Are you striving for ways to stay healthy (or perhaps become healthier)? I am, too. I'm known among my friends as the one who loves to pig out on pizza, indulge in her favorite coffee drink and I hate the outdoors. I didn't always used to be this way. I'm sure some of you feel the struggle.
So, I bought myself a treadmill. It's my helpless attempt at keeping my end of the deal--if I need to eat pizza, I need to exercise. Here's my compiled list of my favorite six steps I've started adopting recently to enhance the health and well-being of my body and mind:
1. WORK OUT FOR 20 MIN. + STAY MOVING
If you work from home or sit in an office chair 8 hours of the day, it's important you stay mobile either during or after your shift. With the treadmill I purchased, I am able to attach my laptop to a shelf and work as I'm walking. This enables me to slowly burn calories throughout the day. I also take the time to purposefully exercise at least 15-20 mins. in addition to consistent walking.
2. STAY HYDRATED!
Attempt to drink at least 6-12 full cups a day. I'm lacking on this bit, but I'm trying! Adding ice helps me--I like really chilled water! A co-worker of mine keeps an entire pitcher of water at her desk--this helps her remember to keep drinking (I find that if I have to walk a ways to get the water, it discourages me. #TEAMLAZY).
3. ONE RAW MEAL A DAY
Eating one raw meal (like a salad) per day is so important! No carbs and no processed foods helps to ease your gut and strengthen your overall immunity.
To create your amazing giant salad, my friend Ally suggests her homemade dressing that tastes "like regular dressing" (aka unhealthy dressing--the best dressing):
Fully Raw Zucchini Lemon Dressing 1/2 of a zucchini 1/4 of a cucumber 1/2 slice of white onion 1/2 one Meyer lemon 1/8 of a red bell pepper Teaspoon of garlic Teaspoon virgin olive oil Small handful of cilantro Just a few spinach leaves Small cup of water Pinch of pepper Pinch of salt Tiniest amount of jalapeño
4. WRITE YOUR GRATITUDE
Taking note of what there is to be thankful for in your life is a great, proven way to increase your overall happiness and psychological well-being. Grab a journal you can use to write down your gratitude each day.
5. SNACK ON MUHAMMARA + TANGERINES
Tangerines are my new favorite snack! Of course, you don't want to eat too much since fruit has sugar, too. Reader's Digest published an article about the health benefits of tangerines after a study at the University of Western Ontario showed promising results.
In addition, muhammara is a delicious, easy snack--perfectly paired with some bell peppers or carrots. This hummus-like, hot pepper dip from Turkey is made from walnuts and spices, great for a munch on-the-go. Opt for healthy snacks!
6. STAY INSPIRED
Find something you love and do it every day. Whether this is painting, blogging, cooking, reading--latch on to the one thing that provides you with constant inspiration and never stop learning. This will enhance your soul's feel-goodness and will improve brain function and tenacity.
7. GET LOTS OF SLEEP
Whether you are pretty much nocturnal (like myself) or an early bird, make sure you get plenty of sleep when you do--at least 8-9 hours (any more than that and I find myself actually being more tired). Set your alarm (or a few) and make sure you allow yourself to get deep, quality sleep.
8. MEDITATE + PRAY
If you're a religious person (or a person with a connection to a higher power), you may consider praying. If not, meditation is another way we can get in touch with our inner balance and greater spirit. I adore meditation and often use an app called Headspace to keep your timing in check and lead you along the journey.
Oprah and Deepak are an excellent paid alternative and stream/offer DVDs of their best sessions. Note that on July 11, 2016, you can grab your 21-day FREE online meditation course with Oprah and Deepak!
9. GRAB A COLD SHOWER
A 2007 study showed that happiness can be evoked from showering in a cold temperature (and can actually reduce depression symptoms better than prescription medications)! I won't lie--it's going to suck for the first several seconds, but jumping in quickly is the best way to do it!
Some report that this technique makes them feel more creative and inspired. For me, it heightens my energy and gives me that extra boost. Similar to exercise, the cold shower gives you a bump of energy and increased sensations of joy.
10. SKIP THE FAST-FOOD
I've never had McDonald's in my entire life. Can you believe it!? The closest thing I've come to eating that is fast-food related is Subway, and that's a light fast-food in comparison to some of the junk we've got out there! I consume Subway maybe a handful of times in a year, and opt to eat elsewhere when I go out.
Skipping the fast-food is great for you--not only because it's fattening (all food at restaurants is fattening) but because it's filled with chemicals and crap that is incredibly foreign to your body. Opt for a different restaurant option if you're eating out.
What are some ways you cultivate a healthy body and mind? Leave your tips in the comments!