Ready for a healthier version of you this year? If you’ve resolved to lose weight, give up bad habits, or get fit, making a plan of action will help you stay focused and reach your goals.
While there are many ways to go about it, each involves taking one or more conscience steps at a time. Change doesn’t happen all at once. To help plot your course to wellness, we’ve put together a check list of 45 things you can do to further your journey to a healthier lifestyle this year. How many of these healthy habits do you already have in place? Want to improve your health and lifestyle?
Select two or more healthy habits to put into practice this week. Next week, add a few more or devise your own list. Each week consider what more you can do or change to improve your lifestyle and your health.
- Drink one or two glasses of spring water with the juice of one lemon first thing every morning.
- Eat protein instead of grains for breakfast.
- Drink organic coffee, to avoid ingesting pesticide residue.
- Cook with coconut oil, instead of canola or corn oils.
- Make your own salad dressings with olive oil. Most commercial varieties contain soy.
- Consume apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar. Drink a glass of water with apple cider vinegar in it before lunch.
- Steam vegetables instead of microwaving.
- Consume the rainbow, eat a variety of fresh, colorful vegetables. Rotate your greens.
- Eat sprouted grain bread or homemade sour dough bread.
- Cutting back on sugar consumption is vital to good health. Use stevia or coconut sugar as a sweetener instead of artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, or agave. Avoid food products containing high fructose corn syrup.
- Add healthy fats to your daily diet: grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts, and coconut oil.
- Eat grass-fed meat and pastured, organic eggs.
- Season foods with sea salt instead of highly refined table salt.
- Drink sparkling water instead of diet or regular sodas.
- Wash the outside of melons and other fruits with a water and vinegar spray before slicing to remove possible mold and bacteria.
- Store food in glass instead of plastic containers.
- Buy eggs, nut milks, broths and frozen vegetables in waxed paper boxes or cartons instead of plastic.
- Cook in ceramic instead of Teflon nonstick pans.
- Eat wholesome meals prepared at home, instead of fast food to establish healthy eating habits as a family.
- Replace your toothbrush monthly. Or, weekly soak the head of your toothbrush in a glass of hydrogen peroxide overnight to kill germs and bacteria. Rinse the toothbrush under running water before using.
- Practice oil pulling one or more times a week for oral health.
- Bathe and shave with all natural, chemical free soaps and shampoos. Place a water filter in your showerhead if you have “city” water to remove chlorine and other chemicals. Take a Epsom salts and baking soda bath/soak at least once a week.
- Remove make-up with almond oil. Rub extra virgin coconut oil into your skin daily.
- Reduce environmental toxins by making your own household cleaning solutions using vinegar, baking soda, liquid Castile soap, essential oils, and oil soap.
- Burn beeswax candles instead of artificially scented candles.
- Make your own air freshening spray or diffuse essential oils into your home to avoid environmental toxins of plug-ins and artificial sprays.
- Once a week sanitize cleaning sponges by soaking them in distilled white vinegar. Replace sponges every few months or at first sign of wear, mold or staining.
- Hand-wash clothes instead of sending them to a drycleaner, when possible. Clothes picked up from the drycleaner should be hung outside on a covered porch, etc. for a day or more to remove chemical vapors.
- Use cedar coat hangers, sachets and shelving to protect your clothing from moth damage instead of mothball products which release harmful chemical vapors into your home.
- Maintain good posture at all times. Avoid rounding your shoulders and leaning your head or neck forward. Position your computer monitor so that it is eye level. Sit back in the chair.
- See a chiropractor for a posture and spinal analysis. Take the kids too.
- When sitting for prolonged periods of time, stand every hour, stretch and do at least one exercise.
- Jump on a rebounder daily.
- Strive for 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day.
- Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime.
- Sleep in a dark, cool room. Sleeping on your left side prevents stomach acids from reaching the esophagus. Sleep on a good, cervical support pillow. Your head and neck should be level with the rest of your body when lying on your side.
- Try to get eight hours of sleep each night.
- Wear shoes with good arch support. Give yourself a daily foot massage.
- Have your vitamin D level tested. Get 15 to 30 minutes of direct sunshine daily on your exposed skin during the warmer months of year. Supplement with vitamin D3 the remainder of the year.
- To ward off disease your pH balance should be more alkaline than acidic. To achieve this, eat alkaline producing foods or add pH balance mineral drops to your beverages daily.
- The health of your gut affects your immune function and well-being. Take probiotics daily.
- Ask your natural health care provider which supplements and vitamins you need daily.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of going on a crash diet to lose weight and improve your health.
- Give someone a big hug every day.
- Volunteer to help others. Regularly give money, clothing, food or your time to others in need.
Here’s to a healthier you this year!
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Check out Lowell and Deborah's super sturdy and handsome DIY Gardening Potting Bench Plans. Deborah is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.