I often hear people complain about how healthy and organic food costs too much… and, I get it, it does usually cost more than the typical food most Americans buy at the supermarket. Yet, I urge you to consider where you are putting your money and re-evaluating what is most important to your overall health and wellness. I used to spend almost $5 on a coffee at Starbucks in NYC daily because I had the cash and refuse to buy 5 Organic Pink Lady apples each week because they cost too much. I was filling my body with extra sugar & chemicals and wasting my money on nonsense rather than choosing natural vitamins and antioxidants to nourish my body on a daily basis. It is important to consciously think about what we are buying at the food store because that is ultimately what goes into our bodies throughout the week. We are what we eat. If you buy crap, you will feel like crap. So, don’t continue to buy crap. Venture to your local farmer’s markets for fresh fruit, veggies, greens, teas & coffees, and sweeteners and shop frequently at Trader Joe’s. They offer a wide selection of whole grain products, organic products, and natural products at very reasonable prices.
Many times we are left disappointed, frustrated, sad or even angry that other people are not acting or responding in a way that we would ideally like them to. It is important to understand that we can not ever control how other people respond to us, we can only control ourselves. Therefore, it is necessary and helpful to practice communicating clearly. Of course, this is easier said than done. Sometimes, we want people to read between the lines because we are not comfortable saying what we really mean- this can backfire and our message may not ever get across, or worse- it can be misinterpreted which can lead to further unpleasant feelings for you (ie: heightened anxiety). If you are uncomfortable saying something that needs to be said, practice getting it out by writing it down and reading it out loud or just saying it out loud in the shower or mirror by yourself. Practice and role playing really does help to build confidence and helps you to weed out extra words/phrases that are not necessary to include. Use “I” statements, be specific, and give the recipient time to process what you’ve said before you continue rambling on
just to avoid silence.
Sometimes when people set out to make changes in their diet they want to change everything right away and seek immediate and drastic results…which only leads to disappointment and usually some degree of failure. Rather than trying to overhaul everything you already do and know about eating, start small. Try making one substitution a day, or even a week, and stick with it. Note your progress and really try to hold yourself accountable for that one change. For example, try swapping almond milk for your usual skim in your coffee… or lemon water for your diet sprite…or do 45 minutes of walking instead of 20. Pick ONE sub or change and do it for a week. The next week, add another. Maybe this time it is swapping grass fed butter for the margarine you use, or coconut oil spray for the PAM you put on your skillet. If you make small and single changes, you are more likely to be successful which will in turn encourage you to continue gradually.
Tumeric is a perennial plant that grows in parts of Asia, India, and Africa. Parts of the tumeric plant have been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic food and medicine and the US is slowly but surely catching on. Tumeric has been shown to help aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol. There is also evidence leading to its probable ability to aid in fighting cancer, lowering the risk of heart disease, and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Tumeric can be attained in several forms, but powder form (as a spice) and pill form (like a vitamin) are probably the easiest ways to incorporate some tumeric into your daily intake. Add tumeric to your rice, curries, stir fries, or even tea for an extra boost or invest in your health and purchase a quality vitamin pill form to ensure you are getting what you need daily.
Unless you are planning to using it to make some type of cleaning product, it is time to get rid of the vegetable oil you have in your pantry. Vegetable oils (think: Crisco, canola oil, safflower oil, margarine, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”, corn oil) are highly processed “foods” (if you can even can them that) that have been chemically produced in factories. The oils in these substances need to be chemically extracted from seeds, unlike the oil from coconuts that separates naturally or can be pressed. More often than not, the crops that these vegetable oils are extracted from are genetically modified and treated with pesticides. Science does not back up their ability to “lower cholesterol” like their confusing commercials advertise. Have you ever bought a jar of coconut oil and gotten confused that it is sometimes a solid and sometimes a liquid? Coconut oil becomes naturally solid at certain temperatures, due to saturated fats (fats our bodies need). Chemically produced vegetable oils of course do not harden at these temperatures, so in order to form margarine or shortening they undergo yet another process called hydrogenation which results in trans fats. Vegetable oils also contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fats and Omega-6 Fatty acids, two culprits that actually can lead to various diseases and cellular inflammation when there is an imbalance in our bodies. On the flip side, coconut oil is full of the saturated fats our cells need and it does not oxidize at high heat making it super for high heat cooking (frying, skillets, etc.). Be sure to purchase unrefined, organic coconut oil.
