Detoxfication Simplified

No word gets tossed around at this time of the year more than ‘DETOX’.Everywhere you turn someone is on some kind of detox in the form of diets,teas,juices-there is even even a detox coffee!

But what really is the detoxification process? Is it necessary?How do yo know you need to detox?

Quick Biology Lesson

Most people know that the liver is the main detox organ but it’s not the only organ.In the mix is the gall bladder,kidneys,the lymphatic system,colon and skin.Yes,your skin is one of the detox organs,not the most efficient but it picks up where other organs can’t cope.Dull skin tone anyone?

The liver does the main filtering of toxins in the blood that enter the body through the GIT( gastrointestinal tract) BEFORE it enters the rest of the body

Th colon moves whatever detoxification waste the liver has dumped into the digestive tract for elimination because if it hangs around the colon too much due to constipation,there is a risk that it can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream. You don’t want that.

There is another system in the body that we don’t hear much about yet it is one the most important and intricate body systems;the Lymphatic system.It’s made up of tiny vessels and groups of nodes that carry the interstitial fluid in the body and dump it to the blood stream to be removed.It also carries vital immune cell.The special thing about this system is that (1)it has no pumps to move the lymph(2)it moves in one direction.It moves with the help of surrounding muscles that press on the lymph vessels.

And lastly, skin.Skin is our biggest organ but it is also the least efficient when it comes to detoxing.It does however take over from other detox organs when they are overburdened with toxins.

Although the kidneys‘main function is maintaining the fluid balance in the body,it also does detox duty.It filters specific toxins,especially in protein foods, and removes it via urine.The fluid balance is important for blood pressure,electrolytes and the acid -base balance.

Since we have all these organs and systems detoxing while we are busy scoffing our faces with sinful indulgences,why do we need to add detoxification on our health plan?

Because,my nutrivore friend,there are forces bigger than us giving our poor liver and other organs a run for their money.Okay I could be exaggerating but our number one  evil is the environment we now live in. Our world is filled with man made toxins,some of them the body does not even recognise. It stands to reason that it will need a bit help getting rid of them.

Another  reason is that our diets are deficient in nutrients that assist these organs to work efficiently. Take fibre for instance; time and time again it has been proven that we do not consume enough fibre. Fibre is necessary to move things along our colon. So if we do not have enough fibre to assist elimination,we risk keeping the toxins in the body or even worse,reabsorbing them.

So yes,for these two reasons,among other,we need to detox.

Detox Goals

When we embark on a detox program these 3 goals should be what we aim to achieve

1.To reduce the workload of the liver.

2. To stimulate the body organs to  move the toxins out of the body.

3.To encourage detox organs to work better.

We clearly indulge excessively during the festive.We eat with the abandon.We are careless with our livers,drinking too much alcohol  because,who drinks water during holidays?Really now.

 

So how do we achieve the above goals? That is the next topic in this detox series. Make sure you don’t miss it.

Nutrivore Love

 

Super Sweet Potatoes

My love affair with sweet potatoes started a long time ago. My mother does not eat white potatoes, but give her sweet potatoes and a different woman emerges. She can have them for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Growing up I ate both white and sweet potatoes with gusto. In fact I practically lived off fried chips (French Fries) during my varsity days. They made them and smothered them in mushroom sauce (oh the memories, I am salivating just thinking of that bad calorie fest) But hey, I was young and careless.

I still love my potatoes but not as much as sweet potatoes. This is purely based on preference not on nutrient value or health benefits. There is a lot of debate and misinformation regarding these well-loved, tubers but pitted against each other, they stand neck and neck in nutritional value.

Sweet Potato Facts

  1. Did you know that sharing the name ‘potato’ is as far as the relationship between the two go? Sweet potatoes come from a completely different plant family to potatoes.
  2. There are 5000 known varieties of sweet potatoes.
  3. Sweet potato leaves are edible and highly nutritious.
  4. Yellow/orange sweet potatoes are packed with more than 400% of your daily Vitamin A requirements.
  5. They have more fibre than white potatoes.
  6. They are rich in Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and manganese. These minerals are essential in normal functioning and maintenance of our bodies.
  7. They are very low in proteins. However, their proteins may have antioxidant qualities.
  8. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, some B group vitamins and Vitamin E
  9. The deeper the colour of the sweet potato, the more anti-oxidants it contains.
  10. Although they both fall in the middle of the glycemic Index, sweet potatoes have a lower GI than potatoes.

