Health, it’s no mystery. Just like every other aspect of our lives these days, the wellness space has become crowded with too much content and information. We, in partnership with Tropicana, decided to bring it back to the basics.
Have you ever carried out extreme New Year’s resolutions successfully? Or any drastic health resolutions for that matter? We ourselves have tried and failed, which is why we tapped our favorite nutritionists for plans, resolutions and goals that are actually realistic. Sticking to a healthy regime might not be the mystery of the sphinx after all…
From Nutritional Chef Mikaela Reuben
It’s officially summertime – I know, I can’t believe it either. With all our New Year’s resolutions lingering now as distant memories, rather than holding on to some of the goals that didn’t come to fruition, why not set yourself up for success by trying out some simple yet attainable shifts?
Going on a particular diet may help you lose weight in the short-term but in the long-term it is easy to quickly gain the weight back. The body does not respond well to reduced-calorie yoyo dieting, and this rapid weight loss actually causes the body to store fat. We often get so wrapped up in the idea that we need to heavily restrict to see results, we don’t realize some of the greatest change can come from the simplest of actions.
In this article, I have presented some easy to implement guidelines that can be followed to help facilitate movements towards a healthier and balanced lifestyle. The suggested habits and recommendations can be integrated into real life, allowing for sustainable change. Try following for at least 5-7 days – the longer the better!
Drink 1.5 cups of warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon and take 1 serving of chlorella (cracked cell wall) tablets.
Eat a grapefruit!
If you are going to exercise, also grab a handful of nuts.
Dry brush if you have time before you shower, ending with 30-60 seconds of cold water.
Choose meals from or similar to the breakfast examples (menu below).
Drink liquids throughout the day. Focus on non-caffeinated teas and water with mint chlorophyll drops. Try to consume 1 cup of water, tea, or other liquid every 30 minutes.
If you feel hungry, choose a snack — sip on soup or have a handful of celery and carrots, or almonds.
Choose a meal from or similar to the lunch examples.
Have a small vegetable dense snack if you are hungry later in the afternoon.
For your last meal of the day, choose something from the dinner examples and try to finish eating at least 4 hours before you plan on going to sleep.
If you are hungry before bed, drink warm tea or broth.
Cruciferous Vegetables are some of the most important vegetables you can eat. A combination of protein, fiber, sulfur containing compounds and low energy density, makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect ingredients to include in your meals. A few to mention: broccoli (also loaded with vitamin C, which boosts calcium absorption), cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens.
Fermented and Cultured Foods (ex: sauerkraut and kimchi) are good for digestion. Some fermented foods contain probiotics that help keep the flora of the gut healthy.
Grapefruits help control insulin levels.
Hemp Hearts contain healthy fats and provide a clean plant-based protein source. These combined macro nutrients can help to satisfy hunger cravings and eliminate over-eating or peckish snacking.
Leafy Greens, depending on variety, can contain vitamins A and C, as well as protein, fiber and calcium. They help clear out any toxins and keep your body strong.
Lemon contains high amounts of vitamin C, essential for health and support of one’s immune system and complexion. Vitamin C works as a precursor to collagen, a protein necessary for the formation and upkeep of skin tissues, joints, hair and nails.
Sunflower Seeds contain a mineral called Selenium, an antioxidant that helps regulate thyroid function. They also contain high amounts of mineral Magnesium. This mineral helps to support one’s muscle functioning and bone and heart health.
Use the ‘Salad Trick’.
Have a salad filled with dark leafy greens before diving into the main course, or make sure to add a handful of greens on the side of what you eat. Dark leafy vegetables are filled with essential nutrients and good fiber, which will help keep you from over eating when it comes to the main course.
Focus on High Fiber Foods.
This helps the body stay full. Fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy so that the nutrients can be properly absorbed. Good examples: lentils, beans, collard greens, grapefruit, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
We all know we should be drinking water throughout the day, but sometimes this is easier said than done. A good trick is to take a few elastic bands and secure them around your water bottle at the beginning of the day. Fill the water bottle up in the morning and aim to drink to the first band level. Once there, remove a band. Continue to drink until all bands are removed and then start again! Making a game out of drinking water is a good way to keep track of your intake and stay hydrated.
Choose Foods That Help Control Blood Sugar Levels.
The goal is to eat foods that are highly nourishing and full of fiber, to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid fluctuations. When choosing fruit, choose those that are low on the glycemic index, meaning they are less likely to spike insulin levels.
Eat Healthy Proteins.
This has been shown to increase levels of satiation. When trying to lose weight, a diet high in protein and vegetables has shown to be ideal. For vegetarian options: Lentils, sprouted legumes, quinoa, chick peas, nuts, hemp hearts, spirulina, raw sunflower seeds, chia, almonds, and kale, and eggs, sprouts, broccoli, and organic edamame. For animal-based options: Sardines, mackerel, herring, canned wild salmon or wild salmon, and trout. I tend to choose protein sources high in Omega-3’s. If you choose to eat poultry make sure it is hormone-free.
Focus on Healthy Fats.
Diets which include these supply sustained energy levels, create feelings of satiation, decrease the desire to snack in between meals and provide both mental and physical alertness and energy. Not to mention, healthy fats are needed for basic body building blocks and healthy skin.
