One thing is for certain, throughout life there are many opportunities to begin anew, try something different, or set a reset button. In fact, every waking moment gives us this opportunity. That being said the New Year offers a beneficial collective push in that direction. The air is thick like raw honey with affirmations and resolutions; why not ride that collective wave of positivity and resolve! Reflecting on the past year we can determine what might not have been working well for us and what me might like to try differently. If you could use a little inspiration in the resolution department we've compiled a little list of some awesome suggestions that will enable you to experience 2014 as a happier and healthier version of your beautiful self! Pick 1 or 2 or resolve to incorporate them all into the this new year that is upon us.
*Drink More Water!
We ARE water (basically), so it makes sense that proper hydration should be number 1 on the list. All of our organs simply cannot perform at peak performance if the body is dehydrated. DRINK UP and choose the best water possible. If you're still drinking tap water this is the year to invest in a filter, start harvesting spring water, or purchasing bulk filtered water from the supermarket. We've all heard the saying "you are what you eat", however we're also what we DRINK so make it clean!
*Eat More Superfoods!
Start ingesting superfoods on a daily basis. What is a superfood exactly? In essence these are foods with more nutrition per caloric unit. Superfoods range from the common place (think kale, sprouts or fresh raspberries) to the more exotic (think Indonesian cacao, Peruvian maca root, or freshwater blue-green algae). By including superfoods in our diet we automatically enjoy vastly more nutrition with little effort. The result is that our cells get more of what they really crave and we start to enjoy a more robust level of health. There are some truly amazing superfood products out there these days that offer the body a serious dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and general food-based nutritional support. You'll feel the difference once you start incorporating products like Longevity in a Bottle, Goji Joy, Mushroom Immunity, Pure Synergy, Vitamineral Green, spirulina, chlorella, raw cacao powder, maca, lucuma and mesquite into your smoothies, nut mylks, and elixirs! If powdered superfoods aren't your thing than look into adding a handful of goji berries, incan berries, raw cacao, hemp seeds, and chia into your recipes, meals and snacks. And of course stock up on all of the fresh, colorful, and seasonal goodness available at your local organic market.
*Eat More Variety!
Speaking of your local organic market, make a point to try new fruits and vegetables when you go shopping. If you tend to stick with the same foods day after day your body may not be getting the more subtle trace elements and phytonutrients that it needs. By embracing a more adventurous mindset around food we get to enjoy more flavors, textures, colors AND nutrition! So if you've been eyeing that interesting tuber or strange looking citrus fruit don't hold back! You may discover a new favorite….
*Juice It Up!
Yep, there is no time like the new year to invest in a juicer, bust it out of its dark hiding place if you already have one, or start frequenting an awesome local juice bar. Getting into a habit of juicing is one of the best ways to ensure you experience better levels of health. If it seems overwhelming, try to aim for a green juice day at least twice a week. Pick days that you have a bit more time for cleanup, and get juicy with some celery, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger, pineapple, carrots, beets, or whatever fruits and veggies you like most. Try to aim for a base of non-sweet water-rich items like celery and cucumber, make sure to add in at least a handful of dark greens, and then sweeten it up with your choice of fruit. Lemon and ginger are wonderfully accompaniments for flavor that also offer a great immune boost. Juicing will help mineralize the blood, alkalinize the body, hydrate the tissues, detoxify the organs and give you vastly more energy throughout the day.
*Make Friends with Chlorophyll!
Make 2014 your greenest year yet! And we don't mean by recycling more (although that's always encouraged too!) When it comes to oxygenating, detoxifying, remineralizing, and buffering acidity within the body nothing does it quite like chlorophyll. From a science standpoint the molecule of chlorophyll holds great likeness to our own hemoglobin. If you're eating green food you're building healthy blood. It's easy to pick a chlorophyll-rich friend out from the crowd too; the darker green the hue the better! Think dark green vegetables, spirulina, chlorella, matcha green tea, and superfood green powders. Make sure to get at least one big green salad in a day, and swap out lighter greens like lettuce for more mineral and chlorophyll-dense options like raw kale or collards. The taste of some of these green foods is quite strong, but give it a little time, your body and taste buds will adapt and you may even start to crave them. Also look to recipes that incorporate greens into tasty mediums such as smoothies or even desserts. No one could refuse a creamy cacao and frozen banana milkshake even if it is colored green with spirulina.
