Healthy Daily Habits

Over the past few years I have developed some good daily habits, that work well for me, and that I thought might be valuable to share.  I have included some alternatives as well as some additional suggestions so you can choose those things that you feel might work for you.

The important word here is ‘habit’.  Doing something once in awhile when we feel like it or when inspiration hits is one thing, but unless you incorporate it into your regular daily routine, the result is limited to non existent.

Healthy-Habits

Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water

Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great way to pre-hydrate apart from anything else.  Many of us find it challenging to drink enough water during the day, so starting with a large glass first thing hydrates your body up front.  I use fresh organic lemons and just squeeze one into a 22oz glass of filtered water, then warm it up.

Lemon contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids. Researchers think these bioflavonoids are responsible for the health benefits of lemon.

IMG_0416

Benefits of lemon water:

  • Hydration.
  • Lemons are rich in Vitamin C which will help to boost your immune system and protect you from illness.
  • Helps to flush out the toxins in your system.
  • It helps the digestive system.
  • Lemons are a good source of potassium, magnesium, citric acid and phosphorus.
  • The potassium content in lemons help nourish the brain and nerve cells.
  • Lemon juice helps replenish the body after working out.
  • The pectin fiber contained in lemons is good for colon health.
  • Helps the health of your blood vessels
  • Helps increase urination to decrease fluid retention
  • Helps ward off or cure UTIs

For more good information on the benefits of lemon water, go to: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/cheers-to-drinking-warm-lemon-water

Eat a really good healthy breakfast

breakfast

If you are serious about being healthy and losing weight, it is super important that your morning routine not only includes water (or better yet lemon water), but that you set yourself up with a good nutritious breakfast.  Studies show that people who eat breakfast weigh less than those who skip breakfast.

Benefits of a good breakfast:

  • Kick starts your metabolism
  • It will give you more energy throughout the day
  • It will improve your performance and concentration throughout the day
  • You will have energy to engage in physical activity
  • Helps with weight control

Suggestions for a good healthy breakfast:

I have the same thing every day with some small deviations in some of my breakfast vegetables (yes, I did say breakfast vegetables, you heard right!!).

I have a pile of spinach, a whole tomato, several slices of cucumber, a pile of sprouts (mung beans, or pea shoots or alfalfa or a combo).

To this I add a slice of organic whole wheat toast, spread with a little cream cheese, and topped with 1/4 avocado, a slice of wild smoked salmon and an egg.

After this I eat a banana and drink a cup of tea (I am British after all… I like Barry’s Irish Tea)

That’s my breakfast, but there are other options:

  • 1 cup oatmeal made with almond milk and sweetened with fruit and a little honey, with one slice of whole grain toast spread with a tablespoon of peanut or other nut butter
  • 2 cups oatmeal made with almond milk and topped with fresh, frozen or dried fruit
  • 2 egg vegetable omelette.
  • 1 slice wholegrain toast spread with nut butter and topped with a banana.
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt topped with fresh or frozen fruit, 1 slice of wheat toast

Oil Pulling

oil-pulling

I take 20 minutes twice a day to whiten and clean my teeth and mouth with a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Not all dentists will recognize this as something beneficial, but my dentist does (Groton Wellness).

The following quote is taken from the WebMD site (http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling), showing that Oil pulling does have some studies and history to support it’s use:

By Colleen Oakley

WebMD Magazine – Feature

Reviewed by Eric Yabu, DDS

Maybe you’ve seen something about it on the Internet, or a friend of a friend swears by it — but you’re not sure exactly what it is. Oil pulling is a growing trend, but it’s not new.

“This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] that dates back 3,000 years,” says Jessica T. Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago. “It involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil — typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil — in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.”

Unlike some so-called natural home remedies, it’s not a practice that’s based on pseudo-science. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. How? “Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell,” Emery says. “Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.”

Oil-Pulling Tips

Use coconut oil. While you can get the same bacteria-fighting benefits with sesame or sunflower oil, coconut oil has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents, Emery says, making it more effective. Also, a recent study found that coconut oil may help prevent tooth decay.

Exercise!

unnamed-15

No matter what your schedule, you need to find some time during 6 out of 7 days in the week to exercise.  If you work in an office and are sitting all day, it’s important to get up and walk around regularly, stretch and just move your body.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away so you have more of a walk to get to your office.  Do whatever you can to ensure your day is not entirely sedentary.

Ideally you should set time aside to work out.  Try and incorporate this into your daily routine.  After all, we can all find time to do the things we really want or need to do ie. eat, watch TV, get your hair and/or nails done.  If you don’t incorporate it into your daily routine, it will never become a ‘habit’ and you will easily miss out on something your body desperately needs.  Here are some examples of ways to incorporate exercise into your life.

  • Join a gym
  • Commit to work with a trainer
  • Sign up for local fitness classes
  • Find a friend to take a walk or run with you during lunch
  • Use the stairs not the elevator
  • Ride a bike to get to places in your town
  • Play a sport
  • Join a sports club i.e.. tennis, racquetball
  • Sign up for on-line fitness classes such as daily burn or beachbody live

th

Recognize from the list above, what will work for you.  You want to try to pick a variety of activities that will cover: cardio, strength and stretching.

Remember that if you do the same thing over and over, you will burn less and less calories doing it, so in order to keep progressing in your exercise routine, switch things up on a regular basis.  A good trainer will help you do this as well as give you routines that you can do at home.

Here is a list of some of the benefits of daily exercise:

  • Increases your metabolism
  • Burns calories
  • Helps to prevent and cure many types of illnesses
  • Helps control stress
  • Increases your sense of well being
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases bone density which decreases as you age
  • Strengthens muscles which improves quality of life
  • Strengthens the heart which improves quality of life
  • Controls weight
  • Helps combat depression

th-1

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation can lead to so many health issues, and its so important to get a good 6-8 hours each night.  Exercise will help improve sleep patterns for those who have difficulty.  Late night snacking and excessive drinking will do the opposite.  Try to stop eating and drinking by 7pm.  That way you will maximize your chances of a good night’s sleep, and avoid the ultimate weight gain that comes with late night snacking.

th-2

For more information on healthy ways to improve your sleep visit:  http://wellnessmama.com/4936/improve-sleep-naturally/

So, I have shared a few of the things I do daily that are positive.  Please feel free to use the comment box to share daily habits you have adopted and found to be healthy and positive for you and those around you.