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Starting a new health practice can feel overwhelming. And the vast amount of information available confounds the best intentions.
I made a radical shift due to declining health and wellbeing. However, I understand that most people are not losing the ability to walk or living in chronic pain. Those conditions highly motivated me to discover a way to heal.
For those interested in taking smaller albeit intentional steps toward wellness and vitality, these six simple way to improve health offer easily implemented actions with big results.
Eat More Fruits & Veggies
One of the greatest positive impacts on health is including more fresh fruits and veggies in the diet and eating less animal products. Meat, and dairy products such as cheese, are high in fats and unwanted additives which contribute to inflammation and a host of ailments in the body. Eggs feed viruses such as strep and Epstein Barr.
If it feels difficult to give up animal products entirely, focus on having meatless meals a couple of times a week. Or try having only fruits before noon. A fruit smoothie for breakfast is perfect. Or perhaps commit to veggie bowls for lunch three days a week. Start where you are…and select two or three ways to include more whole plant based foods on a weekly basis.
Another tip is to plan meals around vegetables instead of considering them a side dish. As fresh produce becomes plentiful and cheap this summer, plan lunches and dinners around nature’s bounty. A plate heaped with freshly steamed veggies or hummus and raw veggies makes a great meatless meal.
Aloo Matar with peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry sauce makes a filling meatless meal.
Try Veggie Noodles Instead of Pasta
Spiralizing vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and carrots is another great way to include more veggies in meals. The spiralizer quickly transforms vegetables into mounds of fresh noodles that replace traditional wheat pastas.
No need to cook the veggie noodles. They are tender and subtly flavored. Top with homemade marinara sauce, basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes or a spicy curry sauce.
These fresh and tasty meals are my favorite way to use vegetables right out of the garden. Pick up a spiralizer here.
Drink Water & Unsweetened Herbal Tea Instead of Sugary Drinks
Instead of reaching for a soda or a sweet tea, grab a water or herbal tea. Those sugar laden drinks add calories…more than you realize…and dehydrate the body at the same time.
Break the habit. Sugary drinks are addictive. Sugar is addictive. That’s why we crave it.
Flavor water with fruits, cucumbers or herbs and increase the health benefits. And herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold. I love this hibiscus lemonade during the summer! Bonus tip: grow your own herbs in containers or in the garden.
Hydrate First Thing in the Morning
Connected to ditching the soda and sweet tea is the practice of hydrating first thing each morning. Drinking 16 ounces of lemon or lime water after awakening helps to flush toxins from the body, improves digestion and aids the liver.
I find it easiest to keep a prepared pitcher of lemon/lime water in the fridge.
For an amazing health boost, drink 16 ounces of freshly prepared celery juice about 20 to 30 minutes after the lemon or lime water. Celery juice is truly a miracle elixir, healing people around the world. Anthony William has a new book releasing, featuring celery juice. You can pre- order it HERE.
I use a centrifugal juicer like this one.
Keep Junk Food Out of the House
Having cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips and other high calorie, low nutritional value foods in the house greatly increases the likelihood of eating them. It also increases the likelihood of weight gain and the disorders that come with eating too much sugar and too many processed foods.
Instead, stock up on fresh fruits, nuts, avocadoes, hummus, veggies and nut butters that are sugar free.
There are many recipes available for healthy snacks, to consume as occasional treats. Try vegan oatmeal cookies or wild blueberry banana bread, made with gluten free flour.
Lemon balm tea and wild blueberry banana bread.
Walk in Nature
Walking is one of the best, and easiest, activities to improve health, tone the body and maintain weight. Get outdoors to help the body destress and to benefit from fresh air and a mood boost.
Instead of walking on a treadmill daily or doing loops around a gym, head to a park, a wooded trail or simply stroll through your neighborhood.
Walking in nature is a meditative experience that grounds and centers the body and allows the mind to quiet.
These simple ways to improve health bring their own rewards.
Try one or two actions daily or create your own unique plan for implementing all of them.
And perhaps the sense of euphoric joy and wellbeing that comes from improved health will guide you toward the next step in creating a healthy lifestyle that supports and nourishes you.
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