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Jan 01

Make 2014 Your Healthiest Year (With These 5 Tips)

Tis the season for us to think about personal goals and health initiatives. Before you decide where you want to go, understand where you have been by asking yourself these questions:

Where would you love to be at the end of 2014? How could your life be better? How could you feel more in control of your health? This vision you conjure – hold onto it, and believe you can reach it. Why would you accept anything less? Make it your intention and your reason why your goal is important. Make it your motivation each day, and celebrate every day and choice that will get you there.

Below are some of my top tips as an expert in the field of health and wellness. Above all, you know yourself the best, and do not set a goal that is too far out of reach. Making a small goal, and updating it weekly or bi-weekly facilitates initiating action.

Cheers to you and good health this year and beyond!

1. Hydrate

Sounds so simple, yet, many of us are not drinking enough (filtered) water. Funny enough, I recently went to an Integrative Medicine doctor last week and explained a few things about myself, and while anticipating to hear the doc prescribe me a supplement or herb, he said, one part of health is as simple as drinking ample amounts of water.

Drink half of your weight in ounces. Drinking enough water will help your body remove waste (detox), keep your joints fluid and muscles hydrated, provide mental clarity, and your skin looking young. One practice to help you reach a hydration goal is to have a handy water bottle on hand, like this one. The straw is helpful in making the drinking process quick and easy.

2. Nurture Your Gut

Digestion problems cause inflammation, and inflammation can cause our bodies to go into fat storage mode, and even worse, disease. The first steps to nurturing your gut is to remove irritating foods (GMOs, gluten, soy, vegetable oils, pasteurized dairy, perhaps non-sprouted legumes and grains) and add in superfoods to repair your gut like bone broth. To progress the healing process further, you also want to reinoculate your digestive tract with specific food and supplements like  fermented vegetables, coconut oil and probiotics. Gut health is getting notice and information on this will be trending in 2014.

3. Avoid Vegetable and Man-Made Oils

One thing you won’t be able to read on a food label for vegetable oils (including canola oil) and margarine is the inflammatory status. Bluntly, they are not doing your health any favors. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, grassfed butter for cooking, and olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Like the fact you can fight fire with fire, we can fight fat by eating fat. Fat is essential for our health due to its healing properties, use to increase nutrient absorption and assistance in detoxing our liver. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and equally important, the right kind of fat.

4. Plan

I don’t think I can state it enough, “if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Mapping out some meals each week makes eating nutrient-dense food a lot easier. I request clients to take a look at their schedule each week, understand how often they will eat home, work, etc, and plan foods to make on a Sunday afternoon, so the meal prep during the week is quick and easy. I surely do this too. I boil some eggs, or make a crust-less quiche, I bake some sort of squash, chop up some raw vegetables for dips and salads and often have something brewing in the slow-cooker. If you need some recipe inspiration, I have a nice collection going on Pinterest.

5. Moderation

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation. While working hard on your diet, fitness, career, relationships, etc, find a balance in enjoying things like a spa treatment, book/magazine, coffee date, glass of wine, or something I haven’t mentioned but you love. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection. Work hard, play hard and enjoy the moment at hand.