What Does it Mean to Live a Healthy Life?
Before answering the question, how do I kickstart a healthier life? It’s important to define what it means to live a healthy life. A healthy life was traditionally seen as the maintenance of a physically healthy body. It turns out, health as we define it, has become a lot more complicated. A healthy life involves the balance of the mind, body and spirit. Wisdom and science have come together to create new trends in fostering a holistic approach to living well. This integrative health approach can guide you to a healthier mental and physical state throughout the year, and throughout your life.
Set Yearly, Monthly, and Daily Intentions
The first step to a kickstart is some serious planning. Open up a blank journal, or better yet, a large blank board and break out the markers. Think about where you want to grow this year in terms of the following:
- Personal growth
- Career growth
- Health & wellness growth
- Social & community growth
Jot down the big picture stuff. By 2019 where do you want to see yourself in each category? After dreaming big on your annual goals, move on to the month-by-month changes you want to make. You can revisit these each month. Finally, make a list of daily changes you will make to ensure these goals are on track. Make sure to check back and read these intentions every morning before starting the day. Setting intentions can be fun, inspiring, and motivating.
Take the Minimalism Challenge
Minimalism is gaining momentum. People are recognizing that they feel better with less. Take on the 30-day minimalism challenge. On day one, throw away or donate one thing you own. On day two, throw away two things. Continue throwing away or donating consecutively as the month goes on. By day 30, you will seriously feel the struggle to cleanse your stuff, but just wait and see how much better you feel without that cluttered drawer or overflowing closet. See more on the minimalism game here: 30-Day Minimalism Game.
Refresh Your Gut Health
Gut health became one of the biggest trends in holistic health for 2017. The microbiome is an intricate system that can manage a variety of body mechanisms including:
- Nutrient absorption
- Immune system regulation
- Mental health and brain function
- Body weight
The gut lining can entirely replace itself and regenerate in two to three week’s time. The actual bacteria in the gut can change significantly after only three days of change to the diet. This is good news for your healthy living ambitions! Here are a few things you can do to kickstart a better gut:
- Eat probiotics like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, and other cultured and fermented food
- Eat prebiotics, the food for your gut flora, like onions, garlic, legumes, oatmeal, bananas, apples, berries, leeks, leafy greens, and whole-wheat grains
- Avoid antibiotics that impair a healthy gut balance
- Take a probiotic supplement
Reset Your Diet
People are beginning to clue in to the fact that short-term, extreme, or restrictive diets don’t produce long-term results. Fasting can result in bingeing and the end-result can be more weight gain than weight loss. A reset cleanse is different than a diet in both its purpose and approach. A reset cleanse has a goal to support your body’s elimination system to remove toxins and prepare for dietary change.
The One-Week Kitchari Meal Plan
Dr. Premal Patel details a cleanse that is simple, home-based, and involves eating real whole foods. The Kitchari Diet involves eating a complete meal, made with rice, yellow mung dal, spices, clarified butter and vegetables. Eat this for every meal, every day, for seven days. Although you may grow tired of the same old thing, find comfort in knowing that your system is being reset and toxins are being removed.
Take the 5-Step Diet Overhaul
After you’ve completed your kitchari meal plan cleanse, your gut health will be more balanced and your palate for taste will be refreshed. This is the perfect opportunity to transform your diet long-term. These are five important changes you should make:
Triple Your Vegetable Intake.
It sounds simple but most people do not reach their recommended 5-13 servings of vegetables a day. Aim to add vegetables to every meal you eat. Look at your plate and review the percentage of veggies. Vegetables should account for at least 50% of your meal.
Slash the Sugar.
Sugar is the silent killer that leaves us with acne, energy depletion, weight gain, and other nasty symptoms. Sugar lurks in things like condiments, dressings, drinks, and the obvious desserts. Track your sugar intake and try to cut down substantially this year.
Drink Way More Water.
You’re not drinking enough water. You should be drinking about 2.7-3.7 L a day. That’s 11.5-15.5 cups! This requirement increases if you’re consuming dehydrating liquids like coffee or alcohol. Keep a large reusable water bottle with you at all times and drink throughout the day.
Protest the Processed.
Take an oath to swear off the boxed, the bagged, and the take-out meals that are convenient, yet crippling to the digestive system. Foods that last a long time without refrigeration are generally filled with preservatives (apart from beans, lentils, and rice). Commit to eating perishable foods that are nutrient-dense.
Stick to the Grocery Store Perimeter and the Fridge.
A trick to buying real, whole, nutritious foods is skipping the aisle foods and shopping the produce on the perimeter. When you unpack your groceries, the majority of foods should take up fridge space (not pantry shelves).
Try to Move Your Body Every Day.
Logging in an hour a day at the gym is hard for even the most forgiving schedules. This year, give yourself a manageable resolution: you’re going to get up and move every day. This can range from low-intensity to high-intensity activity. It’s helpful to find an activity you physically and mentally enjoy participating in and act as though you are rewarding yourself with this leisure movement. Here are a few suggestions:
- Go for a nature walk
- Engage in a morning yoga routine
- Try a kickboxing class
- Visit the community centre for a swim
- Read a book while running on the treadmill
- Take mini walks between work
Make 2018 a Year of Health and Happiness!
Happy New Year from everyone at Physiomed! We wish you and your loved ones a 2018 filled with inspiring resolutions that reflect what it means to live a healthy life for you. Enjoy the opportunity to seize this fresh start and begin materializing the health and wellness goals you have been excited about.