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The path that I have taken with health and wellness has been a journey. I have been interested in health and wellness for many years and my passion keeps growing. This year, I made the brave decision to enroll in health coach training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I have been loving it and it has taken my passion for health and wellness to a whole other level. I have always been creating new habits for myself and I have learned that the more good habits that I create, the less bad habits I have. All of my habits that I have formed, always stem from an external influence, but they also stem from me wanting to better myself in some way. When you start to take care of yourself in some sort of way, you’ll naturally start to better yourself in other areas of your life. I recently made a list of all of the good habits I have formed this year and these are my top 7!
- Morning lemon water for gut support and immunity. I have been doing this daily. Before I eat of drink anything else, I have a cup of warm lemon water with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. This has been a game changer for my skin health and my digestion. Cayenne contains capsaicin which revs up the metabolism (a plus if you are drinking it first thing in the morning). Lemon is filled with Vitamin C which helps to flush toxins from the body, support a healthy immune system (which is responsible for SO much of your overall health) and aid in skin health.
- Balancing my hormones. In all the years since I started my first period, I never knew there was a way to optimize each phase of my cycle (including the menstrual phase). I used to track just my period, but now I track each phase of my monthly cycle (menstrual, follicular, ovulation, luteal). In order for our hormones to be in harmony we must eat, workout and focus our schedules around our cycle. Balancing my hormones has been a game changer for me. I have learned to slow down during my luteal and menstrual phases, and then I pick up speed during my follicular and ovulation phases. I have also discovered that I feel better drinking caffeine during my follicular and ovulation phases and then switching over to decaf for my luteal and menstrual phases. There are so many other discoveries I have made throughout my journey and there is SO much information about hormone balancing that I would love to share (but that is for a blog post for another day). Balancing your hormones can help with things like PCOS, endometriosis, PMS etc. I definitely recommend doing some avid research and trying it out!
- Adding fruit to my water. I am terrible at getting in enough water throughout the day. I will drink water throughout my workout in the morning and then I won’t drink water till dinner. The only thing that gets me to drink enough water is by keeping a water bottle filled with fruit infused water on my desk at all times. Some of my favorite combos are cucumber, blackberry and mint and cucumber, strawberry and mint. Adding these fruits into my water makes it easier for me to drink water all day.
- Amping up my skin care routine. This year I have taken my skin care routine to another level. I used to be a simple “drug store face wash and moisturize” kind of gal, but over the past few years I have really stepped it up. At some point I will release an in depth look into my skin care routine, but for the meantime I will let you in on four things I have been doing lately (which have been a game changer for my skin): Lemon water, facial oils (it is very rare that I will use a facial moisturizer anymore), facial mask two days a week, wearing sunscreen and facial rolling. I also never go to bed with makeup on!! This was the first year that I truly paid attention to my skin and I have been noticing a major difference in the over all appearance, texture and health of my skin.
- Incorporating yoga and meditation into my routine. This is something that I am still trying to be more consistent with. I have made it a habit a few days a week to do a few minutes of meditation and a good yoga session after a workout (eventually I would like to work up to everyday). What I didn’t realize about yoga before, is that it is not so much about the stretching and the workout, but it is about the breath work (which is why I put meditation and yoga together here). Breath work has helped so much with mindfulness and relaxation. I notice a huge difference on days when I do yoga/mediation and days that I don’t. One thing I have been doing is choosing yoga over a tougher workout on the days I am stressed out. When we are stressed or anxious, we already have heat developed in the body and doing a challenging workout creates more heat. So when I am stressed, I choose to do a light and gentle yoga routine which helps to promote calming and relaxation.
- Trying new workouts. I used to have a solid workout routine. By solid I mean a routine filled with the same standard workouts that I would repeat over and over again. This year I decided to try different workouts. Some of them were designed by me, and I also tried workouts created by many different trainers. Not only does it help to keep me from getting bored of the same workouts, it also has helped me to see better results.
- Chia seeds daily. I have been adding chia seeds to my smoothies everyday and I have noticed significant results, especially for my hair. I have noticed so many improvements including: thicker and fuller locks, faster growth and more hydration. Of course there could be a number of things contributing to better hair, but chia seeds definitely help. The reason they are so great for hair health is the antioxidants and omega-3s. Antioxidants help to maintain collagen in the body and omega- 3s help to provide proteins and nutrients to hair follicles, making chia seeds amazing for excellent hair growth.
Health and wellness habits don’t have to be big. I believe that creating even the smallest habits can make a huge difference. I also believe that your focus should remain on creating new healthy habits instead of focusing on getting rid of habits. When you start incorporating healthy habits into your life, you will notice that you won’t have any room for the bad habits.
If you are looking to incorporate healthier habits into your lifestyle, start off small. Make a promise to yourself to make a healthy snack plate in between lunch and dinner, have a side of leafy greens with lemon and oil at dinner, or do more home cooking as opposed to eating out.
Too many times I have heard myself say “I shouldn’t do this or that anymore” “I shouldn’t eat that anymore” “I need to stop doing this”. But that never worked. What did work was focusing on adding healthy habits in, and then the bad habits magically disappeared!
What are some healthy habits you have created this year?!