I’m determined to plan better in 2016 and resolve to choose healthier foods and products 90% of the time. I’ve comprised a list of 15 simple wellness tips that I’m going to strive to maintain and my hope is that in sharing them you’re inspired to pick an easily-attainable goal so you can take small steps toward your own health and cleaner living! Happy New Year!
(photo credit: Beautycounter.com)
1. Add more fruits and vegetables at each meal
After reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food this summer I’m more convinced that a diet based in plant foods is where it’s at. He prescribes to “eat real food, not too much, mostly plants” so this is what we’re trying to do!
2. Limit Dairy, Gluten and Sugar
My husband and I did a food experiment a few years ago where we removed the 7 highest allergen foods from our diet and then added them back in one at a time. We both noticed a difference in how we felt when we removed dairy and gluten and try to limit these foods in our diet. HARD to do but worth it!
3. Drink half your body weight in water
When the body is dehydrated, it doesn’t run efficiently. Drinking water has plenty of benefits including increasing energy, flushing out toxins, improving skin complexion and boosting immunity, to name a few.
4. Limit the processed/packaged foods
We don’t have many foods that are prepackaged but there are still a few snack foods that we hold on to. We are going to try and eliminate or limit those as much as possible and swap out for different snacks (or make our own – gasp! if there’s time!)
5. Experiment with spices
There are many health benefits in using spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and garlic while cooking. Studies show that antioxidants in many of these have been linked to lower inflammation, which is often linked to toxic diseases.
6. Add beans to everything
They are high in fiber and provide protein, too. I just can’t get behind Paleo and their no bean rule. I’m sorry. I just can’t.
7. Examine your beauty regimen and substitute new, green products when you run out of your old ones
Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to learn more about toxic chemicals in skin care products. I personally believe in Beautycounter and their products and mission. I loved them so much that I decided to share them with others. If you’re interested in hearing more about this amazing company let me know!
8. Remove my shoes in the house
It’s hard to remember to always do, and sometimes not practical, but I want to make my house a shoe free zone as much as possible. Lets keep the nastiness that attaches to the shoes off the carpet, huh?
9. Use wholesome and natural items for household cleansers
Substitute vinegar and water to clean countertops and baking soda to cut grease rather than strong, toxic cleaners. Review your products on he Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to remove the highest offenders and switch with safer products.
10. Examine the Teflon and Plastic products in your Kitchen
I have tried to remove all our plastic tupperware and substitute it with glass but have held out using plastic baggies (they’re just too convenient!) I’ve also resisted getting rid of my non-stick pans because well they’re just too easy. BUT I’ve committed to using these less and have a new Lodge Cast Iron pan that I love and will be buying reusable snack bags.
11. Spend the first 30 minutes of each day reading/journaling and praying
I feel so much better if I start my day with a little quiet reflection. I don’t always get this because I end up getting distracted by checking Facebook or other social media sites. I vow to spend the first 30 minutes in activities that motivate me and give me energy in 2016!
12. Say NO to the world and YES to my family
I, like most people, want to feel like I’m doing enough. Like I’m doing the right things that I should be doing. But sometimes that means I end up feeling a little crazy because I can’t do it all (at the same time). I want to choose what it’s important for my family, and what I do well, and focus on those things. I’ll have to say No to some things. And that’s ok.
13. Be active daily
Aim for 30 minutes of activity daily. Break it up throughout the day if needed. I am obsessed with my Pilates workouts from The Balanced Life online and my Beachbody weight and cardio workouts. I have given up my gym membership, because who has time to go to the gym? And spend the first 30-45 minutes after Jack goes to bed working out.
14. Find a workout buddy and set goals together.
One of my favorite parts about the workout programs I do is the social/interactive part of it. I like that I’m part of a group and it makes me feel more motivated. These groups are online so sometimes it’s easy to still get away with not doing what you set out to do – so I want to find an accountability partner to help me stick to my goals!
15. Aim for New Measurable Goals Monthly
Think short-term; create a new goal every month. Think Drink homemade juices or smoothies five days a week or don’t eat packaged snacks for a month. It doesn’t seem like such a life overhaul if you add or eliminate a certain food for just 30 days. Plus, if you get in the rhythm of it, you might continue. Or if not, you know you will start a new goal the next month.
What goal do you like best? Do you think they are attainable for one month?