Try to Exercise, Sleep and Avoid Stress.
They are all unbelievably important and can help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for fat formation in the body. Cortisol levels increase when we are stressed or tired. Exercise reduces cortisol levels.
Book Exercise Into Your Calendar.
This will keep you accountable. You write down meetings in your calendar, so why not mark down your gym or yoga class too? It seems simple, but writing down time in your schedule for exercise is a great way to motivate yourself. By spending ten to fifteen minutes one day a week researching classes to take or finding time in your schedule for a run or gym session, you will already have your week’s schedule in mind and prepare for it. Treating your exercise time equally to work time or chore time in your calendar is an easy way to get into the mindset that exercise is part of your weekly routine.
Learn New Cooking Methods.
This will encourage more efficient cooking. Learn to use a steamer; this will be a game changer if you haven’t already tried one. This kitchen tool is one of the easiest and most effective ways to cook healthy foods quickly; chop your favorite veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, chard etc) and place them in a steamer with a lid over top. That’s it! Depending on the desired consistency, you can enjoy soft and fully cooked veggies or keep them partially crisp yet warm. Steaming is quick and easy and prevents your veggies from losing the important vitamins and minerals from harsher cooking methods, all while breaking them down just enough to allow for optimal absorption. By steaming you also avoid unnecessary unhealthy oils, instead add cold pressed healthy oils after!
Going for a walk can help you clear your mind. If you live close enough to your work, gym, or coffee shop, see if walking or riding a bike could be doable on a daily or weekly basis. If that’s not an option, try taking walks on your lunch breaks. Walking, especially in nature, creates a sense of calmness and helps relax our busy minds; slowing the mind down with a walk outside can help organize your thoughts and refocus dwindling energy. Try a quick and brisk walk in the morning to wake up, a power walk at lunch to fight brain fog or a lazy meander after dinner to help you digest and relax at the end of the day.
Commit to a Nightly Wind Down Routine.
This will improve your quality of sleep and increase your productivity the next day. Historically, humans have always followed the rhythms and patterns of the earth, like the sunrise and sunset. Our bodies have internal clocks that take care of our energy levels throughout the day, which coincide with nature’s clocks as well. When the sun rises, we are meant to slowly wake with it, and wind down with the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon. Studies have shown the importance for humans to follow this cycle by observing that we are in our deepest stages of sleep between 10pm and 2am. Striving for a 10pm bedtime may seem daunting, but your body will thank you for it. If you’re a night owl, try setting yourself a one-hour reminder before bed, to let your body know that it’s time to wind down, turn down the lights and start getting ready for some quality shuteye.
Prep Food In Advance.
It is a great trick to staying on the healthy eating bandwagon. It only takes a few hours one day a week, but you’re left with a stocked fridge and a sense of ease when the week ahead gets busy. Turn on your favorite playlist or catch up on your favorite series and get chopping. Preparing some of your snacks and meals in advance is a great way to know what you will be eating for the coming days and brings a sense of ease if you come home late from work one day. Create mix and match options for your meals, this will seem like a breeze once you get the hang of food prepping. Cutting different types of veggies and cooking different proteins allows you some wiggle room with your weekly menu, especially if you store them all in different containers. Prep some dips and salad toppings so you can alternate your salads or entrees to keep things interesting; At this point you have your own on-demand salad bar in your fridge, making quick lunches or afternoon snacks an easy option.
Scramble eggs over sautéed greens and purple cabbage
Coconut chia with crushed walnuts and raspberries
Cucumber and avocado on toast with hemp hearts and hummus
Coconut squash soup with fresh avocado
Miso soup with squash, cabbage and fish
Hardboiled eggs on a vegetable stir fry of zucchini, spinach, kale
Warmed curry lentils with kale, green onions, mixed wild mushrooms
Strawberry hemp heart milk
Chopped vegetables with edamame hummus
Spinach and chickpea soup
Roasted cauliflower with hemp heart pesto and greens
Sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts
Brazil nut milk
Cucumbers with lemon and sea salt
Marinated cabbage salad
Fish with chimichurri and sautéed spinach
Watercress, steamed broccoli, hummus and sesame bowl
Cumin coleslaw with grilled wild salmon or
Steamed broccoli and bok choy with tahini chia lime ginger dressing served over sprout salad with roasted cauliflower or a small piece of halibut
Grilled vegetables frittata and avocado salad
Herb pesto asparagus quinoa
Lentil soup with spinach salad
Collard green wraps with wild salmon or smashed beans and salsa,
avocado, and cilantro
Maple Salmon with roasted vegetables
Spaghetti squash with kale pesto
Spinach and chickpea soup
Roasted cauliflower with hemp heart pesto and greens
Steamed green vegetable bowl with tahini dressing, fresh sprouts, and avocado
Roasted summer vegetables with creamy cashew dressing over kale – carrots, zucchini, beet greens, and asparagus (chop and roast, toss with cold pressed oil and fresh herbs or creamy cashew dressing)
Zucchini boodles with tahini herb sauce
Sesame bok choy quinoa
Chilled mint tea with a few drops of chlorophyll
Green vegetable juice — cucumber, kale, celery, lemon, ginger
Warm water with lemon
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