as Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, which is what I use. With natural raw enzymes and bacteria ACV can help with detox, maintaining a healthy pH, regulate and aid bodily functions, ease digestive upsets, and can even be used (diluted!) as a toner on your face. When drinking it, be sure to mix with some water to prevent stinging or burning. I drink it daily just for the natural benefits, but when I’m sick I make a nice drink of warm water, ACV, lemon, fresh or ground ginger and cayenne pepper.
2. Use a salt stone or natural deodorant. I use the Thai Deodorant Stone, and I have had it for well over a year! Be careful not to drop it because they are fragile, but last for so long it’s really a great deal. Think about how often you would replace a typical deodorant bar. I wet the stone a tiny bit and then apply after showering. The salt prevents bacteria from forming thereby preventing odour. It’s brilliant really! I have convinced several close friends to switch to salt stones because I’m a big believer in not putting excessive, unnecessary and harmful chemicals on my body. And it’s a simple change that is really easy to make.
Or try a high quality natural deodorant, instead of one that just claims to be! Read the ingredients label and if they don’t have one, then it’s definitely a no! I like Primal Pit Paste in Coconut Lime, Organic Fields of Heather, and Jason Natural Deodorant.
3. Drink water! Yes, we’ve all heard this one before, but it can’t be stressed enough. Drink water and then drink more water! I will confess – there are three things that I drink. Coffee, water and wine! And in that order too – haha! I don’t drink wine every day, so sometimes it’s just coffee and water. One coffee and then water for the rest of the day. But I digress…back to water. I am so thankful that I have never liked pop. It’s true! I could never stand the fizz or the taste. I just don’t understand the taste! I don’t understand how anyone can like that taste…but millions do I suppose… What I really don’t understand is the lack of awareness for how bad it is for you. It is just sugar and chemicals. Typically 30 grams of sugar or more can be found in any given soda. And if it’s “diet” you prefer, you’re just replacing the sugar with aspartame – a chemical. Drinking just water (and occasionally water with lemon and apple cider vinegar) is a super simple change that anyone can make towards living a healthier life.
4. Consume less sugar. Sugar is rampant and it’s sneaky. It hides in so many places and in such high quantities. Read food labels and be sure to check serving size. It may say 5 grams, but be careful, it could be 5 grams per 1/8 serving size. See what I mean by sneaky! I talk more about sugar in foods and compare teaspoons in another post and video. Simple changes like drinking water instead of juice or pop can make a big difference. I recently stopped putting sugar in coffee too, thereby eliminating 1 teaspoon every day. Watch the treats and candy especially, try dark chocolate instead for that sweet tooth. A great alternative for baking is Stevia, so you can still make cookies and other baked goods, but with no refined sugar.
5. Eat more vegetables! Yes, another obvious one, but do you actually do it? Notice that I didn’t say “eat more fruits and vegetables”. Fruits are great, but they do contain natural sugars. Your vegetable consumption should far outweigh your fruit consumption. Pro-tip: Consume fruits earlier in the day, so your body has time to use and burn the natural sugars. Then for dinner, healthy fats and fibre is what will make you feel full and satisfied. Think: Broccoli stir-fry with a homemade tahini or avocado sauce. Speaking of broccoli, you have to try this Roasted Broccoli – even if you’re not a broccoli fan, trust me, I wasn’t either until I discovered it roasted. Sneaking veggies like kale and spinach into smoothies is also a great way to increase your greens intake. Our bodies NEED essential nutrients from a range of foods. Read more here about Top Foods for Tissue Health.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
5. Use coconut oil. I use coconut oil wherever I can. Sautéing, baking, moisturizing, even in coffee. Black coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil is a delicious way to drink the benefits of coconut oil. I use it in any baking that calls for oil… Black bean brownies, banana bread, cookies, you name it.
