It's time to fess up: we may have overindulged a bit during the holiday festivities. A few bites of caramel-dipped shortbread here, an extra splash of champagne punch there, and a bit too much time with the cheese plates greeting us at so many holiday gatherings. But the new year is not a time for regrets. Though we're looking back on our end-of-the-year indulgences with only fond memories, we're simultaneously ready to push the reset button and revisit some of our daily habits to chart the course for an energy-filled 2013. Luckily, one of our own also happens to be a private health coach, and one who was kind enough to share five achievable tips for making healthy strides in the new year. Take a peek below, for Tosha's tips on a fresh beginning for 2013:
Set achievable goals. Being healthy is a sliding scale, and everyone is at a different point on the spectrum. You do not need to make a 180 in your life to feel better! Work with where you are right now. Small changes will have big impacts over time and you are more likely to stick with them. Once you succeed with one small change then take on another. Accomplishment is an incredibly powerful motivator.
Add, don’t subtract. When making changes to your diet it is much better to focus on adding healthy foods versus depriving yourself of ‘bad’ foods. For example, focus on adding more vegetables to your diet. Look for recipes that include vegetables and appeal to you. You will find yourself naturally eating less of the foods you want to avoid. If your diet plan is only based around avoiding something, it is human nature to have that item in mind. Planning meals will become a willpower battleground.
Give yourself a break. We expose ourselves to toxins every day, from our environment and the food that we eat. Detoxing gives our bodies a break, time to rest and reset so that we can handle and eliminate these toxins. Choose a detox that fits with your lifestyle. One option is to eliminate a common irritant from your diet for two weeks (try dairy, gluten, sugar or caffeine). Another option is a juice cleanse. Juicing fruits and vegetables breaks them down into a liquid, which is easily absorbed by your body. This gives your digestive system a break and increases your vitamin and mineral uptake. Juicing for just two or three days will have amazing benefits.
Drink more water. Some of the most common health complaints can be resolved by drinking water. Mild dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, moodiness, dry skin, and difficulty concentrating. Everyone’s body requirements are different, but the age-old rule of thumb is eight glasses a day. Start off your morning by drinking a large glass of water when you first wake up. This also kick-starts your circulation and flushes out any toxins that have accumulated overnight, a great bonus!
Get some physical activity. I’m not suggesting you need to go to the gym five times a week - that’s just not enjoyable for most people, including me! Instead, try making physical activity a part of your life. It can come in so many forms. I like to think about things I love to do that also happen to require some energy output, like tending my garden or taking my dog for a hike. Finding activities that you enjoy will nurture your spirit as well.
Happy New Year!