11 Healthy Ideas for 2012

Happy New Year!

For the new year, I want to share with you a list of simple ways to improve your health. Try the one that seems like a good idea, or try them all. Sometimes the smallest changes make the difference between feeling good and feeling great!

1. Drink more water.
Simple and heathful. Drink two or three extra glasses of water early in the day. Filtered is best. The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females (thanks, Wikipedia). More fresh water will increase your energy and help your body function better.

2. Take a walk.
We were made to move. Walk to work, to the store or just around the block a couple times. Park farther from work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk with co-workers at lunch. Walk with friends. Take a walk for entertainment. Look around. It’s fun!

3. Eat a new green vegetable.
There are lots to choose from. Try a new one. You might fall in love. Fresh spinach, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, beat greens, chard, cabbage, etc. There are lots to try and recipes are easy to find – go green!

4. Shop at a farmers’ market.
A great way to support your local economy, make some farmer friends and improve your health at the same time. High quality fresh food has everything your body needs.

5. Care for yourself.
Try a new self-care idea. Snuggle with a water bottle. Give yourself a hot towel scrub. Try a tongue scraper. Enjoy a warm relaxing bath with essential oils that smell good to you. Invigorate at the end of your shower with a cool rinse (this is not as chilling as it sounds). Take a belly-dance class. Sing!

6. Make simple food.
Home-cooked simple food is great for our bodies. Brown rice and veggies really only takes 15 minutes of pre-time. 10 for veggie washing and chopping, 5 to get the rice started and finished. Just set the timer. No need to stand in the kitchen while the rice cooks. Season with your favorite seasonings. A good resource: Simple Food for Busy Families. Buy it locally – this link is just so you can see the cover.

7. Step into the sun.
Warm sun on the skin creates vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. Just 15 minutes on your bare arms and face each day in the summer or 2000 IUs of a high-quality supplement in the winter is all you need. Sunlight also helps protect against depression, insomnia  and helps regulate the immune system.

8. Try a super-food.
Cacao or Raw Chocolate – highest anti-oxidant food on the planet, known as the “bliss chemical”, Goji Berries – This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, Spirulina – the world’s highest source of complete protein (65%), Raw Honey – rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes, Sea Vegetables – the most common is nori (the green sushi wrapper) seaweeds benefit the entire body, and are especially excellent for the thyroid, immune system, adrenals, and hormone function.

9. Sit quietly.
At the beginning or ending of the day, sit and concentrate on your breathing. Let you mind be empty. Relax. Connect with yourself. Don’t do. Just be. For 5 minutes or 30 minutes. After all, we are human “be”ings, right? If you want to try something a little more formal, here are some choices.

10. Eat colorful food.
Beets, carrots, yams, kale, berries. Colorful food is nutrient dense and good for you. Raw or cooked, it’s your best bang for the buck. Enjoy some!

11. Sleep better and longer.
Sleep is important. The body mends itself while you rest. Darken your sleeping space, or try a sleeping mask. Move the clock radio across the room and away from your head. Drink water early in the day so you don’t have to wake up to pee. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. Avoid alcohol just prior to bed time. Don’t eat anything within three hours of bed time. Keep stimulation to a minimum for an hour before you plan to sleep. Take a warm bath before bed, or warm your toes with a hot water bottle. Go to bed early enough that you don’t need to use an alarm to wake on time. Rest well.

Here’s to YOUR health and happiness!

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