10 HEALTHY HABITS ANYONE CAN FIT INTO A BUSY LIFE
I’m often asked by clients what I do in average day to maintain my health. So I've written a quick overview below. There’s no particular order and I don’t do all of these every day - but definitely on most days.
1. Sometimes I start my day with a smoothie. It's quick and easy and a great way to get veggies into you at the start of the day. Have it on the go if need be. My usual ingredients are:
- some vegetable protein powder, like Pea Protein, to keep me fuller for longer.
- 1 x banana
- 1 x large cup of berries
- a handful of leafy greens like kale/spinach
- a few brazil nuts
- coconut milk
- 1 tbl spoon of ground flaxseed
YUM! I mix it up every now and then to keep it interesting of course!.
2. I have a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar before lunch. This helps with digestion as it aids the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. We live in a world where food is so readily available that our bodies don't have time to 'prepare' to receive food intake, causing all sorts of digestive issues. So this is a good habit to get into before meals.
3. I regularly snack on leftovers. Kumara is my usual go to for snacking in the afternoons. As it's sweet you can eat it hot or cold. Complex carbs like root veggies such as kumara also help with sleep when consumed between 3pm-7pm (or no later than 3hrs before bed).
4. Sometimes I have a teaspoon of almond butter before bed. If you feel like you need something an hour or so before bed this is a good one. As this high fat tasty snack is great to take the edge off hunger and stabilise blood sugars for bedtime.
5. I take a magnesium supplement an hour before bed to aid with muscle recovery and quality of sleep. Most typical diets lack in this, unless you eats bowls and bowls of dark leafy greens, so a supplement can be a good aid.
6. I try to go to bed at the same time everyday for an effective recovery sleep. This is easier during the working week, and worth aiming for, as varying your bedtime can cause less restful sleep even if the amount of time sleeping remains the same.
7. I don’t sit still for more than an hour. Long periods of sitting is really unhelpful for good health and has negative effects on our bodies. For example it affects our metabolism, hormones, increases orthopedic issues and blood flow, and in turn reduces the ability for nutrients to get around the body AND slows the process of flushing out the toxins. So try and move often throughout the day.
8. I sneak in exercise in small pockets of time. I try to take advantage of any spare time to do 2-3 stretches, or 1 exercise like a squat or pull up. Like most of us I have days where I don’t have time for a workout so I scatter exercises or movement throughout the day instead. Exercises and movement are 2 different things. Exercise is movement for the sake of exercise whereas movement is like walking up the stairs to get to bed.
9. I’ve a set foundation of staple foods I shop for each week. It’s worth spending some time to create yourself a healthy shopping list so you don’t impulse buy processed foods you know aren’t the best for you just because they’re convenient.
10. I de-stress by heading outside to a nature filled spot and take some time with deep breaths. Yes, yes... mention stress management and people switch off. But ironically our brains are so overwhelmed with information overload that most of us are run at full speed. Being stressed can be bought on by many things even simply cramming too much into your day, even if you think you’re coping with it. Meditation and mindfulness is actually a great way to clear the mind, but it's not everyone’s thing. So deep breathing is just as good as it activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PSN) which allows your body to feel calm and relax. This is much more easily achievable and effective even if it’s just for 5 minutes. So aim to grab some quiet time and just breathe, 5mins on the hour every hour if necessary!
So that's pretty much it really. Remember though that just because this is works for me, doesn’t mean it is what will work for you. There's no harm in trying some of these suggestions but remember to use common sense. Avoid anything you know you could not react well with you, and as with any changes in your lifestyle it’s best to consult your trusted health professional.
Thanks for reading!