Foundations for wellness

If you’re desperately seeking the key to a healthy body and mind, chances are you’ve felt a bit overwhelmed by all the conflicting information out there. While it’s important to drill down into the finer details of health advice from time to time, often you don’t have time to wade through all those words.

Don’t worry, I’m here. For those times when you just need the core tips for maintaining good health, remember my Big 5 and it’ll hold you steady.

1. Focus on sleep

This tends to be the first one we forget when we’re stressed – but good sleep is fundamental to good health! It helps our body recover and regenerate. An awesome benefit of sleep is that it regulates our hormones, which means more control over our concentration, emotions and cravings (yes, it helps food cravings!).

Having trouble sleeping? Try these:

  • Remove technology and screen time for an hour before bed.
  • Create a dark, quiet space for you to wind down – don’t just jump straight in from your high-energy activities!
  • Have a warm shower or bath.

2. Eat well

Food is fuel for your body, so make sure you’re giving it the absolute best.  Don’t have time to set up a detailed meal plan strategy today? A quick switch would be having more of these:

  • That all-important protein:  meat, dairy, eggs or plant-based
  • Fruits and vegetables; lots of colour and variety
  • Fats (olive/macadamia/avocado oils, butter, ghee, coconut oil)
  • Water or herbal teas and infusions for hydration

And less of these:

  • Processed food
  • Sugary drinks and snacks
  • Alcohol
  • Refined carbohydrates – look for complex, whole grain and low-GI options instead

3. Love your gut

It’s become the trendy thing to do; kombucha, kefir, prebiotics, probiotics, fermented everything….but why is it important?

A very large proportion of your immune system is found in your gut – the gastro-intestinal system, to be specific. Because the gut is where the outside bacteria comes into contact with your immune system, gut health is central to your overall wellbeing. When the bad bugs overtake the good bugs in your gut, things start to get a little funky after a while!

One of the best ways to start improve the biodiversity in your gut is to reduce the processed foods and sugars (listed above) then include some probiotics daily, full fat Greek yoghurt is a great start.

If you experience unpleasant or ongoing gut symptoms, however, it’s really important to see a doctor.

4. Build healthy relationships

Seeking out other like-minded people to spend our time with lets us form healthy relationships with a sense of purpose and connection. These are a valuable support network, and we should remember to reach out to others not only in bad times, but also when we are happy and want to share this.

Connections to other people keep us healthy – mentally and physically. Sharing our personal goals with others also keeps us accountable, giving us extra support and motivation. And you don’t have to choose between health and a social life, either – you can keep your perfect balance.

5. Breathe!

Breathe in… breathe out. Focusing on this simple, natural process can do wonders.

Connect your breath with meditation to calm your body and mind. If you’re feeling stressed, just take a moment to breathe slowly, allow yourself to detach from emotions, and just be in the moment. Meditation can also help with food cravings and other habits. It forces you to stop, consider and take control. Plus, it’s also a good chance to think about all the things you are grateful for in life – to remind you to be positive and appreciate what you have.

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