I hope you’re having an amazing summer. It’s been a scorcher so far and most of you are probably working hard to stay cool. This means staying indoors and perhaps eating more ice cream and cold drinks. You know what’s refreshing and can help cool you off? Tea, unsweetened tea. Try cold herbal tea, green tea, or black tea. But please, don’t make it outside in the sun. Sun tea can make you sick. Brew it strong in your home and pour it over ice.
We’re over the hump on our path to 101 things you can do today to improve your health. You have plenty of amazing healthy habits to choose from. Pick one and add it to your weekend.
#51 Get More B6
B6 has been shown to help improve anxiety symptoms for many, especially when combined with magnesium. B6 helps regulate production of serotonin and GABA—two neurotransmitters that control depression and anxiety. Also, women on birth control are often low in B6. Food sources include turkey, beef, liver, pistachios, and tuna.
#52 Eat Your Carbs Earlier in the Day
Waking up hungry? Shift your carb intake to earlier in the day. Carbs from veggies, and some fruit, are essential for health. If you find that you wake in the morning and you’re starving or you wake in the night and you want something to eat, shift your carb intake to earlier in the day. Eat the bulk of your carbs at breakfast and lunch and consume a smaller dinner.
Dinnertime carbs should be non-starchy meaning no potatoes, rice, pasta, etc…(and don’t snack after dinner). Try this for a few weeks and see if your sleeping improves and your morning time hunger disappears. You may also find that you’re losing weight with this slight adjustment to your intake.
#53 Experience Hunger
It’s okay to be hungry. In fact, it’s a healthy thing. Many people go days, weeks, or even months without feeling hungry. We eat out of habit, because it’s mealtime, and because we may have low blood sugar and need energy. This need for energy isn’t “hunger” usually. It feels more like a craving.
The feeling of hunger is experienced in your stomach. Experiencing hunger teaches you to become aware of this feeling so that you can learn to eat when you’re hungry rather than when you have cravings, you’re bored, or it’s “time” to eat.
Additionally, experiencing hunger also teaches you to manage it without panicking. (If you have had an eating disorder or are prone to disordered eating, this tip may not be right for you. Talk to your MD about how to move forward healthfully.)
Try allowing yourself to get hungry between meals. When you have that physical experience, don’t eat immediately. Assess how you feel. Make a plan for what you’re going to eat, make nutritious choices, and enjoy your meal slowly. This level of awareness can be instrumental in curbing overeating and making better food choices.
#54 Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
One of the easiest ways to eat less, improve your sleep, and eat less junk is to stop eating after dinner. The general rule of thumb is to eat at least three hours before you go to bed. So if you go to bed at 10, you shouldn’t eat after 7pm. This allows your body time to digest before you go to sleep so t
hat while you’re sleeping your body can focus on its job which is to regulate hormones and clean your brain – it’s not supposed to be digesting while you sleep!
If you struggle with after dinner snacking, try brushing your teeth after dinner. Brush, floss, rinse and then drink a glass of water. Your minty fresh mouth is a deterrent to snacking on the couch. Give it a try!
#55 Consume Bone Broth
Stock made from the bones and cartilage from animals provides your body with collagen, minerals, and other vital nutrients. Sure, you could take a collagen supplement, a calcium supplement, a magnesium supplement, a glucosamine supplement, etc… but why not simply enjoy some bone broth instead? Your skin, eyes, organs, joints, and digestive system will thank you.
Getting bone stock is easy. You can make it yourself from leftover bones from chicken, beef, and even pork. You can also buy it at the store. Epic Provisions Bone Broth found at Thrivemarket, Amazon, Epicprovisions.com, and in your supermarket is delicious. In our home we just pop our leftover bones into a labeled freezer bag.
When we have enough to make broth, we pop them, and some water, into our InstantPot and pressure cook for a few hours. It’s a great soup base or you can add some sea salt and enjoy all by itself.
How often should you consume it? Daily if possible, if not, aim for once a week.
