A Month of Wellness Tips!
For the month of August 2023, I posted a daily thought or tip on wellness. During the week, I focused on nutrition/food. On the weekend days, the tip was more broadly related to overall wellness. Here is the list of posts, summarized. Reach out if you'd like more information or detail on any of them, like "what are healthy fats?" or "can you give me some more ideas for healthy snacks to go?".
Start each day with a healthy breakfast. Plenty of protein, some healthy fat, fibre and stay away from refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Cook or prepare your vegetables in a new way. Try them raw, stir fried, air fried, roasted, lightly steamed - you may discover a new favourite!
When choosing your protein, stick with leaner options most of the time. You need the protein, but not a lot of extra saturated fat.
Choose whole foods over refined and processed foods. Whole foods don't have "ingredients", they ARE ingredients.
Practice gratitude daily. It doesn't have to be written down. Just take a few minutes to quiet your mind and body, and be thankful for a person, an experience, a skill or ability, or the meal you last ate.
Document your health and fitness goals, and track your progress. Having something concrete to look at will help remind you of how far you've come, and how you may have to adjust your approach if you aren't progressing as planned.
Eat the rainbow! Your body and mind loves and needs variety. A variety of colours also means variety in nutrients, flavours and microbes in your gut.
Carrying healthy snacks with you helps to avoid the junk we are tempted with everywhere we go.
Become a reader of nutrition labels, and consider them warning labels. If you don't know what something is, maybe you shouldn't eat it.
Ensure your daily diet includes healthy fats, like olive oil. Fats are a complex topic, so don't be scared of them - get educated on why we need them and which ones we should eat and which we should avoid.
Add more vegetables to your favourite dish. Add carrots to your meat sauce, kale to your soup, and throw one more into your stew.
Sleep - adequate, quality sleep - is critical to your physical, emotional and mental health. Practice good sleep hygiene, manage your stress levels, move your body daily, manage screen time, and eat well to give yourself the best chance for a restorative sleep each night.
I'm sure you've heard, "competition is the thief of joy" and I believe it. The only person you should be competing with on your wellness journey is the person you were yesterday.
Be careful about the amount of caffeine you consume. It affects your sleep, your ability to build muscle, your digestive function, the adrenals and therefore the entire endocrine system, and so much more.
The best way to hydrate is with water - as high quality as you can manage, and especially in hot weather and while exercising. Most of us don't get enough daily.
Think about your favourite thing to order in a restaurant, and try to cook it for yourself at home. You can probably find a very close recipe on the internet with a little search time.
Add flavour to your food with herbs and spices rather than with sugar and fat.
Avoid refined sugar and sweeteners in all their forms and learn all the names they go by on labels. (cane juice, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, etc. etc. etc.)
Do at least one thing that puts a smile on your face every day - or several!
When you slip (notice I didn't say "if", because everyone does) don't give up. Just start again, move forward and keep your goals in mind. Figure out WHY you slipped and learn from it.
Modify your favourite recipes to be more healthy - adding fibre, decreasing the amount of sugar, boosting the protein content.
Limit your alcohol intake. No matter what we like tell ourselves, it is a toxin. Period.
Eat calmly, in a relaxed setting, being mindful of what you are using to fuel and nourish your body and your mind.
Look for healthy role models - people that live and feel the way you want to live and feel.
There is a saying "chew your liquid, drink your solids". The act of chewing (even if its a smoothie, for example) starts the digestive process in the mouth by releasing enzymes found in saliva. And chewing solids to the point of being liquid will enhance digestion by easing the burden on the stomach.
Getting professional advice, whether from a personal trainer, holistic nutritionist, wellness coach, etc. , can help you get past plateaus or obstacles you encounter on your journey.
Small changes or steps, repeated consistently over time, lead to big results. You don't get to the top of a mountain in 2 or 3 big leaps. And you didn't get where you are overnight, so it will take time to get somewhere new.
One thing I tell myself every now and then is "don't drink your calories". This doesn't mean I don't have a protein smoothie now and then for lunch. But I did stop drinking fruit juice at breakfast - I have a piece of fruit instead.
Somewhat related to number 24 is to be a role model for your friends and family. Think of them as you set a healthy example for them by being active, eating well and being kind to yourself.
Get healthy amounts of sunshine each day. We need sunshine on our skin to synthesize vitamin D, and sunshine in our eyes first thing in the morning to help our circadian rhythm.
Try a new vegetable each month. Our bodies and minds thrive when we give them variety.