Every day we are faced with daunting information about all of the things in our environment and lifestyle that can create disease in our bodies or even take us to an early grave. We are called to make changes that seem a bit over the top. This can send us into information “overload”. We want to run away and yell “everything can kill you!” But this isn’t exactly true.
Although it impossible to eliminate all of the toxins and unhealthy influence in our lives, we can do what we can do. You are the gateway to a healthy environment, a nourishing diet, and healthful lifestyle habits that can create longevity and an enjoyable, energetic life.
Start small and grow from there
We all have to start somewhere, and everything unhealthy you remove from your life, no matter how small, can make a huge impact. Think of all of the areas in your life that need attention and build from there. Each week focus on one habit that you can change from each of the following areas:
I know, this is a hard one. We want what we want. Emotional eating, sharing meals with friends and family, and just plain indulging in the things that give us comfort can be hard to imagine giving up. Try to examine the reasons behind why you reach for unhealthy foods. Make a conscious effort to replace the bad stuff for something that nourishes you but is just as enjoyable. Things like music, hot baths, message, or a relaxing walk.
You might just find that these simple changes can put you on the road to creating permanent habit change that can make a huge difference in your health. Diet is an enormous topic and is difficult to sum up in such a short space. Permanent habit change comes not from dieting or deprivation, but from really laser focusing in on the “why” behind the unhealthy food choices that we make daily. Finding the “why” will help you to thwart off these urges and create ways to feed these needs in a healthy, sustainable way.
Tips: Choose foods daily that nourish you and come up with 10 healthy meals that you love. Work to plug these meals in weekly to help you stay on track. Try to make sure that you are eating slowly, giving yourself at least 20 mns per meal. Hydrate! Be sure to drink half of your body weight in ozs of water per day. (150lbs = 75 ozs water)
Living in a healthy environment can be hard to control. Especially when we are out and about all day. But you are the gatekeeper in your own home and can make a seriously huge impact on the toxins that enter your body each day. It can be difficult to think of completely changing how you do everything in your home, but consider these changes as you make improvements.
1. Kick out all of the candles in your home – candles contain fragrances that are full of literally hundreds of harmful chemicals as well as toxic wicks.
2. Laundry detergents and fabric softeners are high on the top 10 list of carcinogenic gas producing substances in your home. These substances can out-gas into your closet and home daily, well after your clothes have been washed and put away.
Tips: Consider switching to a natural laundry detergent such as Thieves laundry detergent made by Young Living. Use baking soda in place of fabric softener. To replace the bleach in your laundry, mix 1 gallon of distilled water with 1 ½ cups peroxide, ½ cup lemon juice, and 12 drops lemon essential oil. Use wool balls with a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the dryer. Your clothes will be clean, fresh, bright, and free from the harmful effects of traditional laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
3. Get rid of the air fresheners in your home. Air fresheners are full of poisons that can leave you and your loved ones infertile, brain damaged, or even chronically ill. They are the number one cancer causing, chemically loaded substance in homes today. Instead, diffuse essential oils in your home to eliminate odors, enhance relaxation, and improve the overall health of your family.
4. Change your air filters. Your HVAC system is running all of the time and is circulating allergens, toxins and gasses throughout your home. Make sure that the maintenance on your HVAC system is up to date and change your air filters regularly.
Sleep is vitally important! Getting the proper amount of rest allows our bodies to heal, regenerate, and renew each day. Unfortunately, many of us forgo the proper amount of rest feeling that we can “get by” on fewer and fewer hours of rest. The consequences can be catastrophic to our health and well-being. Try to power down all electronics an hour before bed each evening. Set a bedtime and stick to it, allowing yourself 7-8 hours of sleep or more if you need it. Keep electronic devices away from your bed. Give yourself time before bed for quiet reflection in order to clear your mind of the clutter of the day. Everything that you do will be easier, more effective, and clearer when you have had the proper amount of rest.
NOURISH YOURSELF! I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about your spirit. Allow yourself downtime each day to relax and unwind. Create time in your schedule for the ones that you love and guard that time diligently. Choose hobbies or activities that you love and plug them into your week. Above all, find opportunities to experience joy in your life! This can create good health in you all the way down to a cellular level!
I know, exercise……..the dirty word. But exercise and movement doesn’t have to mean beating yourself up at the gym…unless that’s your thing. Movement comes in many different forms and, above all, must be enjoyable to be sustainable. Take daily walks, go horseback riding, take a dance class, play golf, or go for a bike ride. The possibilities are endless! The key is remain consistent, enjoy yourself, and keep your body moving.
When looking at all of the changes that we can make to live a healthier life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just give up. Remember, healthy living is doable if we are willing to make small changes, just a little bit at a time. Choose one simple item that you would be willing to do from each of the categories listed above. Write them down and post them somewhere in your home. Focus on them each day for a week or two until they become automatic. Keep scratching off the things that you master and add new items as you go.
Before you know it, you’ll be feeling better, living healthier, and feeling great about the accomplishments that you’ve made. Healthy living is absolutely a journey. We never fully arrive. There is always something new that we can do to improve our health and well-being. Stay conscious, consistent, and always remember, small changes make a huge difference!