*Eliminate Refined Sweeteners - Use These Instead!
It seems like wherever you turn sugar is there getting a bad rap. While it's true that too much sugar in the diet can lead to things such as candida overgrowth, inflammation, diabetes and blood sugar-related diseases, the truth of the matter is that our bodies NEED sugar to function. The type and quantity of sugar we ingest makes all the difference in the world. Give up refined sugars and artificial sweeteners and replace all that nonsense with these amazing alternatives instead! Coconut palm sugar, raw organic honey, yacon syrup, mesquite pod meal, carob powder, lucuma, maple syrup, dates and other soaked dried fruits, or for very low glycemic options try xylitol (made from birch) or stevia leaf. So rest easy tonight knowing that you don't have to give up your sweet tooth entirely in 2014....
*Get Some Ninja Kitchen Tools
Having the proper kitchen tools will enable you to easily incorporate healthier foods into your diet. A high speed blender will make recipe creation a breeze and you'll be able to easily whip up smoothies, soups, milks, puddings, pie fillings, creams, yogurts, sauces, dressings, and the list goes on and on. Blenders can also double as juicers if you blend your produce with a bit of water and then strain things through a mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Invest in a good chef knife that is easy to use. Get yourself a spiralizer so that you can make pasta noodles out of vegetables like squashes and root veggies. Dehydrators, juicers, and food processors are also great things to have but the number one appliance in a raw food kitchen is a blender, hands down. You won't regret making this investment in your health!
*Stretch It Out
The human body is simply not made to be as sedentary as many of us stay throughout the day. If you're sitting down at a desk for 8 hours or more a day then you're likely experiencing some stiffness, aches, pains, or muscle tension because of this. Make stretching a priority! A great way to start is to begin and end each day with some light stretching, and take at least several short breaks throughout the day to do some forward bends, elbow and wrist stretches, triangle poses, hip openers, or whatever stretching feels most intuitive and best to you. The key is to tune into your body and listen to the signals its giving you. You'll be amazed by how much a simple stretching routine can enhance your sense of wellbeing both mentally and physically.
*Jump On The Movement Train!
Yes, we had to go there. Getting more exercise is probably the most cliche resolution around but for good reason! It is one of the most surefire ways of becoming healthier and feeling amazing! Instead of paying for an expensive gym membership that you may use for a few months and then forget about why not take some gentle steps toward making movement (in some shape or form) integrated more with your lifestyle. Do you like to dance? Turn up the music and get your groove on more often. Feeling a bit tense working at your desk? Stand up and do a few burpies (google it!), run in place, or get up and do some stretching. By tuning in fully with our bodies throughout the day we can pick up more easily on those "it's time to bust a move" signals. Our bodies were meant to MOVE and this is such a key component of true health.
*Turn Off The Gadgets! (just do it!)
Unplug from email, social media, internet, tv, etc. earlier in the evening and spend some time writing, journaling, reading, or meditating before bed. You'll go to sleep with a clearer mind, will sleep more deeply and restfully, and will wake up feeling more rejuvenated. Sleep is so critical to overall health, and while quality of sleep isn't always under our control we do have control over many aspects. If you've fallen into a trap of staying up too late because you're plugged into your electronic devices really think about how this is affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep and consider unplugging earlier in the evening. You my find yourself experiencing a refreshed state of being!
Whatever you resolve to do in 2014 may it be for your highest good and may you experience the determination and inspiration to stick with it! It's going to be a wonderful year of expansion and growth, this is for certain.