Health benefits

  1. Prevention of Vitamin A deficiency.

High pigment sweet potatoes contain are rich in Vitamin A prevent effects of deficiency which include night blindness, scaly skin and dry tissues.

2. Improvement of Blood sugar regulation.

While they are high in sugar, the high fibre content in sweet potatoes slows down the rate of digestion thereby regulating blood sugar.

3.  Contains antioxidants which neutralise free radicals.

This leads to reduced oxidative damage associated with some types of cancers, heavy metal residues and other digestive tract problems.

4. Aids digestion

The high fibre in sweet potatoes supports a healthy digestive tract and regulates digestion

5. Anti-inflammatory properties.

Bright coloured sweet potatoes contain pigment related antioxidants which are beneficial to general heath and have anti-inflammatory powers.

6. Heart Health

Potassium in sweet potatoes may help to lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat.

Ok, back to the fun stuff-how I like to eat my sweet potatoes. I prefer to roast them with a little salt and just eat them as is. The other day I made a mean lasagna and just used the sweet potato slices instead of lasagne sheets. But my absolute favourite, favourite has to be sweet potato crisps/chips.

If you ever tried making sweet potato chips, you know it takes skill and many failed attempts. For one thing, sweet potatoes are notorious for refusing to get crisp. I found the secret to crisp sweet potato chips in a recipe I am sharing today.

To do them right you also have to have the correct equipment. Enter the mandolin. I never knew what this was for until I was serious about making my own vegetable crisps. The mandolin will help you cut the thinnest slice, a good step towards crispness. You can try  to use a sharp knife but I got better results using a mandolin.

Lastly, you have to watch them like a hawk. There is a thin line between burnt and crispy chips. Don’t cross it (like me, many,many times)

I encourage you to try a variety of ways to get incorporate sweet potatoes in your diet. There are plenty vegetarian sites which offer 101 ways with sweet potatoes. I found this…

Try your hand at making these chips, you won’t buy another packet of commercial chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 things to know about HYPERTENSION

World Health Day 2016 : Beat DiabetesGive your heart some love Hypertension is also called the silent killer because many individuals walk around with no clue that their blood pressure is high as it does not present with obvious symptoms. It is only by having your blood pressure measured that you can know your status. It’s in this spirit that the 2016 theme for World Hypertension Day is ‘Know Your Numbers’.

1.What is blood pressure?

It is the measure exerted by our blood on the blood vessel walls when it passes through the arteries.

2.What is normal Blood Pressure?

Since we all have blood flowing in our arteries and veins transporting gases and nutrients throughout the body, we all have blood pressure. The normal blood pressure is 120 Systolic and 80 Diastolic or 120/80

3.What is Hypertension or High blood pressure?

When the arteries and veins are constricted or lose their natural elasticity they  become narrow. Smaller vessels mean that the heart has to work harder to pump the blood and that causes the blood pressure to increase.

A reading of anything over 140/80 is considered high blood pressure in adults. When these numbers go beyond 180/100, it is considered an emergency.

4.What causes hypertension?

The most common cause of hypertension is linked to poor lifestyle and diet choices. This is usually characterised by the following:

  • Being overweight
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • High salt intake
  • Lack of exercise
  • High alcohol intake

Other common causes include:

  • Genetics
  • Old age
  • Kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders

 5.Can hypertension be prevented?

Yes. One simple way is through monitoring one’s lifestyle.

Diet

  • Follow a healthy diet eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, moderate amounts of whole grains and high fibre, and a minimal amount of meat
  • Cut down on salt and commercial spices. Get into the habit of seasoning food with natural herbs and natural spices.
  • Cut out unhealthy fats
  • Cut out processed foods e.g. packet soups, stock cubes salty snacks etc.

Lifestyle

  • Keep a healthy weight for your height (BMI 18-25)
  • Get active by exercising for at least 30min five times a week
  • Quit smoking (e-cigarettes included)
  • Drink moderately
  • Learn stress management techniques
  • Reduce caffeine intake

Even when you have been diagnosed with hypertension, making the above changes may help to reverse the condition or at least manage it.

6.What are the dangers of Hypertension?

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to the following:

  • Stroke
  • Weakened Heart
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Damage to the eyes affecting eyesight

7.How can you check your blood pressure?