6. Detox with charcoal and oil. Using a charcoal powder will help to whiten your teeth, but also detox by pulling toxins from your mouth. I’m a sucker for the usual mint flavor, but there are other flavors as well. Charcoal absorbs heavy metals, bacteria and toxins, which can help contribute to oral health and thereby the overall health of your body. I put the powder on my teeth and allow it to become a paste with the help of saliva, leave it for ten minutes or so, then brush and spit it out. Yes, it’s a messy process, but worth it. I got these charcoal toothbrushes so that I wouldn’t blacken white bristles. You can also try “oil pulling”, where you hold a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth to allow it to draw out toxins. Be sure to then spit the oil into the garbage, not down the sink.
7. Bentonite Clay. Detox with bentonite clay by using it as a face mask and drinking it to absorb toxins. I will make a thick paste in a jar, either by adding a little bit of water or apple cider vinegar, apply as a face mask, then add more water to the jar, swirl it around and drink it. And yes, it tastes like dirt, but again, worth it. You can also apply a bentonite clay mixture to your feet, allow to dry, and then soak in a hot epsom salt and baking soda foot bath.
8. Take a bath. Relax and destress and of course, detox. Taking a bath is yet another way to effectively detox and absorb some much needed minerals at the same time. If you didn’t know, epsom salt is magnesium, a mineral which our bodies often lack and is important for many bodily functions. Throw a cup full of quality epsom salt into a hot bath, along with some baking soda and bentonite clay for a soothing, detoxing experience. Preferably use an unscented salt to ensure that any fragrance is not simply added artificial chemicals and instead add essential oils for fragrance if you need it. Or use a salt with essential oils like this one.
9. Change your mindset. Exercise, eat well, drink water, get enough sleep. It’s not about “work” ie. “workout”, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. The same goes for healthy eating habits. It’s not a diet, it’s simply a way of life. If you think about healthy eating and exercise as a normal part of your daily life, then it doesn’t seem like “work”. This simple change is a mental change. Exercise benefits both your body and your mind. Do different things to keep it interesting and involve your kids.
Our children especially need to see us happily maintaining healthy lives, including exercising, because they will internalize and model those values. When your kids see you exercising, they want to take part and they see it simply as a normal thing to do. I love it when mine come to join me and ask if they can workout with me. We will play Just Dance, do yoga and pilates DVD’s, go swimming, skating and rollerblading or simply just do different exercises at home. My kids love this Dinosaur themed Yoga DVD.
Mindset is also a factor when it comes to eating. We can have certain ideals so engrained in our mindset that it can be difficult to let go of. My most recent epiphany around this was with consuming meats. It was so engrained in me to have meat every day, even every meal. I would always cook chicken or beef, some kind of potato and a vegetable. Now I find myself truly enjoying more vegetarian and plant based meals. I feel better after I eat black bean quesadillas than I do after I eat chicken or beef. Reducing our consumption of meats is actually good the environment too, so it’s a win-win. Check out this post about Mental Health, Inflammation and Mood.
10. Consume probiotics and fermented foods. A quality probiotic from a health food store can go a long way to improving your overall health. Much of our health and immune system is determined by the health of our gut. Help your gut out by giving it the probiotics that it needs, especially if you have to take antibiotics for some reason, because they kill the beneficial bacteria and probiotics. Foods like kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir have raw properties and bacteria similar to probiotics.
One last little thing… although it’s actually a BIG thing. Just BE HAPPY. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go. Be positive. Remove negative influences from your life. Take a deep breath and relax. Life is too short and too beautiful to worry and stress too much. Practice mental toughness and living life with grace and gratitude. Read self-improvement books to help you get there and continue to thereafter. Self-improvement is a lifelong journey. Use times like driving in your car to listen to something that will make a positive impact on your mindset and mental life.One last little thing... although it's actually a BIG thing. Just BE HAPPY. Don't sweat the small stuff. Click To Tweet
What other simple changes can you make?
Let me know your ideas in the comments below!