Every new year brings a brand new opportunity to start fresh and create a happy and healthier life. 2012 was an exciting and challenging year for me as I worked to complete my cookbook, started new business programs, and committed to doing social media on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
As I worked many long hours on my business and book, I struggled with finding balance between my personal and business life. In 2013 I’m determined to start fresh and embrace the 3 R’s, which are to replenish, relax, and rejuvenate my mind and body daily.
If you can relate to my struggle and want to find ways to do better in this new year, I have put together my top 10 ways to enjoy a happy healthy 2013. This list is a reminder to do something every day to be happy and healthy so you can celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest.
1. Love yourself.
We are all unique, wonderful, and amazing individuals with special gifts to share with the world. Learn how to appreciate and love yourself along with your imperfections. When you do this you will make choices that positively enhance your emotional wellbeing and physical health which will transform your life.
2. Experience gratitude daily.
Find something everyday to be grateful for and focus your attention on it. By taking time daily to experience gratitude, you will remove negative thoughts from your mind and learn how to live in the present with joy, peace, and happiness.
3. Do relaxing and rejuvenating activities weekly.
Take at least one day every week to do a fun activity that relaxes and rejuvenates you. Some things you may like to try include spending time enjoying nature, hiking, cycling, swimming in the ocean, fishing, getting a massage, having a spa day, playing with your kids, going to the movies, or going to a football, basketball, baseball, or soccer game. By taking at least one day where you do something that makes you relax and rejuvenate, you will feel happier and more balanced.
4. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.
Sleep is critical for optimum health. If you strive to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly it will have a positive effect on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Getting enough sleep will keep your energy levels high during the day and your immune system strong.
5. Heal your digestive system.
A healthy digestive system is a major factor in maintaining vibrant health. Over 70-80 % of your immune system cells are located in your gut. 95% of serotonin the feel good hormone is produced in our small intestines which function as our second brain. Serotonin plays a key role in the health of our GI tract along with influencing the functioning of our immune system. If your digestive system is out of balance and unhealthy, you won’t absorb the nutrients you need for maintaining vibrant health and optimal serotonin levels.
Eating cultured/fermented foods daily is one of the keys to better digestive health because they fill your body with beneficial bacteria/probiotics, enzymes, and key nutrients for healing. These cultured/fermented foods will optimize absorption of key nutrients, eliminate sugar cravings, help heal your digestive system, increase your energy, detoxify your body, and strengthen your immune system.
Staying hydrated with pure water, and eating more vegetables and fruits are 2 other keys to better health. Our bodies are around 70 % water. Water is essential for life. Respiration, metabolism, and digestion all require water to function optimally. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water along with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
6. Commit to eating healing foods 90% of the time.
If you eat healing foods 90% of the time, your body will receive all the nutrients it needs to thrive and stay healthy. Healing foods are vibrant, delicious and will satisfy your body completely. The other 10% of the time can be reserved for special occasions and indulgences such as a glass of wine or eating out.
7. Start shopping weekly at your local farmers’ markets and buy organic and seasonal foods.
The quality of local organic and seasonal foods is so superior to conventionally raised foods that are full of toxic pesticides, growth hormones, chemicals, and genetically modified ingredients. Buying organic local foods supports your local farmers and economy and helps protect our planet. To find local organic and sustainable farmers in your area check out http://www.eatwellguide.org.
8. Do a healthy kitchen makeover.
Clean out unhealthy foods from your cabinets and refrigerator. Reorganize and restock your kitchen with delicious healing foods and you will be amazed at how great these foods make you feel!
9. Commit to a fitness program.
Find an exercise program that you can enjoy and fit into your lifestyle on a weekly basis. Regular exercise improves your mood, keeps you physically fit, boosts your energy, builds muscle and strong bones, lowers the risk of disease, strengthens your immune system, and relieves stress.
10. Upgrade your personal care and household products.
Personal care products, cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, pots and pans, storage containers, carpets, and furniture can contain toxic or synthetic ingredients that are health depleting. Start replacing these products with organic and natural sources. The environmental working group has some really helpful information on their website which will help educate and inform you on better choices. Go to http://www.ewg.org.
I hope that my list will help you to start on the path to vibrant health, happiness, and wellness in 2013 and beyond!
Do you have any special things you plan on doing in 2013 to get happier or healthier? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment.
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Post shared on Fat Tuesday
Photos by Sira Ananmwong and Ikunl.