By Claire Volpatti
Eight great tips for incorporating simple—but highly beneficial—habits into your day.
There are times when making a big change can just be too much to handle. The level of commitment required and the perseverance needed to stick it out is just not reasonable at that moment. And while the knowledge of that may make you feel even less motivated, fret not, because there are a number of small changes you can make that have very little impact on your daily life but that will show great rewards in your physical and mental health!
1. Drink Lemon Water Every Morning
Mix the juice of half a lemon, or a full lemon if you are over 150 pounds, in a cup of room temperature water. Stay away from cold water because it will shock your system and may stop the nutrients from being absorbed. Not only will the taste of the lemon jazz up that boring glass of water, it can also help keep you regular! Lemon water can be a great treatment for constipation. It is also a good preventative measure for avoiding urinary tract infections (UTIs). Lemon water improves bad breath, may aid in weight loss, and contains a tonne of vitamin C which is awesome for building collagen in skin and boosting immunity.
Get More Vitamin D
Adding vitamin D to your supplement list is a no-brainer! It is recommended by almost all doctors and naturopaths for its role in assisting with calcium absorption in our bodies. Additionally, many studies have concluded that vitamin D can help to prevent certain forms of cancer as well as other diseases like multiple sclerosis. On top of all that, vitamin D is great for muscles, nerves, and the immune system. The best part is, vitamin D is extremely affordable—a year’s supply can be found for less than $20.
Eat with Awareness
As hard as it can be, try to pay attention to not only what you eat, but how you eat it! Take the time to chew your food as much as possible, as this will help with digestion and will reduce the chances of bloating and gas. For the same reason, avoid eating too quickly or taking in too much air with your food.
Mind Your Gut
If you find that you have eaten too quickly, or that your gut didn’t appreciate all those chips and that bean dip you had for lunch, remember to compensate with probiotics. These beneficial bacteria help to maintain smooth digestion and will reduce the feelings of indigestion and bloating. Probiotics are also just excellent helpers and keep the level of friendly flora high, which in turn lessens the chances of Candida or any other bacterial infection taking up residence in your intestinal tract.
Take Walks on Your Breaks
Instead of sitting in your workplace staff room during lunch, dedicate 10 minutes to getting outside for a quick walk. The fresh air will invigorate your mind and will help you focus your concentration for the second half of the day. The exercise will reboot your internal systems and keep your digestion and circulation running steadily.
People tend to carry their tension in their hips, jaws, and shoulders. Make an effort to take a few minutes each day to stretch out these muscles and release the tension that a long day can bring. Creating a small stretching routine will keep muscles loose and improve flexibility.
Take a Multivitamin
Many people will benefit from taking a daily multivitamin. Most of the vitamins and minerals that we need are sourced from food. It can be difficult to get enough variety and quantity of certain foods to gain the recommended amount of nutrients we require. Multivitamins may help to prevent or recover from illness, are helpful for improving cognitive function as we age, and because of the inclusion of vitamins B complex and C, are able to boost energy and vitality.
Lying down to sleep at night with the events of the day on your mind can make it difficult to drift off. Meditation is an excellent exercise to slow the mind and prepare your body for rest. It helps to release stress and anxiety and relaxes tension found in your muscles. Before bed, try turning down the lights and turning off all televisions, computers, and other electronic devices. Sit in a comfortable position and focus on the natural inhale and exhale of your breath. As you breathe, bring attention to each muscle group in your body and allow it to release. As you progress through your body’s muscles you should feel increased relaxation and decreased anxiety and stress. This will prepare your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
Claire Volpatti, a Nature’s Fare Markets team member since 1999, handles a variety of tasks including researching and developing sustainability initiatives and employee training. She is a regular contributor to The Good Life magazine and the author of The Weekly Supplement blog. Read Claire’s blog at naturesfare.com/blog. In 2014 Nature’s Fare Markets became Canada’s first Certified B Corporation retail company, which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
*Reprint from our Summer 2015 Issue