Your thoughts are super powerful and help to determine your feelings and disposition throughout the day. Rather than focusing on the number on the scale try focusing on how you feel. Check in with yourself daily and reflect on what made you happy, sad, angry, anxious… For example, perhaps you noticed you were super irritable on your car ride to work. Ask yourself why this may be: Did you wake up late? Were you frazzled picking out an outfit? Next, think about how things may have been different had you made different choices prior to that morning drive. Likewise, notice when you feel calm and in control- but don’t stop there. Try and pinpoint what actions you may have taken that lead to those times. These types of check-ins with your body are far more valuable & helpful than weighing yourself daily.
Coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial substance, which helps to prevent acne and keep your skin clean and free of bacteria. It is also anti-inflammatory so it helps to reduce redness inflammation from acne and helps to heal wounds already present on the skin. Coconut oil contains Vitamin E which helps to fortify and smooth your skin and also leaves it super soft, reducing the dryness we often endure during the winter. In addition, coconut oil also acts as a natural make-up remover, so don’t worry about that step of your regimen either! Put about a half tsp in your fingers, rub it on your face (dry) for about a minute. Then, take a hot, wet washcloth and wipe it away. Rinse.
You’ve heard it before, but do you do it? Maybe you are not ready and willing to give up your morning cup of coffee, and that is okay, but before you have your coffee, treat your body to a full glass of water. Drinking water first thing in the morning has several benefits. It can help jump start your metabolism for the day (increasing calories burned), it helps you to feel a bit more full (before you scarf down that bowl of sugar-loaded cereal), and it helps you to remove toxins and start your day “cleaner.” For an extra boost, add LEMON to your water and drink it warm. Lemon contains many vitamins and minerals, including a notable amount of Vitamin C (good for your immune system and skin). Hot water and lemon also acts as a natural energizer- in fact, you may notice a longer lasting energy boost than that morning cup of coffee gives you 😉 The lemon also helps to keep our bodies in an alkaline state, making it hard for viruses and bacteria to grow and live inside, and can help to aid digestion naturally. Not to mention- they’re cheap and look cute in a fruit bowl – try adding some more bright yellow to your life!
Sometimes we want to achieve goals such as: lost 10 pounds, run a 5K, join a new gym, make new friends, amend a hurt relationship, quit your job, get a new job, move, get a divorce, get married, etc…Some of these are easy for some people to achieve, and some of them are incredibly difficult, and even terrifying, despite them being necessary in some cases. It is important to remember that it is not necessary to get to the end goal on one step, nor is that practical or even helpful in most cases. When you reflect on your life, I bet you can see times you eventually achieved a goal, but learned lessons and grew exponentially while you were working towards it – that is the key. Small steps lead to big changes. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to have everything figured out from the get-go… that takes the excitement out of life, doesn’t it? Instead, try to accept that there is a journey and progress takes time. That way you will be more likely to open your eyes and soul to the beauty and strength that comes out of small changes.
Yes, I am telling you to talk to yourself…and to do it consciously. Get in the habit of asking yourself questions such as:
How am I going to feel after I eat (or do) this?
I am craving sugar. I probably need more energy. What can I eat (or do) that will give me lasting energy rather than just a sugar high?
Is there a better choice I can make right now?
How is this going to make me feel in the morning?
Okay, I probably ate more than I needed to. It is okay. I don’t need to be mad at myself or make poor choices for the rest of the day. I will just get right back on track.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I just need to focus on myself.
We often can be our own worst enemy. Negative self-talk can be convincing and damaging. Sometimes it can be helpful to actively cultivate positivity in our minds. Our thoughts can change our actions, and our actions can change our feelings. When you find yourself in a situation where you have a choice to make (and this happens a million times a day, we always have a choice), take the time you need and have a mini convo with yourself. You deserve that recognition and acknowledgement. If you are at a restaurant and you can’t decide what to order to eat or drink, maybe excuse yourself to the bathroom, take a deep breath, and think about it in privacy so you can make a comfortable choice. And then, once you make your choice, move forward. Don’t beat yourself up if in retrospect you think perhaps the alternative would have served you better. Find peace in knowing that self-abuse is never serving you better and so it is best to just look forward.
Try it. Never undermine the power of your own mind. Sometimes your own little voice is stronger than you think.