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The NOURISHED SOUL
9Jan2017

How To Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Yet: 5 Simple Steps You Can Take

We all start a new year off with great intentions. Typically, we come out of the festive season having downed one too many pieces of cake and now the ole pants are feeling too tight.

It’s also major cold and flu season (likely due to the sugar overload, which lowers our immunity) and so we’re wanting some deep renewal.

Here’s the thing. A healthy lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. It’s not something you endeavor to do intermittently or once in a while. You’re either committed all year long or you’re not.

My day-to-day habits are really what determine the trajectory of my health. Here are some simple steps that you can take to shift gears into vibrant, thriving health this year.

Make the decision to stop any and all dieting. Although this might sound counter-intuitive, it’s not. It’s life changing. What this means is that you stop messing around with temporary fixes and calorie restriction. These are utterly useless endeavors which offer superficial remedies at best and often lead to disordered eating at its worst. Making the decision to stop dieting (while continuing to move towards deeper health) means one thing: A permanent shift in the way you eat. So, how do we do this? Read on…

Remove the white stuff from your diet. These include white sugar, white flour and poor sources of dairy. Let me explain. Okay, do we really have to go over the sugar debate? It makes you fat, lowers your immunity, over-stimulates your brain and is highly addictive. Enough said.

White flour is now highly refined, genetically modified and looks nothing like the wheat that our grandparents ate. We’re essentially eating a “dwarf wheat” which is a stalkier version of yesteryear’s wheat. This means that the protein in wheat, called gluten, has radically changed. It’s no wonder so many are not tolerating flour products anymore. Most people feel miles better when they get rid of the wheat.

When I say “poor sources” of dairy, I mean the following: Low fat and non-organic. Using the full-fat version gives you a healthy source of fat (which is crucial for our brains AND for losing weight…yes, it’s true…keep reading) and also gives you a product that hasn’t had its molecular structure messed with. Organic versions are superior because this dairy comes from cows that haven’t been treated with antibiotics or hormones. If you can get your hands on grass-fed dairy, even better!

Increase your intake of fresh, organic produce. Have you ever heard the saying, “eat the rainbow?” This means eating a varied and colorful bunch of fruits and veggies everyday. Think, red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, red apples, blueberries, bananas and strawberries. There is likely nothing better that you can do for your body than to increase these foods to make them the mainstay of your diet. They’re chock full of nutrients, contain vital antioxidants, and cleanse your body with every bite. These are longevity foods, guys. Munch on!

Lower your carbs and increase your fat. Sound weird? Try it for a month and I guarantee you that you’ll feel better, think clearer and…wait for it…lose weight. Carbs (especially refined carbs) convert quickly to sugar in the body. You know that spare tire you see every other person sporting these days? That’s insulin; too much insulin. The body’s response to an overproduction of insulin is to lay down fat in the cells around the belly. It also paves the road to insulin resistance, which lays the foundation for diabetes. I could go on here, but then we’d all be depressed. Just lower the carbs. At the same time, increase your consumption of good fats. We’re talking olive oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and coconuts.  These are great sources of fat that your brain and body love. They keep you full, give you lovely skin and actually, astonishingly, help you lose weight.

Move your ass. That’s right. A body that stops moving starts decaying. It’s like an inert substance. It rots. Okay, okay…I’m being a little dramatic. But not really. When we move our bodies in ways that we love (jumping jacks, biking, swimming, yoga, running, somersaulting) we increase muscle mass, oxygenate our brains (in fact we change our brains through exercise), release massive amounts of endorphins – the happy hormones! – and we significantly reduce our stress.   There is so much information on the undeniable benefits of exercise that once you know just how beneficial and even crucial it is, you won’t go another day without moving that beautiful body of yours.

When you make the decision that you’re going to change your life, than it becomes more achievable to change your lifestyle. When your health becomes a real priority than you don’t feel like you’re giving anything up. You only look to what you have to gain.

See yourself as the healthiest version of yourself and remember that you’re worth the effort!

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