Posted on Jan 14, 2021
Feeling in need of a reboot this New Year? Follow these 5 simple, sustainable steps:
- Eat Whole-Foods and Boost Fiber
Get your nutrients from actual food sources. Eat at least five servings of veggies and one piece of fruit daily, boost overall fiber, get at least three to four ounces of lean protein through animal or plant sources at each meal, decrease added sugar and saturated fat and increase foods (like beets, cruciferous veggies, lemon and avocados) that help support the liver. Fermented food products, like yogurt, kimchi and miso can help support gut health.
What’s a “good” breakfast? The trick is to have two food groups, protein being one of them. Vegetable juice and eggs are good options, as is almond butter on whole-wheat toast. Make sure you eat within an hour of waking up. Eating breakfast also helps control your blood sugar throughout the day and may improve cognitive performance.
- Reset Your Sleep Schedule
If you ate, drank and were generally merry over the holidays, chances are you also skimped on sleep. It’s okay to get out of your normal routine a little bit but if you stay out for weeks at a time, it’s hard to get back into it. Sleep deprivation can also put your satiety hormones out of whack, making you more likely to overeat, and elevate cortisol, making you more anxious. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven and a half to nine hours of sleep each night. One third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. Make sure that’s not you!
The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. But it doesn’t have to be all at once and it doesn’t have to be at the gym. Think of ways you enjoy moving – dancing, tai chi, Qi Gong, walking, riding a bike, swimming, playing with children (who move almost non-stop.) And remember, cleaning the house, vacuuming, dusting and gardening all count as movement!
- Practice Mindfulness
You can be mindful just going about your day — driving, working, washing the dishes, eating. But a regular meditation practice can help you start your year in a powerfully quiet way. Scientists found that people who did 13 minutes of a daily guided meditation session for eight weeks experienced better mood, attention and memory as well as less anxiety.
We are always tempted to “detox” or “cleanse” ourselves with one of the popular regimens. My advice: Don’t! Most of these so-called programs—the liquid diet, the elimination diet, the juice cleanse, fasting, restricting, whatever—not only won’t help you, they may dehydrate you and cause other harm. So instead of a potentially unhealthy quick fix to start your new year, reboot 2021 in an easy, good-for-you way!
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