This list is for those of us (::cough, cough:: ME!) who might be considered a little lax when it comes to putting our health as a priority. In life, it can feel like getting the right balance between what we enjoy and what we need is very hard to find. It’s common to find yourself fretting over being able to maximize your quality of life. Not because you don’t want to but because we struggle to find the time. With so much to think about and consider when it comes to our health, where do you even begin?
For anyone looking to make sure they can start living better, try out any of the following ten easy ways to increase health that will provide the “biggest bang for your buck”.
Meatless Mondays. Definitely one of the best ways to maximize your commitment to a better standard of living, Meatless Mondays – the act of giving up meat every Monday – is very useful. Not only does it reduce your risk of dealing with entirely preventable issues such as cardiovascular disease and obesity right through to getting cancer, reducing meat intake can be valuable for the body. It helps to show a bit of compassion to all the creatures in this world and makes a big impact on our environment. Best of all, it might transform your diet; you’ll need to experiment with more vegetables, meaning discovering foods you never knew you loved! I have discovered new vegetables I thought I … well, hated by simply learning different methods of cooking them. I have curated a Meatless Monday Pinterest board that has some of my favorite recipes, check it out here.
Detox Baths. The perfect way to give your body much-needed assistance in getting rid of free radicals and dangerous toxins, detox baths on a bi-weekly basis can be just what you need. A simple, easy solution giving our body the help it needs to recover. Detox Baths need very few cheap ingredients and can be modified for your current needs.
Basic Items Needed: (makes enough for 1 bath, may be doubled or tripled)
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons powdered Ginger
- 5 drops Organic Chamomile essential oil
- 5 drops Organic Rosemary essential oil
- Jar with lid (Like a Mason jar)
- In a small jar stir together epsom salt, ginger and baking soda. Add 5 drops of each Lemon and Rosemary essential oils. Stir.
- Keep in jar for up to 3 months (great for gift giving!) or add the full amount to hot bathwater (as hot as you can stand it) and soak for at least 20 minutes. Once out of the bath, drink a large glass of water. No lotion for at least one hour. For maximum benefits, take a bath detox with epsom salt at least twice a week.
Protein and Veggie filled Breakfast Smoothies. Not much for eating fruit or veg much? Then start making a breakfast smoothies. Load it with vital ingredients that are known for energy and vitamins such as kale, spinach, bananas, blueberries and even acai if you can. They all work to give the body a nice extra nutritional punch while making sure you get enough morning calories to get you motor running. Skipping breakfast is a metabolism and energy killer. You can increase weightloss by also replacing one of your snacks with protein smoothies. A smoothie can be made with a huge variety of different bases, from milk, nut milks, coconut milks and/or adding extra nutrients like chia seeds, super greens and superfood blends. Buy a tub of protein shake and start taking one or two every day; it can be a great meal replacement with added health benefits. This is the brand I use and love, but honestly there are a lot of solid ones out there. Just do your research. Watch out for sugars and other additives. I have a smoothie recipe Pinterest board here that I use to change it up. My standard recipe is Protein powder, almond milk, spinach, kale, banana, frozen berries and a small amount of peanut butter, just for taste. It makes it taste like a PB & J sandwhich!
Magnesium. Magnesium is a vital nutrient for improving our health and giving our bodies a more natural source of stamina and energy management. If you use magnesium – taken via supplement or through our old hero, the banana – you can get find that days begin to feel far less exhausting from start to finish. Here is the brand I use, and you can see in the reviews people love it for a variety of reasons. Anxiety, sleep issues, tummy issues, heart health, etc. This is a “must have” supplement and helps you absorb your calcium.
Vitamin D3. Speaking of must have supplements, Vitamin D is a hero for many reasons. Adequate Vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and is suggested to have a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions such as Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis. According to the Archives for Internal Medicine three-quarters of American teens and Adults are Vitamin D deficient. The truth is we are not getting enough of the best source of Vitamin D available, good old fashion sunshine. We are indoors a lot, using sunscreen (for very good reasons) and not eating enough Vitamin D rich foods. The best and easiest way to get the right amount is with a supplement.
