One of my favourite quotes is “if you think wellness is expensive, try illness.” This quote signifies how important our health is to us and what extent we will go to ensure its abundance. The importance is that we are focusing on our health all the time on a preventative level, as opposed to putting all of our energy (and money) into fixing ourselves when we notice a problem.
When a new year begins we allow ourselves to start a new project or take on a lifestyle change. There is a mental shift that reassures us that we are capable of doing anything that we want. The truth is that we can make a dedicated change in ourselves whenever we desire, but why not start now with the clean slate of a new year.
If nutritional health is an improvement you want to focus on right now, take a look at these 5 TIPS that will keep you on the wellness track this year:
- Cut down on processed sugar.
Unless you are only eating raw fruits and veggies, there’s a good chance that some form of processed sugar is being added to the food. Always check the ingredients list and don’t be tricked by its alternative names (sucrose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, glucose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup).
Sugar has no nutritional value, so it is what we call “empty calories.” Even if the food product is low in fat, your body processes sugar into fat cells. High sugar intake can lead to excessive weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes and also can contribute to Metabolic Syndrome.
Try looking for healthy alternatives that actually have nutritional value or won’t affect your glycemic levels in a negative way (try stevia, honey, molasses, coconut sugar or maple syrup).
- Make digestion a focus.
Digestion is a very important part in the process of absorbing nutrients. If we aren’t digesting our food properly, we risk introducing any toxins from undigested food into our bloodstream. During the elimination process our body extracts the nutrients it needs to feed our cells. However, if our body can’t break the food down properly then we miss out on nutrients that our body needs.
Certain foods should not be eaten together; this is called Food-Combining. However, adding Probiotics, Enzymes and/or Apple Cider Vinegar into your daily routine can help the natural movement.
- Add a superfood into your diet.
Superfoods are specific foods known for their impressive levels of antioxidants, vitamins and/or minerals that are not normally found in one source of food. For example, adding quinoa to meals provides your body with a complete protein, iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber (yowza!).
Choose 1 one each month to add into smoothies, salads or dishes.
(raw cacao, chia seeds, seaweed, spirulina, chaga mushroom, Kambucha, etc.)
- Buy more locally grown foods (better for you and the environment)
Buying local provides you with the freshest crops that are picked at their very prime. The less time it takes the food to be taken from the soil and onto your table the more nutrients the food will have retained.
Locally grown produce is less likely to have harmful pesticides due to the fact that smaller, local farms are not using mass-producing tactics. Also, less transportation means less pollution – so a smaller impact on the environment!
- Infuse your water.
Drinking water is crucial for many health purposes. Water protects our vital organs, aids in digestion, regulates the body’s temperature, controls food cravings and flushes out toxins. Drinking a lot of water also improves the appearance of the skin, resulting in comparisons to Botox injections. If you’re not a fan of just water, adding some fresh ingredients to water can be a little more interesting for the taste buds.
The small amounts of natural sugars will also give you an energy boost. Try lemon to balance the body’s PH levels and detoxify the liver or ginger to aid in digestion.
Other suggestions (cucumber, mint, orange, apple, lime, cilantro, lavender or blueberries)
Blog Post By: Vanessa Kamevaar