A while back I was thinking how cool it would be to write up a guide on how to give yourself a total lifestyle re-haul that wouldn’t cause you to sacrifice too much, just a two week period where you try your best in all areas of life to make some simple changes for the better. The three areas are:
Each of these areas can be adjusted slightly allowing you to live a healthier more fulfilled life, Its amazing how small adjustments in each area can and will lead to big differences in a short period. So lets have a look…..
This is a area where most people can make changes and even if they are hesitant to change for the long term at least trying for two weeks can be a primer to see if an overhaul makes enough of a difference to how they look or feel.
- Stick to whole foods when you can; Don’t eat foods that have been processed, come out of a can or are pre-made.
- Stick to Meats, Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Eggs, Some Dairy and Legumes. By keeping things simple you will cut a lot of the trash out of your diet without realizing.
- No soft drinks or fruit juice, they will send you on an insulin rollercoaster and the same goes for diet drinks. The artificial sweetners are not good for you…..
- Drink Coffee in the morning (black or with some cream) and Green Tea throughout the afternoon. This works well with your bodies natural energy systems giving you a boost when you wake up while relaxing and energising you throughout the afternoon with the tea.
- Snack on high protein foods and vegetables. Things like Cheese, Carrots, Nuts, Beef Jerky and Fruit. Keeping these on hand will stop you bingeing on rubbish when your hungry or feel like a nibble.
- Spend more on food but buy less. Go for quality over quantity especially when it comes to meat try and go for grass-fed and organic produce.
- Start dinner with a big salad when you can, This will ultimately leave you eating less in the main meal plus it will prime your body for digestion. A big salad can be tasty and fun to prepare……
This is a huge component as all too often these days people are doing little or no exercise and this can have a hige effect on mind and body.
- Try to walk as much as you can. It has been shown that those who spend more time on their feet each day have improved; energy, digestion and sleep to name a few so get walking and stay active.
- Resistance Training, two or three times a week go to the gym or do a body-weight workout of resistance training. Anything that gets your muscles worked and allows you to progressively increase the weight you are pushing is great. Always strive to improve…….
- 20-30 Minutes of breaking a sweat a few times a week. I cannot emphasize how important this is to keep stress at bay especially in the modern and hectic environment most of us live in. This can be done in a variety of ways; Sports, running, intense DIY, even using the exercise bike at the gym.
This is the last section and one that will cover various aspects of day to day living with small tips you can use to make a difference.
- Every evening before bed make a list of things you are grateful for in the last 24hrs and a list of what you have given to others. here is an example;
Hot water allowed me to take a bath/shower
My freind “……” gave me advice on a tricky situation
Someone in the restaurant I ate in cooked and served me lunch
My brother made me a cup of coffee and a fruit salad
I comforted my friend “…..” when upset
Although these things sound trivial they will give you a sense of gratitude for the things we normally take for granted. I suggest keeping a notebook bedside and jotting down a small list each night before bed the practice shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Try and jot down specific things that happened rather than generalities.
- Your Skin is your biggest organ would you regularly rub it with chemicals? then stop using normal body washes and moisturizers and buy something natural. These products only cost a fraction more but can benefit you in the long term. Dr. Bronners soaps are great…..
- Breathe, Practice focusing on your breath for 5+ minutes everyday. A session of deep breathing everyday can:
Clear a cluttered mind
Settle your nerves
Help you sleep better
Relax your muscles
For just 5-10 minutes a day I think its a pretty good trade off. I personally like to lie down and do a breathing session before I eat my dinner this will ensure digestion is improved and I sleep well at night.
- Sleep in as dark a room as you can, and make sure to switch off all electronics as you don’t want any LED’s blinking away all night.
For this to work total compliance is not required and giving yourself 20% leeway is fine as it will make things easier and allow you to live a fuller life. Just make sure you try to stick to these rough guidelines 80% of the time which should be achievable and see if you feel better for it…….
So its Monday and what better time to start, just 2 weeks at 80% compliance and you could make profound differences to the way you live.