As we are bombarded every day with health claims and new diet trends, it often seems impossible to decipher what really is best for you as you strive for a healthier life. Here are five simple steps to help you on your path to a healthier you:
1. Wake-up with H2O. It’s that simple. By starting your day immediately by drinking 16 ounces of purified/filtered water you begin to clear out your system by flushing toxins and rehydrating your body after a six to eight hour fast brought on by your nightly slumber. This step stops bad cravings like bagels and muffins before they begin and also gets your metabolism going for about 90 minutes.
2. Be the envy, with green … tea. Another metabolism booster here. The antioxidant EGCG in green tea along with its caffeine cause thermogenesis (fat is released into bloodstream for use as fuel, READ: fat-burning) and other antioxidants, polyphenols, may protect your body from nasty free radicals. Studies also show positive effects with cancer, heart disease, lower cholesterol, diabetes prevention, stroke and obesity. Lastly, a non-protein amino acid, L-theanine, has a calming affect likened to that of meditation that balances the green tea’s naturally occurring caffeine to keep you from a sketchy, coffee-like, anxiety-filled buzz. This helps create more of an “alertness”.
3. Eat like a bird, eat seeds. Chia seeds that is! These tiny innocuous seeds once worshipped by the Aztecs are full of Omega-3s which aids in protection from inflammation which is associated with heart disease. You can add them to everything (salads, dressings, soups, green juices, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal). Chia are also more soluble then its very popular brother, flax, which need to be milled to get to the Omega-3s. Great for blood pressure, weight loss, cravings and helps block calorie consumption. These tiny seeds absorb 10 times their weight in H2O so they help you to feel full faster, too.
4. Go on a walk-about. You heard it before and you probably dismissed it, but one 30 minute walk a day has immense health benefits. So, if you have a pooch waiting for you at home YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES! It is great for heart health, lowers LDL (bad) and raises HDL (good) cholesterols and lowers blood pressure. It also meets the daily exercise requirement to prevent weight gain and can reduce or manage Type 2 diabetes. Most importantly, it helps you to ground yourself, connects you with your community and gives you one-on-one time with your partner … or pooch.
5. Get your Zzzzzzz. Six to eight hours. Many are plagued with lack of nightly sleep which can truly be detrimental to your health. Recent studies are linking sleep deprivation to obesity and diabetes. It may also increase your risk of heart disease and cancer. Set a regular bedtime for your work week and stick to it. Limit caffeine consumption, even if you think you are a tough-guy, at least six hours before your bedtime. De-stress your day with a bath or meditation or happy, peaceful thoughts and never, never, ever, ever have your TV, computer or hand held gadget in your bedroom. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock if that’s your excuse. If you you truly are an insomniac, a natural supplement like Melatonin may do the trick.
Follow these easy steps to get yourself back onto your path to total health!