By visiting your doctor, clinic or hospital. Pharmacies like Dischem, Clicks and others also offer BP screening at a nominal charge.

With these simple changes you can prevent and manage high blood pressure and enjoy improved quality of life. You deserve it.

PS:Make sure you do not miss any of informative post like these ones by following this page. Read previous articles about heart health here and how to beat diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

Simple ways to get moving

Who goes to sleep with great anticipation for the morning to come so they can go to gym?

Anyone? No?

Physical exercise takes a lot of discipline, even the keenest gym bunny has a difficult time now and again. It’s no surprise because our bodies are always looking for the path of least resistance.

In 2002 The World Health Organisation (WHO) elected 10 May as ‘World Move for Health Day’.This annual event aims  to encourage and promote physical activity as an important part of a healthy lifestyle and total well-being.

There is more to exercise than weight loss. But before I give you reasons to get moving, let me tell you about the different types of training and their benefits.

Although there are different methods to categorise physical activity, I like to put exercise under 3 basic categories

  1. Endurance Training

This type of physical activity increases the heart rate and can improve lung capacity. What this means is that your heart and lungs will have a greater ability to transport oxygen to the body. More oxygen circulating=> healthy body=> improved quality of life.

Other health benefits from endurance training include the following:

  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Reduction of body fat
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Decrease of the bad cholesterol

The good thing about this type of exercise is that you do not need gym membership to do it. Fast walking, running cycling, swimming, playing soccer or dancing are all examples of endurance activities

2.Strength Training

Did you now that strength training burns more calories than endurance (aerobic) exercise? Muscle tissue is very active and as such lean tissue means higher metabolism which equates to more fat burning.

Strength training strengthens our muscles and other connective tissue i.e. ligaments, tendons and this helps to prevent injuries.

Many women avoid strength training in fear of getting ‘bulky’ but this is not based on fact. Strength training is highly recommended for women because it strengthens bone density which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Other benefits:

  • Improved quality of life: because we use muscles for almost every activity in our lives, stronger muscles mean we are able to do our daily tasks much easier and efficiently.
  • Management of Chronic Conditions: signs and symptoms of arthritis, obesity, heart diseases, diabetes and even depression can be reduced by strength training.

Many activities that strengthen our muscles can be done in the gym and at home. Here are a few examples: training using weights (dumbbells, kettle bells), stretch bands and also body weight when doing sit ups, squats.

3.Flexibility

It is unfortunate that a lot of people do not pay attention to this type of training yet it is a vital part of a well-rounded exercise routine (it’s also my favourite).

Flexibility training will help you to restore full range of movement to the joints after training and help increase length and flexibility the muscles.

Further benefits:

  • Reduced risk of injury to joints, muscles and tendons
  • Reduced muscular pain
  • Increased range of motion
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Improved posture and balance

With benefits like these, flexibility training should be an integral part of your training routine not an afterthought.

Exercises to improve flexibility include Pilates (my favourite), yoga, tai chi and callanetics to name a few.

This is just a broad category that I use as a point of departure, there are more exercises within each category so there is no reason not to ‘Move for health” every day. There is no doubt that the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the temporary pain.
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Personally, I do not like exercise that much but once I get my butt out of the door, I do not regret the hour or two I spend at the gym. My current gym schedule looks like this

Monday: 1 hour Pilates

Tuesday: 30 min Swimming

                 1hour Pilates

Thurs: 30 min Swimming

                              1h30 Pilates with weights

Saturday: I alternate between 5km Park Run or 5-10km Hike or 1Hr Pilates.

I have had to make changes to my routine since getting chemotherapy ( whose side effects include weakening of muscles) and surgery (which is still healing and is very sensitive to fast movements).I chose Pilates because despite it being low impact, it is powerful in strengthening the muscles, improving posture and balance. I am also hoping that swimming will help my arm heal and improve its range of motion. I can’t wait to get back to weight and to building a bit of muscle.

Of course you don’t need 2hrs in the gym to reap the benefits. All you need is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. The key is consistency.The internet is full of easy no equipment workouts which suit beginners to advanced individuals. Try this combination which you can do at home in 30 minutes.I love that that it’s a total body workout that combines cardio and strength training too.

Get away from the couch, TV and computer and take a BRISK walk. Pick up skipping rope and jump on the spot for a few minutes and mix that up with couple easy exercises for effect. Play ball with your children-anything really to get you heart racing and your lungs working a little more for about 30 minutes is all you need.

