Feb
28

How To Prioritize Your Health

meditation

My clients often ask me how I stay healthy when I have such a crazy schedule, and don’t have time to make meals ahead of time.

Since so many others struggle with finding the time to be healthy, I will share a few practical tips (and some homework) to help guide you to prioritizing your health on a daily basis.

Dieting and deprivation do not work – especially diets that have an expiration date… And skipping meals often leads to overeating and a cycle of guilt.

We are looking for lasting change based on knowledge, power, and spirituality – so a “slow and steady” approach is going to get you the most success!

Even with a schedule that is booked solid, there are some simple things you can do to take charge of your health (that aren’t based on fear and guilt).

Pick One Thing and Stick to It

Prioritize! Sometimes we try to change everything all at once, and that can be overwhelming and unrealistic. Ultimately, we suffer more if we try to throw out everything unhealthy from the fridge, and then wonder what we want to replace it with.

I ask my clients to make a list of what they would like to change in order of most important to least important. Whatever you put as your first change, make sure it is tangible!

If your priority is to reduce your coffee intake to one cup a day, don’t think about having withdrawals and missing your coffee… Instead, think about what are you going to replace it with that is nourishing for your body and has less caffeine. You can swap it out for a matcha latte with almond milk, Tulsi tea, or any herbal tea that will support gut health.

health

ME Time!

In a time that is so focused on social media and outward appearance, it is easy to make yourself (and your care) the last priority, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

If you only have 10 minutes in the day, or you don’t feel as you have any free time, I suggest waking up 10 minutes early to give yourself that time. When you take time for meditation or journaling, you benefit – and so do your family, friends, coworkers, and siblings. It truly will set the tone for your day if you can take that moment to breathe and be at peace with yourself before the chaotic schedule takes over.

I suggest the Calm app if you are not familiar with meditation. It’s a quick and easy guide for anyone, whether you are new to the practice or an experienced meditator.

Get Your Z’s

Compared to decades ago, adults and children sleep less. Sleep deprivation can affect all areas of your health, including your heart, immune function, energy levels, mood, and appetite. It is recommended that we get at least seven to nine hours a night.

When we don’t sleep an adequate amount, our appetite is increased, we become less sensitive to insulin (our “fat storage” hormone) leading to weight gain, and we experience increased levels of cortisol. Ideally, we want our cortisol levels to be high in the morning to give us energy through the day. Cortisol production should decrease slowly through the day, so that it is lowest during the evening hours when you are getting ready for bed.

However, if you are not sleeping (and stressed) your cortisol production will remain high. Your stress may be something tangible, such as a big presentation for work or getting the kids ready for school the next day, but it can also be intangible, such as a physical stressor in your body like leaky gut or inflammation – or maybe you just got over a cold.

High cortisol levels can affect our sex hormones, digestion, neurotransmitters, mood, energy, and immune system. Cortisol also sends a signal to the body to hold on to its fat.

Start Your Day With a Nourishing Lab Super Smoothie

Forget the muffin or cereal! Shakes are the number one needle mover to improving overall health – if they are made correctly. Typically, store bought ones are high in fructose and filled with sweeteners and other additives.

Starting the day with a super smoothie will keep your blood sugar stable until lunch, so you won’t have that mid morning crash.

All your smoothies should contain these ingredients:

  • Liquid- almond milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk
  • Greens – a handful of spinach or kale
  • Healthy Fat – 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter, coconut oil, flax oil, or MCT oil
  • Protein – 1-2 scoops of vegetarian or grass fed protein powder
  • Fruit – ¼ cup berries, banana, mango, or peach
  • Optional – Superfoods like ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, ginger, turmeric or bee pollen

The 5 most common smoothie mistakes:

  • Adding sweetened nut milks, dried fruit, or sugar-added nut butter – these will all turn your smoothie into a sugar bomb!
  • Skimping on healthy fat and fiber – if you are hungry an hour after you drink your shake, there wasn’t enough fat and fiber to keep you full. Add avocado, nut butter, coconut milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt.
  • Adding protein powders full of junk, like maltodextrin, sugar alcohols, or sweeteners.
  • Using a protein powder that has a high sugar impact. Check the label and make sure that there are no more than 5 grams of added sugar per serving!
  • Using protein powders that trigger food intolerances, such as whey (dairy derived), soy, and corn.

Commit to Your Why

We all want to feel healthy and fabulous, right? But WHY? Everyone’s why is very different. Is it because you want more vitality? Do you want to have more focus at work? Do you want to be able to chase your children through the park without collapsing? Do you want to compete in your first 5K running race?

Searching for that deeper meaning and purpose will carry you further than saying to yourself, “I want to loose that last 5 pounds I gained over the holidays.” This deeper meaning will drive your everyday decisions to choose a healthier lifestyle. For me, it is because I just feel so much better when I am eating healthy!

After years of struggling with IBS and Hashimoto’s Disease, I have had some very low points. I know that if I don’t pay close attention to what I put in my body, it can be thrown off very easily, setting me back to pain and discomfort. I know my triggers and what doesn’t agree with my body, so I choose healthy eating to avoid pain and discomfort. That is my why – what is your why?

health and wellness

Please write to me and tell me your why?

Sending you love and light,

Melissa

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