Thursday 22 September 2016

FIVE FAVOURITES: 5 Healthy Habits To Build Into Your Life

Hello! How are you? How are you feeling today? All good? I hope so :)

Now that we're almost 'post Summer' and back into the swing of school and work, I wanted to give you some healthy habits that you can easily build into your life to keep you healthy and trim on the run up to the party season. No, don't worry I'm not mentioning the 'C' word just yet, I'm just saying the 'party season' :o) - Those who know me will know how hard it is for me not to say it as I should have been born an elf and am excited about the 'party season' already, but sadly... I digress!

I always say that prevention is better than cure and although it is very early to talk about said 'party season', it is a good time to start changing little habits in your life so when the 'party season' hits, you might feel a little more trim, your skin might glow a little more and your mind might feel a little calmer - I hope! Let's get started...

1 - Hydrate first thing!

We've all heard about people/journalists/bloggers etc talking about this, but if you can hydrate first thing in the morning it's soo good for you. Try and get into a routine and make it as easy as you can for yourself. Instead of trying to fit in a cup of hot water and lemon in - which although it easy, might feel like a bit of a faff when all you want is coffee, try this method. Get yourself either a large cup with a lid or a bottle and before you go to bed, fill it with some water and slices of lemon. Then, keep this by your bedside. When you wake up in the morning, allow yourself 5 minutes to sit in bed and sip on the water, it will be at room temperature and so you can drink this easily and then get on with your day. Our bodies are usually very dehydrated by morning as we have not had any liquids for around 8 hours and so if you can get water in your body upon waking it's super good for you. I don't want you sat there necking a bottle though at full pelt! Slowing sip it, allow yourself some time to wake up and then start your day. Get into the habit of this, it's great for your skin and also your digestive system.

2 - Get in your greens

In an ideal world, we would have our water upon waking and then make a fresh green smoothie each morning for breakfast. As much as it's a nice idea, sometimes we just don't want it. If you can make a smoothie each day then amazing! To make it even quicker, bag up your smoothie ingredients (minus the liquids) and put them in the freezer. Then all you have to do is put them in the blender with some water and blitz. Amazing! If you want a great green smoothie recipe, here is mine...

Green smoothie recipe (all organic where possible)

1 cup of fresh water
1 green apple
1 ripe banana
1 stick of celery
1/4 cucumber
1/2 lemon
large handful of greens (spinach/kale/chard etc)
1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1 teaspoon of green magic powder

Blitz the greens first and then add the rest. If you really need it sweeter then add one date if necessary.

I never recommend adding anything other than water in the morning. Some people like to add almond milk or coconut water, but I think the simpler the better. Sometimes adding in extras can be a lot for the body to digest and so water keeps things simple.

However, if you can't have a smoothie every morning because you don't always fancy it, then try and get some greens into your diet every day nonetheless. Either some spinach with your breakfast or kale with your dinner at night. Or why not use some spinach or chard as a base for your salad at lunch. 
Greens are great to help alkalise the body and may help reduce inflammation. Plus they contain fibre which is great for your gut. So, get in those greens!

3 - Always take the stairs

This is always a great way to get some extra exercise in your life. Hubs and I always take the stairs no matter where we are. The extra bit of exercise will increase your steps, may boost your cardio and help firm and tone your bottom! So, say no that that lift and avoid the escalator - get marching up those stairs!

4 - Swap out your caffeine

I know you all like your coffees and teas, but instead of always reaching for the coffee or tea pot, maybe once a day swap it out for a herbal tea or glass of water. Just once a day change it up so you're not having as many caffeinated drinks as usual. Then, once you have got used to this, then try changing another one and another one until you can cut your teas and coffees down to one or two a day -  or even less! Caffeine can be very dehydrating on the body and and over stimulate the system, so it's good not to have more than one or two cups a day if possible.

5 - Spend a few minutes a day meditating

No, I don't need you to sit at the top of a mountain with your legs crossed, thumbs and fingers touching saying 'aauuuummmmm' (even though that would be amazing!) every day! Or at all for that matter!
We rush around all day doing this and that and then by the time we get to bed at night, head hits the pillow and zonk! We're asleep!
The problem with this, is that we never take time to just 'be', appreciate life or give gratitude for our day. I love doing this at night, for me it's the easiest time of the day to do it and it can also help me sleep. This is all you need to to...
  • Once you're in bed and nice and comfortable (and have said all your goodnight's so to speak), close your eyes and rest one hand on your tummy and one on your chest.
  • Begin to feel the rise and fall of your chest and tummy under your hands and then focus on your breath. If you're mind starts to wander, try and bring it back and focus back on your breathing again.
  • Take 5 deep breaths - in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Then take 10 - 15 deep breaths - in and out through your nose
  • Once you have done this, take a minute to list 5 things that you're grateful for that day. It could be a great conversation, something that made you laugh, the home you live in, the food in your belly - whatever it is just be thankful for those things
  • Then, if you're still awake, set yourself an intention for the following day. To make it a little easier, start your intention with "I am..."
I love doing this to help me calm. I don't think you can every be truly happy without gratitude. It's not just about saying "yeah yeah, thanks for my bed, I'm grateful for this and that". It's about really feeling that gratitude. To the point you can feel it in the bottom of your stomach - that feeling of "Oh my god, I am so so lucky for..." that's when you've got it! Take a moment to do this each night before bedtime - think of it as your 'me time' - I'm sure you will feel different afterwards.

I hope these little habits can be built into your lift somehow and they make a difference in your life

Thanks so much for reading

Emmaline x

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