Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 Thing you can do for your health today!

Hello everyone!

UPDATE: Thanks to Gina I discovered that UV rays do in fact penetrate glass!

It's Wednesday already and I'm starting to feel the pressure! Laundry, packing, food prep, pet prep, tax prep, and more, all need to be completed before we head out on Friday morning. I have to say I've procrastinated a little bit on getting everything together. I'm not sure if this goes back to my university days but there is something about having a time restraint that gives me this little rush:) This sometimes works but sometimes I fail and wonder why I keep this process going! I'll let you know how it goes.

So my food this week has been pretty basic and nothing too exciting, to be honest. Lots of salads (with raw beets..yumm!), quinoa, pate, and steamed sweet potatoes.

As I don't have too much foodie stuff to share today, I thought I would try to inspire you to ADD to your health today. Yes, I'm talking about adding to your diet and lifestyle not taking away. I believe that once you start adding healthy habits the bad habits tend to diminish. So let's get started!

1. Drink more water - Yes, I know you hear this everywhere but it is so important. You have to remember that your body is 62% water and each and every cell needs to be hydrated in order to function properly. We can go for about 30 days without food but only 2-3 days without water. Yet, people are chronically dehydrated because they think soda and other processed drinks are hydrating. I love to wake up in the morning and drink a glass of water with some lemon . You can add cucumber slices, mint, goji berries, watermelon etc to a pitcher of water and you have delicious, naturally flavored water. Another possibility is to drink herbal tea (nothing caffeinated). And try to drink water that has been filtered as tap water contains some nasty things like flouride and chlorine.

2. Add something green to your meals - Yes, you will have to meander over to the produce section of your grocery store, but I'm telling you its worth it! It's getting into Spring so that means an abundance of greens will be popping up in markets. Take advantage of this marvelous season and maybe try something new like dandilion greens, kale, collard greens, or for the not-so-brave, just try a lettuce mix. What to do with them? Well, put some in your fruit smoothies as you will not taste it and it adds loads of vitamins and minerals. You can also put them into your food processor and chop them really fine and add them to a soup, chili, casserole, stir-fry etc! Of course you can eat them raw to add a kick to your mundane salad.

3. Go Outside - Humans used to live outdoors and now we work, go to the gym, and sleep inside a virtually sealed box. You think standing by a window and having the sun hit your face is enough?...nope! The UV rays cannot penetrate the glass and therefore you will not be making any vitamin D my friend. I sometimes have a problem with going outside during the day too but I'm going to start to make it a priority. I think today I'm going to eat lunch outside as it's so beautiful. Free warmth and vitamin D....that's a score! So there'e an easy solution if you can't get out after it on company time LOL! My favorite outdoor activity is hiking so if the weather in your area supports it..find a trail that is well-marked and get out there. I feel so connected to nature when I'm deep in the woods and my cellphone doesn't work and there are no cars...ahh it just feels right:)

4. Have some alone time with your lover - Yep, its good for you to have sex! Well we all knew that..didn't we? The "business time" with your partner can relieve stress, increase immunity, burn calories, increase cardiovascular health, and reduce prostate cancer risk in men (plus many more ). It's even been proven that simply talking and caressing can have significant health benefits. And how fitting...I'm posting this on a!

5. Take time for yourself - This one is hard for a lot of people as they usually put themself last. I think we are all guilty of this as some point in time. For me, my time is to blog. You may think that its "work" but its something that I enjoy doing and its all mine. Some ideas are to write it on the calender so that you don't schedule something in its place, tell your family that tuesday night at 8pm is your time ( or whatever day and time) and that they respect that, or give the kids (or your partner) a project to do that will keep them busy for a certain amount of time so you can go do something fun! Take a bubble bath, go for a run, read, blog, go shopping, paint, bake..whatever makes you happy and takes your mind off the craziness of life.

