Hello everyone! How are you today?
I have been asked to write a piece about healthy lifestyles and to be honest, I think I could talk about this all day long!
Let me start by saying a bit about myself, because for many years my lifestyle was anything but healthy. As a teenager I was morbidly obese, my diet was full of unhealthy, processed food and I would reach out to grab anything to eat. I had no idea about nutrition and would take the quick and easy food on offer.
Now, as the founder of the CookYourLife website www.cookyourlife.co.uk and community I help people to reach their lifestyle goals by following a healthy living routine using food as medicine. On my blog, you will find tips, recipes, youtube videos and articles by a variety of world-renouned healthy lifestyle experts like Sophie Jaffe from www.thephilosophie.com. So are you someone who, like the younger me, would like to make a few changes in your life – to become happier, healthier with more energy and positivity? It’s something we all want, right? – wherever we’re starting from… Let me take on you an a walk through my 10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle (which also save you money!)
Tip #1 START SMALL…BABY STEPS!
In this all or nothing society it’s easy to think we have to totally throw everything out and start over, to reinvent ourselves completely. We don’t! Something so simple as starting your day with 10 minutes of meditation or breathing exercises can have far-reaching positive consequences – helping your focus and concentration, improving the inner-connection with yourself, boosting feelings of contentment and becoming more realistic with your goals.
If you don’t know how to start, download an app, search on youtube – there are plenty of ideas out there: from formal sitting meditation to breathing techniques to simple relaxation exercises to de- stress.
Tip #2 KEEP IT REAL, BABE!
You goals should be realistic! I know is sounds a cliche but it’s true! If you’re flat out trying to change your life 100% in a week – babe, it’s a bit radical! We start off full of energy and determination only to give up exhausted 3 days later. Remember moderation is the key – 2 changes a week is enough. For example, resolve to walk 20 minutes every evening and set 5 minutes aside each day to have some quiet time with yourself – no mobile, music, family…just you and a cup of tea. Sounds like heaven!
Tip #3 THE WETTER THE BETTER!
Hydration’s what you need! The right amount of daily water intake is vital – plenty of water is what you need but NO more than 2 litres a day, otherwise you will push out the nutrients and minerals your body needs. I recommend spacing out your water intake throughout the day – 1 pint in the morning, noon and evening and – believe me – drinking before and after (NOT during) meals.
Tip #4…IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT H20!
Remember, good hydration doesn’t just mean water. Eating plenty of VEGETABLES is another way to keep your body in a good shape and well hydrated. My tip here is always to include vegetables in every meal – half of your plate should be green (and red, purple etc) – you know what I mean, VEGGIES! Do you believe me? Try it for a week and let me know!
Tip #5 LOCAL FOOD FOR LOCAL PEOPLE!
Whenever possible, eat 85% of your meals using fresh and local produce. Connecting with the idea of eating locally produced food spreads the love – to farmers and small scale producers, local small businesses…then on to planet earth and ourselves as we start to feel the many benefits of rejecting carbon-heavy, imported, supermarket-sold, processed food
Tip #6 SPARE CHANGE CAN MAKE A BIG CHANGE!
Find a charity with which you feel a connection and donate – it could be your time, your ideas or setting up a direct debit for £3 £5 or £10 a month, whatever you can afford and feel comfortable with. You won’t even notice £3 a month and it will make a massive difference to someone less fortunate than us. We can easily get wrapped up in our worries and dramas and lose sight of the wonderful position we’re in – not everyone is so lucky…so, what do you think? Fancy a challenge? Go and love yourself by helping someone else!
Tip #7 BUDDY UP!
Find a friend or a community of like-minded people to commit to similar goals with. Everything is much easier when you’re working towards common goals with someone supportive. It’s a fact that we all have lazy or busy days sometimes, but being engaged in a community provides a much- needed security blanket or kick up the backside, as and when required! CookYourlife is a great one but there are plenty of other communities out there.
Tip #8 ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE..!
Love yourself! Be brave and look yourself into the mirror. Smile…We’re so busy to just pause for a moment to be with ourselves – in these fast-paced times, it’s more important than ever! Accept yourself as you are with all the good and the bad, as much as you can. Rejoice and celebrate every small victory and step you take in the direction you’ve chosen to go – you’re doing it right now!
Tip #9 MIND, BODY AND SOUL
MIND-BODY-SOUL: a healthy lifestyle is the right balance between these 3.
Love your body as a temple by giving it the fuel it needs – macro and micro-nutrients are essential in keeping the body functioning well.
Mind – staying positive, happy, finding joy in the moment and spreading your love out by helping others. Don’t worry – remember, if something can be done about your problem, then do it, don’t worry. If nothing can be done, what’s the use of worrying?
Soul – we need to go back to Tip #1 – do things to make you feel well and breathe!!
Tip #10 COMPANY
Last but not least, keep yourself close to healthy people – people with good intentions and similar attitudes, beliefs and goals. It’s so important to place yourself in a good environment which supports and nurtures your change…..GOOD LUCK!