On this Move for Health Day, make a decision to take care of your body because it’s the only one you have.

 

Full of Beans

Did you know that 2016 is IYP?

That’s International Year of Pulses for you.

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with Governments, relevant organizations, non-governmental organizations and all other relevant stakeholders. The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/en/

What does this mean for you and me? Well, to me it means I will be looking closer at the humble bean family and putting more effort into incorporating a variety on meat-free days.To most of us it also means re-educating ourselves and removing, in our minds, the poverty status beans and pulses have in our society. It’s time to elevate beans to their rightful super food status.

What are pulses?

Beans, peas and lentils, collectively known as pulses, are the dried seeds of the legume family.pulses

Nutrient value of pulses

Science backs up what our grandmothers have told us : BEANS ARE HEALTHY!

They are a rich source of proteins and can be used as a meat substitute. Since they provide incomplete protein, they pack a more powerful punch when consumed combined with nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals. Soya beans, however, are one of only a few plant foods that provide all the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein like meat.

Pulses provide us with both soluble and insoluble fibre. While soluble fibre helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels, insoluble fibre helps with digestion and regular bowel movement.

Most pulses contain about 1% fat, with the highest fat content being from soya beans. These are the good fats which contribute to our daily energy needs and provide us with essential fatty acids.

Pulses are rich in vitamins and minerals while being relatively low in calories. Some of the key minerals in pulses include iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Pulses are also particularly abundant in vitamin K, E, B vitamins including folate, thiamine and niacin.

Health benefits

  1. Promotes healthy hearts: The fiber in the pulses may improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. The potassium in pulses can lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.
  2.  Assist in managing diabetes: Pulses are a low-glycaemic index food. People who include more low GI foods in their diet have lower rates of diabetes. Those who already have diabetes can manage their blood sugar better by including pulses in their diet.
  3. Contributes to a healthy digestive system: The fibre in pulses can help prevent constipation and keep you regular.
  4. Can prevent cancer: the phytochemicals, saponins, and tannins found in pulses have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic qualities.
  5. Can contribute to weight loss: The high amount of fibre and protein in pulses keeps you fuller for longer, reducing the need to snack in between meals

What about the music?

Those who find that pulses lead to gas and bloating may find the following tips useful:

  •  Soak them before cooking and remember to change the soaking water once or twice before cooking
  • Do not use the soaking liquid to cook the pulses
  • Cook pulses thoroughly as undercooked starch is harder to digest
  • Thoroughly rinse canned or pre-soaked pulses before cooking.
  • Start by eating small amounts of pulses, and gradually increase your intake.
  • Drink lots of water

Cooking with pulses

There is more to beans and pulses than the bean stew we grew up with. Explore. Look for mouth-watering recipes in vegetarian books and websites. My latest addiction is the chickpea and lentil burger I created basing it on Jamie Oliver’s Best Vegan burger which uses lentils and corn. For some strange reason I have not taken a picture of my creation (or maybe it was too good I could not wait to take a photo), so today I will share the recipe from Jamie Oliver. I promise to share my adaptation soon. If you have favourite vegan recipe using pulses, please share here.If not, I challenge you to create one and I will feature the recipes throughout the year.

Happy experimenting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTIONS vs BUCKET LISTS

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New Year’s resolutions, the term we love to hate. How many of us are still doing what we said we will do from 1 January 2016? It seems like the when January goes, our good intentions disappear to thin air.

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. He should know something, he was a genius. With this in mind I thought maybe I should change the way I approached 2016. I thought, what if I took time and really looked at my bucket list and then chose something to focus on this year instead of dreaming up a list of resolutions. Nothing is a great motivator than seeing a tick next to something you wanted to do. It brings huge satisfaction and a desire to take more because you actually believe you can achieve it.

I have already shared with you what 2015 taught me  (although the post paid credit to cancer, it was also in essence, about lessons I learnt in 2015).Now I will share with you what is in my bucket list for 2016 going forward. I say going forward because I do not want to feel like an utter failure come Dec 2016 when I do not have ticks next to all items on my list.

Of course this might sound counterproductive. As a Life Coach I can tell you that goals without deadlines are a recipe for disaster. But I won’t. Because my list is fluid, I can add to it anytime I wish and I can take things out that no longer serve me,achieving the things on my list does not feel like a chore but as part of me and my growth. Yes there may be things that I have to do but mainly it is stuff I want to do.