6. Fit some exercise into your day - You need to move..period! We were meant to push, pull, squat, throw etc and sitting all the time is not good for us. An interesting fact that my chiro told me was that after the age of 6 our spinal tissue is not directly fed/wastes removed and so we need to move the spine in order to create a rush or wave of spinal fluid to these tissues to provide it with the adequate nutrients and to remove wastes. This is why they tell people with back injuries to MOVE. I have a desk job right now so I know that its hard to fit something in during the work day but I'm starting a new ritual (for the lack of a better word) of rebounding for 10 minutes in the morning. Like I said, its all about adding and tweaking little things because they add up! I don't think that this is enough so I do go to the gym but there are a million exercises you could do at home or outside that cost nothing. For instance..walking! It's so simple yet we struggle even to do this on a daily basis due to the availability of our vehicles. You can ask yourself this question. Can I walk, the grocery store, friend's places, the restaurant, the coffee shop, school? etc. I bet you can to at least one of these places and that will make a difference. You can also run up a hill, take the stairs, do some push-ups, jump roap and many, many more possibilities. People sometimes get too focused on the gym being the only way to break a sweat (I used to be one of them), but really the sky is the limit and I'm sure you can find something you love to do.

7. Try a new healthy recipe - The internet has so many recipes that I get overwhelmed sometimes. I want to try them all but unless I live to a million years old that probably won't happen. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that you have free recipes for anything you want to cook at the tips of your fingers. There is still this mode of thinking that healthy food has to taste disgusting..uh-uh my friend. Check out some of these websites and tell me that their food looks like green mush -

Vegetarian Times

Simply Recipes - A site that is not necessarily vegetarian


Elana's Pantry

Gone Raw

8. Try to be more positive - This is where I have to work hard. I tend to slip into my old ways and spew out negative words about my current life situation. I physically feel a difference in my body...I'm tense, my heart goes a-wall, and I feel drained. Positivity is my must-have charactertistic for 2010 and beyond. I've gone too long being negative about things and its time I looked at situation with the glass half full. In fact, positive thinking has been shown to increase your life span, reduce stress, reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and increase your resistance to colds. I love quotes so I headed over to quote garden to give you some positive, inspiring words:

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, bring your own sunshine ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet~ Ancient Persian Saying

So often in times, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key ~ The Eagles, "Already Gone"

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious ~ Bill Meyer

9. Throw out un-healthy food that prevents you from reaching your goals- I seriously think that if you have processed food in your home, you will end up eating some or all of it even if you think you have the will power. If I fill my fridge with veggies and fruits that is what I'm going to turn to if I'm hungry because that is what is available to me. If there only was pizza in the fridge it would be super hard for me to close the door and run to the store to buy some salad greens. Its that simple! So, stick to the outskirts of your supermarket when shopping as this is where the least processed foods are. The inner isles are mainly boxed and processed foods.

10. Make yourself aware of whatever you slather on your skin - Your skin is your largest organ and it needs to breathe! We put so many chemically-laden creams, moisturizers, toners, and make-up products on our skin without the slightest thought of whether or not they can cause you harm. Just remember that whatever you put on your skin will enter your bloodstream. We can't be passive about this anymore because companies are getting sneakier with the chemicals they add and they are simply not governed enough. Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Some natural alternatives to some of the products out there are coconut oil which is an amazing moisturizer, aloe vera which moisturizes and soothes the skin, avocado which is full of healthy fats and can give your skin a smooth glow. You can also try dry skin brushing to help remove the chemicals that are on your skin from pollution, creams, and even your diet. Check out my post on dry skin brushing here.

Hopefully you can start implementing some of these today as they will drastically improve your health tomorrow!

Have a great rest of the week and stay tuned for my road eats!

PS- The Women's International Summit of Health (WISH) is now on so please go to their website to sign up. I just listened to 3 calls this morning and they were awesome!


kelli said...

"you know when i'm down to my socks it's time for business... that's why they're called business socks." =)

great post!

gina said...

love the post but just want to let you know that uva rays DO, in fact, penetrate glass. of course,you are correct that it's still important for us to get some direct sunlight daily.

Melissa said...

Kelli- LOL that's awesome! I never put two and two together!

Gina- Thank you my dear I didn't do my research enough on that point that UVA rays do go through the glass!

kris | said...

I love this post!! Ok, i am such a water freak so I am really good with #1!!!

Adding greens to your day is so important, isn't it? I love it!


bitt of raw said...

worked on almost all of those today. but it took me awhile to really prioritize my health. thanks for the reminders.

Melissa said...

Hey Kris! - Good on you for drinking the H20..I'm getting better but sometimes I need to remind myself! Thanks for reading:)

Hey Bitt! - Good for you on getting that list checked off! Prioritizing your that phrase:)