The title was supposed to be 5 things not 6 but I couldn’t decide which one to leave out! Make a daily habit out of these things:
1. Drink a glass of lemon juice with warm water before breakfast
- If your diet is too acidic (from eating too much processed food and not enough plant food), important nutrients like calcium will be removed from your bone stores. This will weaken your bones and you are at a much higher risk of getting osteoporosis and more fractures and
- Plant foods and especially green vegetables help to stop this from happening as they are alkalising
- If the body is too acidic, the cells try to protect themselves from acid burn so fat is stored to act as a barrier.
- Many people don’t have enough stomach acid to completely digest their food, so drinking lemon juice every morning stops the undigested food becoming acidic
2. Make 1 change regularly to improve your health
I really enjoy this one as it can be anything. Here are a few examples:
- Buy something from the supermarket that you have never used/ eaten before
- Eat some nuts and seeds, a green smoothie or homemade bliss balls for a snack instead of a bought slice/ muffin
- Get an extra hour of sleep
- Add an extra serving of vegetables to each meal
- Make your own lunch a few more times a week to take to Uni/ work
- Practice deep breathing
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate (at least 75% cacao)
3. Do something you enjoy
- This one is harder than everyone thinks, especially when our lives are so fast paced
- Everyone’s idea of happiness is different but it is important to have time to yourself and not forget about what you love doing. It helps to break up the monotony of days when it seems like you have nothing to look forward to
- If you have an assignment or test coming up, plan what you are going to do afterwards as a reward. I always make massive lists during exam time!
4. Only drink water before and after meals not with them
- This one follows on from my first point – water dilutes stomach acid which stops you getting the most out of your food
- Everyone remembers from school science that the pH of water is 7 (neutral), but not many people know that a simple drink of water at dinnertime affects your body’s pH while it is trying to digest food!
- Ideally you should have drink water 30 minutes either side of eating but I also find this a bit hard! Just don’t drink it with the meal which is especially tempting at a restaurant
- If you can’t break the habit while you are eating, just add some lemon juice your drink of water
5. Make exercise fun
- Exercise doesn’t only have to be slogging it out on a treadmill for hours. Short bursts of fast paced activity are just as effective and are much more efficient to fit into your day
- Doing a few hill reps up a steep hill as fast as you can for a really short amount of time is amazing for quick cardio that makes your legs burn!
- Music is so good to match your pace of whatever exercise you are doing and an up-beat song can even help you do an extra push up!
- Even 10 minutes of stretching and yoga can be so good to complement higher intensity exercise. Stretching is not done enough by most people and can really help to strengthen your ankles, core etc
- Include resistance exercise as much as you can, such as body weight exercises (push ups or lunges) to build up strength
- Find a new area to explore and you might be surprised how long you have been out for! In Dunedin, NZ there are so many more places to go than just the gym!
6. Listen to your body
- This is a big one that I have just learnt in the nick of time!
- Some days you may be genuinely exhausted and just feel like going for a gentle walk or even getting an extra hour of sleep may be the best thing for you on that day.
- If you have a headache, don’t just take a Panadol because it is most likely that you are dehydrated. Thirst is also very commonly mistaken for hunger
- If you feel rundown, drink some tea or a hot lemon and ginger drink and make some soup using chicken stock and veges.
- Iron deficiency is very common in females and I myself have experienced the difference iron levels make to your energy levels! After a blood test came back showing that I was deficient, I started taking liquid iron supplements and was almost bouncing off the walls with a new lease on life!