5 easy tips to feel healthier now:
1. Each morning, drink a tall glass of water with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. You’ll feel noticeably less “puffy” within two days. (Warning: if you also drink a morning jolt of java, the acidity may get to be too much, so eat a little breakfast and consider skipping coffee.)
2. Stop what you’re doing and take ten deep breaths. Concentrate on drawing the breath up from your kidneys; visualize pushing it down into your stomach as you exhale. Feels great.
3. Don’t get overwhelmed – think in terms of “relative nutrition“. This is my term for putting health information in perspective. Getting healthier can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out or are recovering from an illness. Yes, hitting the gym, meditating, and eating organic, raw, pure food all day long and tossing out the microwave would probably be ideal (in some universe). Instead, think in terms of healthy as it relates to your current habits.
I suggest that you concentrate on taking 4 or 5 steps and applying them consistently. You can change and add more healthy habits as you progress, but even a handful of simple modifications can do a lot of relative good. I’m not advocating a “make half your grains whole” approach like the Food Pyramid – that’s irresponsible public health guidance when we know that refined grains are so unhealthy. But, don’t expect immediate perfection of yourself – it’s unrealistic.
The important thing is to work gradually towards that paradigm shift (moving from merely accenting with healthy foods or behaviors to practicing health as a lifestyle – the “cheats” become the accent, as they should). You’ll get a lot of healthy mileage out of just a few basic changes: for example, tossing the sodas, switching to salads for lunch every day, and making a point of going on a walk after dinner each night will improve your mood, help you drop a few pounds in just two weeks, and help you sleep better. Who wouldn’t love all that?
4. Toss the sodas! (And the sugary lattes, “juice” drinks, and milk shakes…) Don’t drink your calories. Craving a sweet beverage? You may simply be dehydrated.
5. When you dine out this week – as most of us do at least 30% of the time – just say no to the starchy sides and bread basket. Ask for vegetables as a substitute. You’ll cut hundreds of calories, lower your blood sugar, and actually be less hungry later on.