1)Eat Mostly Vegetables
When it comes to nutrition there are so many paths to follow. It can be so overwhelming when trying to decide which path to take: vegetarian, Paleo, dairy or no dairy? One thing is certain though: regardless of what diet you follow, all of us should be eating mostly vegetables. Vegetables offer vitamins, minerals, fiber and are very calorie-dense. Vegetables in their whole form contain such powerful life force from the plant.
When we eat vegetables, we have more energy, are more satiated and can eat much more than eating calorie dense, high-fat, high sugar foods. As controversial as nutrition might be, no one will argue that fresh vegetables should be the foundation of every diet.
- Aim to fill at least half of your plate at each meal with vegetables. Fill your omelet with veggies, make a smoothie, have a salad with your fried egg. For lunch have vegetable stew or a large salad and for dinner eat roasted vegetables or stir fry along side your protein source.
- Try a new vegetable each week. Find out what’s in season and try something you never have before. There are recipes online for everything!
- Eat a variety of vegetables rather than the same five of your favorites. Even the healthiest diet doesn’t work if you’re eating the same thing week after week. Be adventurous!
2)Prioritize Your Inner Landscape
So many of us spend too much time working on our outsides rather than starting from the inside. True wellness is an inside job. It is nearly impossible to create genuine, sustainable change without addressing your inner landscape. Your inner landscape includes your thoughts, emotions and internal dialogue. It’s how you talk to yourself each and every day. Is it a friendly conversation? Would you talk to your friends the same way you talk to yourself in your head? If your answer is no, this might be the best starting place for you.
Do you feel like your emotions get out of control from time to time or are you overrun with fear or doubt?
The first step in learning about your inner landscape is paying attention. How do you talk to yourself? How do you handle your successes and your failures? Taking time to practice mindfulness and other mentally-based exercises will help you immensely. It’s true when we say if you want to change your life, just change your mind. The thoughts and emotions between your ears literally drive all outcomes in your life.
- Start by practicing a few minutes of mindful meditation every day. This is the first step in strengthening your ability to control your thoughts. Allow your emotions to manifest (without feeling like you’re dying a small death) and to redirect your mind in a more positive and productive direction.
- Your thoughts and emotions have a direct connection to your physical body. If you’re thoughts and emotions don’t feel well, then you likely don’t feel well physically either. Find an outlet that works for you so that when you are feeling any type of negative emotion you can do something productive and non-consequential about it such as journaling, talking to a friend or screaming into a pillow.
3)Use the Power of Nature as Much as Possible
We know we should exercise and eat well but much less concern is generally shown for reducing toxins in our environment and minimizing our toxic load. That does not make it any less important.
Your health truly manifests itself from the inside out; proper functioning of your vital organs and minimizing toxic load can influence your health as much as any other controllable factor. When our body becomes overburdened with toxins or our innate detox system becomes compromised, toxic overload can result in chronic energy deficiencies, compromised immunity, allergies or allergic reactions, weight gain & digestive issues plus diseases and accelerated aging. What can we do?
Next to pollution, our biggest exposure to toxins happens inside of our homes with the very products we use on our bodies and to clean our houses. After ridding your homes and routines with toxins, (check out the Environmental Working Group for more info here http://www.ewg.org ) , use natural ingredients as much as possible.
Nature is so powerful and really does give us all we need.
- Become familiar with the ingredients that you should avoid. Again the www.ewg.com is a great start.
- Use natural ingredients. Essential oils can be used therapeutically (with a good brand of course). Some are antibacterial, some antifungal and can be used in DIY cleaning products (literally water, white vinegar and the oils), as beauty products and even for minor first aid.
4) Love and Accept Yourself Unconditionally
While this might sound simple, this is very difficult for the majority of people to do. Why is this? Somehow we learn that we aren’t good enough, don’t have the right nose, born the wrong gender, or just simply can’t do anything right. These messages might have come from your parents or teachers or other meaningful people who lead you astray because of their own limitations.
The reality is when you love yourself, everything and I mean everything in your life works – your job, your relationships, your body image. You will no longer settle when you understand and appreciate your true value.
If you hate yourself or any part of yourself, how can you feel joy-filled and satisfied in anything you do? How can anything in your life work in a way that you want it to?
If this is something you struggle with, I suggest seeking some help. The first step is acknowledging that this is an issue. Then you can begin to transcend it.
- Affirmations are a simple, wonderful way to start working on this.
- Seek guidance. There are also some amazing teachers out there who can help you heal your relationship with yourself – Louis Hay, Marc David and Wayne Dyer to name a few.
- Give yourself permission to be all that you can be. We all deserve the very best life has to offer.
5)Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Doesn’t’ the sound of this one just make you uncomfortable?
Growth and progress are hard work. Progress almost always requires that we get outside of our comfort zones, that we push our limits. It can hurt (literally and figuratively), but it’s so worth it. This skill truly separates the mediocre from the great. I don’t’ want to be mediocre. Do you?
And I mention it’s a skill because it is. You can practice pushing yourself in different areas and it will get easier. It may never feel easy but at least you’ll have the experience of knowing it’s possible. Asking yourself what’s the worst case scenario is very helpful. If X really happened, would it be so bad? What do we gain from pushing our limits? Our gain is greater than the fear. Always.
Any time in my life where I have made significant difficulty, always included a period of time where I wanted to give up. I am only human. The point is, I didn’t.
- Find smaller ways to push your limits. For along time, the only area in my life where I pushed myself was while running. It was an easy test kitchen of sorts from which I could then apply my confidence and life lessons to the other areas of my life.
- Ask for help and share your experience with a group or loved ones who can encourage you along the way.
I challenge you to work on at least one of these areas in your life. Which one will have the biggest impact in your life? Please share with us in the comments!