#56 Choose Better Treats
I have a sweet tooth. I really enjoy sweet treats. It’s great because my husband doesn’t. If you give him a choice between a piece of cheese
So when you have to choose between a candy bar and dark chocolate or a pint of ice cream and vegan chocolate pudding, remember that treats are fine and that some treats are better for you than others. Choose wisely and protect your health.
#57 Consume WHOLE Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Do you take fish oil or a fatty acid supplement? There are many different types that you can take from fish oil to algae. Some are Omega 3 only and some are a combination of 3, 6, and 9. Generally speaking, we get enough (and in most cases too much) of Omega 6 and 9. Omega 3 Fatty acids have been proven to reduce inflammation and improve circulatory and brain health. However, you may not know that it helps reduce asthma from allergies.
The studies found that a ratio of 1:5 for Omega 3 to Omega 6 is most effective (and that higher levels of 6 may actually worsen symptoms). So you can take an omega 3 supplement. However you can also get healthier omega fatty acids from fish. Try salmon, mackerel, tuna, and/or sardines. I love the @WildPlanetFoodssardines from @ThriveMarket. You can also find the @thePrimalBlueprint Omegas there too. (I take them and love them. No fish oil burps!)
Bottom line, Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in your body and your brain and if you have asthma and allergies, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Omega 3’s. Eat your cold water fish and consider talking with your Doctor about supplementing.
#58 Eat Macadamia Nuts
When I’m looking for something crunchy to snack on, or something to help me get through a 12-hour shift at work, Macadamia nuts are a fantastic fuel.
You might be surprised to learn that this tasty little nut:
Helps protect your brain- it contains a rare omega 7 fatty acid called Palmitoleic acid which has been shown to be a major component of myelin, the fatty, protective coating around your neurons. It’s rich in vitamins like B1 for energy conversion and copper which helps with oxygen transfer (getting oxygen into your tissues, including your brain)
Improves heart health. These same fatty acids have been shown to
*Improve Cardiovascular health
*Reduced blood pressure
*Reduced lipid level
Contains anticancer nutrients including a type of vitamin E called tocotrienols which has been shown in some studies (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790869/) to suppress cancer cell growth and they contain antioxidants and flavonoids which can destroy free radicals and have been shown to kill cancer cells.
But my favorite reason to eat them for a snack is because they’re satisfying, a small handful of these nuts and I’m good for hours. They’re delicious, they feel like a treat, and they bust any cravings I might be experiencing.
#59 Eat More Slowly
How long does it take you to eat your meals?
It takes me about 5-10 minutes.
It’s something that I need to work on. Generally speaking, I inhale breakfast before a workout or before work. I inhale lunch at my desk and eat while I’m working, and I often eat dinner the same way.
So today, I’m making a commitment to eat at the dining table, rather than the couch or my desk. I am going to pay attention to each and every bite and I’m going to pay attention.
Well, it’s just not healthy to inhale your food.
Eating slowly helps you:
*Realize when you’re full (and avoid overeating)
*Helps you appreciate your food more
*Increases awareness about what you eat.
And let’s face it, most of us could benefit from slowing down a bit!
#60 Add a Plant To Your Home
I have a house full of plants. I’m kind of a crazy plant lady. In fact, when we moved from Colorado to Arizona, one of the things I worried most about was whether my plants would survive the trip. Yep, kinda crazy about them.
Plants help you reduce stress – you might be surprised to learn that plants have been shown in repeated studies to reduce participant’s heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory problems. They lower the amount of cortisol released into your body.
They clean the air too – plants are nature’s air filters. All plants are beneficial but for air cleansing, try a spider plant, snake plant,or peace lily. Did you know that Amazon sells plants? They do and the plants are affordable and extremely well rated. Of course you can find great plants at your local nursery too.
They’re pretty – Your home is a place where you should feel comfortable and happy and plants can add to that ambiance.
These benefits are just the beginning. Plants have shown that plants can improve sleep, help you build a stronger immune system, and many plants create produce that you can enjoy like a lovely lemon tree or aloe vera for skin health.
Have an amazing day and take a moment today to thank your body for all that it does for you. Treat it well with diet and exercise and it’ll keep you healthy, active, and mentally strong for many decades.