The New Year always brings out the best of intentions. For many it is a time to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, so today I’m sharing my top five tips to kick start 2016 and I also have a fabulous giveaway.
“She’s a step ahead of herself talking New Years resolutions” I hear you thinking. Well, perhaps I am, but I believe the key to organisation and implementing successful change is in the planning and committing it to paper. This is the first year (in a while) that I have used a paper diary to co-ordinate my often out of control busy schedule. It has certainly been a way more effective means of organising myself than my previous electronic diary. I also tend to follow through on ‘me time’ a whole lot more if I have it scheduled and on paper in my diary.
So to help you make 2016 a healthy, organised year with lots of ‘you time’ I have a great GIVE-AWAY of my personal favourite diary courtesy of OTi Organisers. It is such a well-designed diary, perfect for planning meals and exercise. Also included in this great prize is a shopping list and extra notebooks.
So now to my tips (which you should plan and record in your own trusty diary). Start now or jot down your new resolutions…
1. Eat a brilliant breakfast
Breakfast is a meal that really sets your day up both nutritionally as well as mentally and emotionally. I have successfully treated and helped to alter the eating habits of so many fussy, nutritionally depleted and unwell children and adults over the years. The key to my success I believe has been focussing on breakfast to start with and the rest of their eating habits (and general level of motivation) tends to evolve into something beautiful (with much less effort and strain)!
Unfortunately, there is nothing in a cereal box or breakfast drink box that is good enough. For all of the information and inspiration, you need to improve your breakfast meal so that you can kick-start a healthier you, check out my ebook. It’s much, much more than just another cookbook, click here! Use your meal planner to plan your brilliant breakfast each day and really kick start your health.
2. Drink 2 litres of water each and every day
We all know that water is essential for us to stay alive, but we often forget how important it is for us to stay well and thrive. Over 60% of our body weight is water. The role it plays in the proper functioning of every system of our body is critical, we simply cannot function efficiently without it.
I believe that the reason why many people look and feel older than they should is because they are in a state of chronic dehydration. Remember if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. I love my plant analogy – when a plant is not watered regularly it becomes dry (wrinkled), then wilted (tired) and finally begins to die (becomes unwell).
It is really important to monitor how much water you consume. My routine is that I have my daughter fill all of our stainless steel drink bottles every morning (one of her chores). I always carry my bottle with me and sip it throughout the day. I personally find the glass by glass method a little a little hit and miss – I have good and bad days, so the drink bottle method filled with my total daily intake works well for me.
3. Find 5 minutes to meditate
This is possible for everyone (read on to find out how). More and more research confirms the benefits of meditation for stress management, mental health, emotional stability, chronic pain and disease, improved learning and even sports performance. I firmly believe meditation needs to be a commitment you make to yourself and you will recognise the physical, mental and emotional benefits. There is a Zen proverb that states “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” To be honest, this proverb applies to me, but I do believe that even 5 minutes is better than nothing.
If meditation is new to you or if you’d like to make a commitment, then check out this free, fabulous app – Smiling Mind. They have the simple, effective bite-sized meditations that anyone can do (they even have meditations for kids from 7 years). Everyone needs this app – it really is life-changing and makes meditation accessible to everyone and anyone. Take a look at their fabulous website here and download it today! Remember to also schedule 5 minutes to meditate each day.
4. Move it
Exercise is often something that suffers in many busy lives. My first tip is to start with a plan and write it down! Every Sunday night I sit with my husband and we plan out the week ahead, generally around his travel schedule. This is when I lock in structured exercise.
However, like meditation, I often don’t have a block of time to exercise. So this is where I fit movement into my daily life. It’s not uncommon to see me struggling around the supermarket carrying a couple of baskets (as opposed to pushing a trolley). I’ll also often high kick or shadow box my way around the kitchen when I’m busy recipe testing (okay now you’re questioning my sanity right)? What I’m getting at is that if you don’t have a block of time to set aside, then just work movement into your day. Washing my car is a workout in itself – I tackle it with great vigour! Right now I’m writing at the kitchen bench whilst in a static squat (okay – enough said)!
5. In the words of Michael Pollan “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”
According to this fabulous article written by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD “Because you eat so often, food is the single most important way to maintain your genetic integrity or to destroy it. Many excellent scientific studies underscore this vitally important truth. By cutting down on your total calories and eating healthy foods, you can send positive signals to your genes, thereby increasing your chances for a long, robust life.”
So knowing this (no matter your genetic pre-disposition), 2016 should be a year to focus on eating smaller portions of nutrient dense foods. Fill-up on the most nutrient dense foods of all, vegetables, and you will notice a difference (and even alter your genetic blueprint). Perhaps start small and add in one extra serve of vegetables or salad every day.
Now for the competition – WIN a beautiful OTi Organiser so you can be “on to it” in 2016!
To enter, answer this question in the comments below this post (you don’t have to register, just check the ‘I’d rather post as a guest’)…
QU – What is the one thing you want to get ‘onto’ in 2016.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, so post in the comments below to go into the draw!
The winner will be selected at random (via random.org) at 9am on Tuesday 17th of November 2015. The winner will be contacted by email. Unclaimed prizes will be redrawn.
Sorry open to Australian residents only. For a full legal disclaimer and T & C’s, click here.