Life is complicated but losing weight and getting healthy doesn’t have to be. Small changes do lead to big results. I’m not just spouting a cliche – this approach really works. It’s about taking small steps in your lifestyle, diet, and exercise that over time add up to big change. We all want big change and big results right away. I understand that. But that approach rarely works. What does work is making small improvements to your daily habits.
So where do you start? What can you do TODAY to improve your health?
Follow me on Instagram and we’ll work toward 101 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Health. Or you can find the summaries here on my blog, in my newsletter, or on Facebook. As we climb toward 101 things, I’ll gather the most recent 10 and post them here.
(If you missed the first 10, you can find them HERE.)
#11 Smart Indulgences
When you indulge or treat yourself, be smart about it. Make it something you really enjoy and take your time with it. Savor it. I love dark chocolate and often eat a small amount mid-day with a latte. You can have treats and enjoy your food, just be mindful of your choices and make them special.
#12 Assess Caffeine Consumption
I love coffee. Love it. I make espresso and belong to MistoBox and would be very sad without it. BUT there is a balance to find, as too much caffeine can be detrimental to your health and your sleep 😴. Consider paying attention to your caffeine consumption as well as your stress level, energy, and sleep quality. If you think you’re drinking too much, you probably are. You don’t have to give it up; just cut back and be strategic about when you drink it.
#13 Eat Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include: cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and bok choy, just to name a few. They’re good raw, cooked, steamed, sauteed, and air fried. Dip them in hummus, Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing, or sautee them in bacon fat! Yum!
Cruciferous veggies are exceptional sources of nutrients – they’re superfoods. They help combat heart disease, Type II Diabetes, and are proven cancer fighters.
#14 Consume Quality Dairy
If you consume dairy, make it the best quality you can afford. Quality dairy is important. Hormones and processing make a difference on how your body can handle a food. Organic, grass-fed, whole milk, cheese, and yogurt are best. Local dairy products are also great options. All food, including dairy, is somewhere on a spectrum of healthfulness. Do your best whenever possible.
#15 Go Barefoot
Do you prefer shoes on or off? I’ve always preferred to go barefoot. Turns out there are some significant health benefits to taking off your shoes and socks. Some of the benefits are physical; you have better proprioception with your shoes off, for example. It supports awareness and better movement. There are also studies that look at how physical contact with the ground can influence hormones and systems in the body. Check out this article by @bulletproof on Grounding and spend some time with your shoes off today.
#16 Eat Yellow & Orange Foods
Beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C are abundant nutrients in orange and yellow foods. They are great for eyes, anti-aging, and cellular health. Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and citrus are just some of your delicious options. Try eating them in a new way – carrot soup, for example.
#17 Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is the most effective way to protect yourself from getting sick. Warm water, soap, and 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing and scrubbing. Use your elbow or a towel to turn off the faucet. Wash your hands before you eat and before you touch your face.
#18 Throw Out Your Margarine, Use Butter
Margarine is made from polyunsaturated fatty acids, also known as pufas. They cause cellular damage and have been linked to metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, and advanced aging. What can you eat instead? Organic butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil and rendered animal fat.
#19 Hug Someone
Human touch is important. It releases hormones that not only enhance our emotional and mental well-being, but also our physical health. A hug can calm your system and reduce cortisol levels, improve immune function, and reduce pain. Go hug 🤗
#20 Eat Fermented Foods
When we consume fermented foods we’re ingesting gut-healthy microbes that have been shown to reduce risk of cancer, improve IBS symptoms, increase cognitive function, and have a positive impact on depression and anxiety symptoms. Your gut health is vital to your overall health, including your mental health. So what can you eat? So so much!
- Fermented condiments (like relish)
- Yogurt (if you tolerate dairy)
And… you can make your own fermented foods. Check out The Art of Fermentation.
There’s tremendous power in small steps. Choose one to focus on this week and slowly add more to your lifestyle. To stay up to date on the simple steps you can take to improve your health, follow me on Instagram. And if you’re ready to take steps today to take charge of your health, check out the Renegade Nurse Challenges.
To your amazing health and well-being.