Self-care. From taking the time to engage with a bit of extra fitness every morning – even a quick run/jog around the block – to something as simple as upping water intake, self-care is a vital part of improving the quality of life that you lead. It’s hard to find the time to do this when you have work, kids, a household and more, but self-care basically means making an effort to maintain a high quality of life. Don’t you want a high quality of life? We all need to recharge our batteries so we can be our best self for ourselves and the ones we love. I have found the best way I can achieve this is by literally scheduling the time for self-care. I have a Bullet Journal (See my pinterest board here for layout ideas) and plan my self-care every week. I am not perfect and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But I am much more likely to take the time for myself if I plan for it. An example, Every Sunday night, I do a Dextox Bath (see above) and read a book or magazine for pure fun. Sometimes its a trashy magazine and sometimes its a tear jerker or crime novel. I get up before everyone every day to just have some “Me Time” and meditate. I diffuse essential oils and use a pillow mist before bed as part of a relaxing bedtime ritual. All these little things make me less stressed, more joy filled and grateful. I keep ideas for Self Care on this Pinterest board if you need any for yourself.
Meditation. Take the time to engage in a guided meditation class (in person, online, audio book, etc), so that you can work on becoming more attuned with the idea of meditation. It can help to clear the mind of all the clutter, allowing you to instead create a focused mindset that’s going to help harness your long-term success. Meditation is scientifically proven to help depression, anxiety, increase gray matter in the brain, improve focus and decision-making skills, lower blood pressure and even Reduce thickening of Coronary Arteries. If you walk away doing one thing from this article, let this be it! There are testimonies everywhere to how much 5 min of meditation can change your life. I highly suggest checking out 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story and Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program as a fantastic way to get started.
Superfoods. Start treating your body. Greek yogurt, Salmon, chia seeds, kale, blueberries, quinoa – these kind of things are flying off the shelves of food stores for a reason. Give yourself the best chance of staying health in the future by using superfoods every day. Many of them go together, too, making it easy to enjoy superfood blends that improve your quality of life and nutritional intake vastly.Try to incorporate one into each and every meal. You can find millions of easy recipes online with a quick search. Add them to smoothies, make them a snack, add a new side dish to your arsenal … the possibilities are endless.
Staying Hydrated. Drinking around 2.2 to 3 liters (or 9-13 cups) of water per day is a must if you have any aim of becoming productive and motivated. Water is essential to improving our quality of life and can help the brain to function at its best while offering an easy solution for avoiding feeling dry, empty and hydrated. Improve that water intake; it’s vital for making every other tip give you the best response. I can not stress this one enough! Add lemon, herbs, cucumbers or fruit to change it up. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Unplug Tech. We all have our faces in screens all day long. Computer at work, our cell phone, TV, etc. We are so connected to the world at every moment it can be mentally and even physically exhausting. 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device. Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.Traditional TV viewing eats up over six days (144 hours, 54 minutes) worth of time per month. This creates anxiety, fear of missing out and damage to your eyes. After a certain time each day – say 8PM – all tech should be switched off and avoided entirely. This is very useful for helping to get the brain to shut down and make sure you aren’t going to bed feeling charged up. Set a tech time for yourself and you’ll get a more reliable sleep, you’ll get a sounder sleep, and you’ll make the next day far more productive! Once you start a daily cut off time, you can try adding a weekend day like Sunday to be entirely tech free. Go for a hike, spend time reading, play board games. In 5 years you will not remember what you watched with your family, what a friend ate on facebook or some TMZ headline but you will remember the time you spent with your friends, family or even by yourself doing simple yet rewarding activities.
Do you have any simple and easy health changes that gave you true results? Have you tried any of the above? I would love to hear what has worked for you and what hasn’t.