So as of January 2016, this is my list, in no particular order:

1.Live out my head.

I am an over-thinker of note. I turn every situation inside out, back to front and sideways. Now there is nothing wrong with thoroughly researching a subject or activity before jumping in. The problem comes when that research brings up too many obstacles for the actual activity to take place. Fear creeps in and I end up finding more reasons NOT to do it than reasons for the research in the first place.

So my plan is to still do my research, when needed, but quickly move to the action part of the plan. This I plan to do by talking to other people about whatever project or activity I want to participate in. By talking about it I hope that it gets out my head and becomes a real thing. And by sharing it I hope to get real human perspective on the subject, and maybe some experiences or thoughts, from voices other than those in my head.

2. Get my Natural Health qualification

After years of searching, I finally found a course that allows me to use my nutrition background in a more meaningful way that also benefits others. I was meant to start in 2015 but then life happened and I had to put my studies on hold. I am very excited about this and can’t wait to get started.

3. Go on Hikes 

I love open spaces and the outdoors. As soon as the weather cools down I plan to take hikes as often as possible. With hiking I get to exercise and enjoy the beauty of nature, what’s not to like. Some people are fuelled by running, I see hiking as my poison. I have experienced indescribable euphoria after hiking a few mountains. The feeling you get looking back at the terrain you have just conquered is the one I want to experience every day, if not at least once a month on my hiking trips

4.Learn a New Language 

This one has changed so much over the couple of months, it’s now a case of holding myself back and looking at practicalities. A few years ago I dabbled in Spanish. I was doing pretty well but I had no one to practice it with so that died out. When I moved up to Jo’burg I promised myself I will learn another South African language other than isiZulu, my home language. I am happy to say I am doing ok with SeSotho. I can sort of follow a conversation,I just need the courage to get over the embarrassment of being wrong and speak it.

Towards the end of last year I downloaded the language app DUOLINGO and I have been using it to learn French. I also enquired at the French Alliance about their language course. Just as I was settling into French one of my Facebook friend talked about learning Mandarin. This raised my interest because my other job takes me to China and, would it not be great if I can haggle in their language? Yet one of my business ventures could take me to East Africa where Swahili is widely spoken. I’ve always loved Swahili, maybe now is a good time to learn it.

Do you see my dilemma? I have promised myself to have this sorted by end of January. But the goal to learn a foreign language stays on the list.

5. Learn to Swim

If you are a black South African born in the 70s and even the 80s,chances are you never learnt how to swim and you have the most irrational fear of water-or more precisely –drowning. I once saw a 1.8m man almost drown in a kiddie’s pool in water that barely came up to his knees. You see, it’s the fear more than the water that will kill you.

The time of being that person who only gets inside the pool to take photos is over! Watch me swim like a fish.

6.Read More Write More

Every writer, blogger and writing school says to improve your writing you have to do 2 things: 1. READ 2. WRITE.

Since I aspire to be good writer, I have taken this advice and plan to give writing more attention this year.

7.Save Money 

Good habits take a long time to form but a very short time to break. For a long time had a well-established system of saving money but in one stroke of change, I fell behind. From this year I am climbing back on the wagon with gusto. I am planning to also research on the non-traditional ways ,of investing.

8. Be an Early Riser

I’ve always said I am not a morning person and I still am not. However I have challenged myself differently this year. I want to wake up early and do the things that require solitude. To that end I have started setting an alarm to wake me up 2 hours earlier than what I am used to. So far I am enjoying the experience (but I still do not speak before 8h00, which is also an improvement from 9h00). I hope to keep it up during winter.

9. Live Consciously

It is my aim to live with awareness of things around me.t To pay attention to the things that bring me and my loved ones joy so we can repeat the actions and experiences that bring us to a state of happiness.

10. Travel

Travelling is one of my big passions. When I look at the map and I see all the places I have not been I feel a sadness close to how I imagine a person who really wants a pet but does not have one.

I look at the great African continent and it saddens me that I have not travelled her extensively. I dream of visiting exotic islands and romantic Europe. But this year, in my list is parts of the US. If all goes according to plan, I will have that stamp on my passport and a tick in my bucket list.

11. Learn to Dance

For as long as I can remember I have loved dancing. And for the longest time I wanted to take dancing classes and learn to Tango. Ambitious I know. So imagine my joy when not one but two of my friends told me about Salsa sessions here in Jo’burg. I can hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of going to salsa Sundays .

