10 Ways to Enjoy a Happy Healthy 2013

10 Ways to Enjoy a Happy Healthy 2013

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.

Some excellent fermented/cultured foods to include in your daily diet are fermented vegetables or fruits, coconut kefir, raw milk kefir, kombucha tea, and beet kvass.

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.


Farmer's Market Fruits & Vegetables (FB)10021555

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.


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  1. What an amazing action plan for the year! Special thanks for the first reminder – for unknown reasons I often forget to love myself strong enough=) Very interesting and useful stuff on your blog – I have serious intentions to come again))

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Diane! Loving yourself makes such a huge difference in how you view your life and it really helps you to make choices that enhance your health and wellbeing. I’m glad you like my blog and I look forward to you visiting again and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  2. Hi Shelley,
    I like those three R’s – replenish, relax, and rejuvenate your mind and body daily.
    I have to work on the relaxing part because I tend to work a wee bit too much (understatement lol) I do enjoy working, but realize I need some time away from that and have set some goals to do so.
    As for healing foods: I have made that commitment to myself many years ago. My body is at the point now that if I am at a party and have a bite of “birthday cake” to be polite, I can actually feel the sugar burn my esophagus. David and I actually moved 11 years ago to a place where we could eat from local farmers that are mostly organic.
    A happier me? Yes indeed!
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Blog Review Of 2012My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Donna! I can relate to working too much, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, take a break and enjoy life. Isn’t it funny how when you start eating healthy healing foods your body doesn’t tolerate anything else. I’m so happy you and David live in a place where you can enjoy food from your local farmers. I hope you take time this year to slow down and replenish, relax, and rejuvenate your mind and body daily!

  3. Hi Shelley,
    haven’t you done well juggling writing a cook book as well as the business program and the the online social media activity!
    I like your 3R’s, we all can benefit from those.

    You suggestions for a happy healthy life are great and I would agree with the at loving ourselves is number one, even though the order may not have been intentional.

    For my part of loving myself is journalling daily, so I am my own best friend by processing, tuning in and affirming what I want to be more of .

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Love and Light
    Yorinda recently posted..The Importance of BeesMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Yorinda! I had to write this article because I know what I went thru last year and I wanted to help as many people as possible to remember to do things which enhance their wellness. I did put loving ourselves as number one because it’s really the key to helping you achieve anything you want in life. Self love also helps you to make choices that are beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
      Love and Light to you too!

  4. Great advice! I am hoping to make more trips to the St. Louis area for more organic foods… weird how I live in a rural place and there are no farmer’s markets out here. *le sigh* Happy New Year, Shelley!
    Nile recently posted..2012 Blondish.net Blog Rockstar AwardsMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Nile, and happy New Year to you! I hope they open up some farmer’s markets in your area soon. Keep me posted. 🙂

  5. Hey Shelley,
    how can I THANK YOU for sharing this amazing plan for a great and healthy year ahead… how can I thank you for sharing all your great and healthy recipes… not sure how, but I do my best to let you know that they are amazingly and they are so important and inspiring… and as before, I must congratulate for sharing so much healthy information again and listing all the 10 ways as you did here, is more precious… there is no guessing… this is it and love to follow it and even improve from it.. thinking of you of course..
    Thanks so much again.
    nick catricala recently posted..Lost DirectionMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Nick, I’m blown away by the feelings you just expressed about my plan and blog recipes. Getting wonderful feedback like you just provided inspires me to continue to blog and share. All the best in the New Year!

  6. I was wondering if you could write a post on healthy foods that are good for lowering your cholesterol? I need to get mine under control before the wife kills me lol.
    Clint Butler recently posted..Homer Simpson Is Your Target Market When Marketing OnlineMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Clint, I will do that for sure! I’m posting a free 5 days healing whole foods detox program next week that will give you a good start on lowering you cholesterol so pop back by.

  7. Althea Young says:

    Such a very good lists to start with this year. There are so many things that we want this year and this year will be different for me.
    Althea Young recently posted..Tips for Getting Quotes for Timber Joinery ProductsMy Profile

  8. Great kick off for this year! 2013 is going to be great…keep the energy positive and this will help! T

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      I agree Teresa. Being positive is so key to having a wonderful life and having the strength to deal with challenges that may come your way. I hope that 2013 is a fantastic year for all of us!

  9. I love your list! I recently watched Forks Over Knives. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but it essentially calls for removal of dairy and meat from the diet, while pursuing a very low fat and plant based diet. I don’t think I’m going to embrace all of it, but I want to take baby steps toward it. Thanks, also, for the healthy kitchen makeover idea. Sounds like something my wife and I could embark on together!

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Steve! I did see Forks Over Knives and I agree that including more plants in your diet is a great start towards better health. I do believe that you need to eat the foods that make you feel good because each of us has a unique biochemical makeup and one diet doesn’t fit all. If that diet includes animal products just be sure to make better choices like buying organic pastured dairy, organic grass fed meats, and sustainable wild seafood. Remember that every day you have the opportunity to do something that enhances your health, enjoy the process and don’t stress about it!

  10. Jane P. Dominguez says:

    Following are some foods to focus on to help boost your immune system when feeling under the weather.
    Jane P. Dominguez recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  11. Emilio Dohan says:

    Some truly superb info, Glad I found this.

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