Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wave a magic wand and make your New Year’s resolutions come true? Nice maybe but, alas, not an option. However there are simple steps to take that will make it easier to fulfill your promise to transform your health, energy and body in 2012.
Our friends at Topical BioMedics have teamed with Alexandra Jamieson, celebrity health and nutrition counselor, chef and author of The Great American Detox Diet, Living Vegan for Dummies and Vegan Cooking for Dummies to provide some health tips for a delicious and vital 2012.
In order to transform your health, energy and body, you need to take stock of where you are now, what you’re eating and what you want to change.
Write down everything. How you feel when you wake up? What cravings you have? What your diet is like? What is your exercise routine (if any)? What do you like to feel and look like?
Talk with someone who has been there before. Read the blogs of experts, watch inspiring movies online or listen to radio shows on the area of health that interests you the most. Find a “tribe” of people who are dedicated to making the same changes you want to accomplish.
There is power in joining forces – they’ll pull you along, and you’ll help them at the same time.
Make A Plan
Do you want to eat more vegetables? Eat less sugar? Kick your caffeine habit completely? Do you want to lose 20 pounds, or clear up your skin?
What is the first step towards your goal? If it’s eating less sugar, maybe it’s time to learn about natural foods that give you the sweet sensation you’re looking for without robbing your energy (more on that in a minute).
Or maybe you need to throw away the sweets or chocolates lingering from the holidays. Or maybe there’s something in your lifestyle that triggers your sugar cravings that you can address in a non-food-way.
Whatever the issue is, there are steps you can take to make it a non-issue: start brain-storming on what to do first, then what you can do tomorrow, and in no time you’ll be free and clear.
Use seasonal, local produce as much as possible.
When you eat veggies from a nearby farm, they offer you the energy and nutrients that support you where you are and when you are.
For example, eating iceberg lettuce and watermelon north of the 45th parallel in winter does not support your body in the cold, sunless months. Instead, choose winter squash, cabbage, other hearty wintergreens, and apples and pears that winter over well. These fruits and veggies give you great, fresh nutrition rather than arriving depleted from half way across the world.
The human body is built to follow natural rhythms. Our inner body clock, called circadian rhythm, triggers the natural impulses to wake up with the sun, sleep when it’s dark, as well as a host of other natural body processes.
When your natural circadian rhythm is thrown off, due to jet lag or just staying up too late night after night, your body and brain work at half-speed, and your body feels off balance. Years of staying up late and not getting enough sleep during the darker, winter months, makes caffeine necessary, and cravings for sugar more intense.
This winter, try an experiment: go to bed early and wake up early. Get into bed by 9pm and wake up at 4 or 5am. Even a few days a week of this pattern will help you feel more refreshed, healthier, and those intense food cravings will release their hold on you just a bit more.
Make Breakfast a Priority
Now that you’re sleeping better, you can wake up earlier and get a good breakfast in your body. Everyone is different and you might need something that your partner or child doesn’t like or desire. Experiment with different types of food for your morning meal, alternating savory, sweet, liquid or combination breakfasts.
You might notice that a protein rich meal keeps you filled longer. Or perhaps you find that a light meal of fruit and herbal tea is perfect.
Try it out and notice what happens during the day with your cravings. Your first meal can determine your energy for the rest of the day.
Skip the White Foods
Any white, refined food is going to steal nutrients and energy from your body. This includes white flour, white sugar, and white table salt.
All of these foods are stripped of nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and offer only the jolt of carbohydrate or sodium. Without any supportive nutrients, your body must draw on its own precious stores to metabolize the refined food, leading to depleted energy over time.
Sweeten the Deal
Use more naturally sweet foods instead of relying on white foods, candy, and soda for energy.
Include sweet root veggies, fruits and even whole grains to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Sweet potatoes offer carotenoid antioxidant and help your body respond to insulin better. Parsnips are high in silicon and fiber and are high in calcium. Beets are high in boron, a mineral critical for the production of human sex hormones.
Adding daily doses of sweet veggies, you’ll crave less sugary treats, and you’ll be giving your body necessary nutrients for long-term health.
Move Your Body Like Your Life Depends On It – Because it Does
Whatever form of exercise you choose: running, walking, swimming, biking, dancing, weight lifting or machines – just move. Daily. As if it were your last day on earth.
If you incorporate anything from the list above you will be on your way to preserving or regaining your health and vitality in the New Year.