These are some of the things that are in my bucket list that I have chosen to focus on in 2016. They are commitments that I have made to myself willingly and as you see some are fun and some are serious but they all lead to a better Lindi and that is why I will stay motivated to achieve them and add more ticks to my bucket list.

Whether it’s resolutions, plans and goals you have for 2016, I want to hear about them and how you plan to stay motivated until you have reached them. Maybe you have a formula that has worked for you in the past, please share, I’d love to hear from you.

Lindi 💜💜💜

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Everyday Wellness

Superfoods for a younger you!

7 day Miracle diet!

15 min Flab Attack routine!

And so it goes. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we seek quick fixes that torture our bodies instead of nourishing our bodies and souls every single day? Why do we find it so difficult to commit to healthy living?

But what is “Healthy living”? It’s not a specialised diet. It is not calorie counting and mixing powders. It’s definitely not how many hours you spend at the gym or in meditation. It is a constant and deliberate daily journey towards total wellbeing.

We are our bodies, minds and souls so it’s a no brainer that we should be treating ourselves more than just as passing thoughts. Of course finding time to balance healthy eating, meaningful exercise and to relax and recharge is quite a challenge in our busy lives, but can we afford not to make the time?

Our current lifestyles are not sustainable.The breakdown in our health,our relationships with others and ourselves tells us this. A change is needed.I find that when it comes to making changes,the trick is to just jump in and get started.Try these tips to get you started on the road to healthy living.If they worked for me,they are sure to work for you too.

Eat Real Food

Clean out your cupboards and remove all processed foods and avoid stopping by our favourite aunt’s (the name starts with W) to buy ready-to-go food. Yes they are quick to prepare and save you time but are the added chemicals, salts and sugars worth the risk?

Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, organic meats and whole grains. The initial cost of switching might seem high but in the long term, the cost is leveraged by the improved well- being and overall health you will see and feel.

Make a habit of counting your colours not the calories on your plate. The Sunday seven colours are actually very good!

Move

Following my surgery and the health shenanigans of 2015, I’ve been struggling with going back to gym. But then I realised I was tired and bored with my gym routine and I need a new routine. I am now excited about starting my swimming lessons and getting my strength back in Pilates.

Scheduling 3×30 minutes of exercise per week goes a long way towards improving your health. You get maximum benefit from exercise by varying your exercise between endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. The benefits of exercise go beyond weight loss. They include increased bone density, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. And the feel good hormones that are released during exercise will make you feel on top of the world.

Hydrate

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The real vitamin water.

We all know we should drink 8 glasses of water daily but did you know that that includes tea, milk and juices? Considering that up to 70% of our bodies is made of water, the benefits of keeping hydrated cannot be understated. To get the maximum benefit, get the bulk of your hydration from pure filtered water; with zero calories it is the best choice.

Take Time Out

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Take time out to just ‘be’

 

Do something for you and only you. Read, pray, meditate or take a long bath-as long as you taking at least 20 minutes a day to just be with your thoughts.

For me shower times are sacred. I can not counts the times I have had epiphanies and AHA! moments during shower time. I have cried, not out of sadness but because I am overwhelmed by the sheer pleasure, peace and a connection with myself a simple shower gives me.

Unplug

Simply put, take a break from all your devices; cell phone, tablets even your Fitbit. It will be a mistake to exclude taking time away from our electronics if we want to live a balanced and healthy life.

Did you know that there is a Digital Detox app? Yes, that’s how sad our situation has become. Try search for “digital detox” on Google and see what comes up. We now have digital detox retreats and challenges. In essence we have become slaves of our connectivity. At what price? Excessive preoccupation with our devices has potential to cost us our relationships, sleep, productivity and balance. That is a high price to pay for convenience.

We all know what happens when an addict goes cold turkey to break the habit. Without proper support, this method hardly works. It’s the same with digital addicts (read: me and you), we can start slowly. I have actually set time blocks on my phone to check emails, do my research and log on to social media.

Start by consciously staying away from your devices for 20 min and increase the times gradually (setting reminders for this is the best way) I know it’s a bit Type A, but so far it’s working well. The last face I see before I fall asleep is my husbands, not a stranger on Instagram. That’s progress.

What are other ways you can think of that can bring you closer to healthy living? I’d love to  hear your ideas.