Choosing and following a healthy lifestyle is a matter of awareness and as every other process takes time. This, however, is the most valuable gift we can give ourselves. Every little change we bring into our lives becomes a habit that has the potential to improve our quality of life and our health. The following 5 steps will unlock the doors of the changes we need to make to be healthy, happy and aware.
1. Eat the rainbow everyday – the daily consumption of differently colored fruits and vegetables is especially important. The chemical substances (phytonutrients), which occur naturally in vegetables and fruits, are the reason for their vibrant colors. They are extremely useful to our overall health and well-being.
Red fruits and vegetables abound with iron, potassium, antioxidants and some phytochemicals. Therefore, by eating them we can neutralize the free radicals in our body as well as help prevent a number of cardiovascular diseases and reduce the risk of cancer. They stimulate our immune system and are recommended for anemic conditions.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in carotenoids, magnesium, calcium, vitamins C, A and a number of other beneficial nutrients. Fruit and vegetables with these colors protect the nervous system, improve vision, have antioxidant and anticancer properties and can prevent some cardiovascular diseases. Their consumption keeps our skin healthy and beautiful and strengthens our immune system.
Green fruits and vegetables are a source of fiber, folic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Their consumption plays a role in maintaining eye health, reducing the risk of congenital malformations, preventing from cancer and reducing bad cholesterol. As a bonus they bring about the regulation of the digestive system.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins and antioxidants. They protect cells from oxidative damage, prevent from cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer and take care of our good memory.
White fruits and vegetables contain selenium and allicin, which help reduce bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. They are useful for the skin, strengthen the immune system and can prevent from cancer of the colon, prostate and breast cancer in women.
2. Forget about processed foods – this step is likely to have the greatest impact on the quality of life and health you have. Processed food is any food that has been altered in any way. Simply put, that’s all the food in a package. Processed foods are often devoid of beneficial nutritional properties either due to thermal treatment, the addition of various preservatives, enhancers and other substances, or even deep freezing. Unfortunately, they are an ideal source of empty calories and a major factor in the deterioration of human health. The physical expression of all this is overweight, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases …
3. Prepare your food at home – that is both pleasure and art. I love cooking various gourmet dishes for me and my family, including home-made raw chocolate. With my little one, we are almost all day out, and for me it’s very important to have good quality food for her in the buggy. Often people, including my acquaintances, are tempted to take fast food or processed food with the idea of saving time or mess in the kitchen. Despite the good taste of most of these dishes, they abound in empty calories and fats. By preparing your food at home, you have actual control over the quality and quantity of the selected products. You can make sure the products are fresh and unprocessed. Once you turn cooking at home into a routine your desire to experiment and show creativity will subsequently emerge, which believe me – will make you very proud one day.
4. Introduce mental-physical exercises to your routine – these are different activities that combine body movement with the focus of mind and breath control to improve strength, balance, flexibility and hence your overall health. I, for example, adore to do yoga and pilates, which are the perfect example of such activities.
5. Relax properly – sleep in this sense is extremely important. I, alas, as a mother of a toddler, rarely manage to get my full dose of sleep. It is extremely important to go to bed early and sleep for at least 8 hours. This reduces the levels of stress and gives us more focus and awareness. A good break will reward us with high spirits and more energy.
From the perspective of today, 60 days look like a big deal. The truth is that they will pass as a good night sleep consumed in our everyday tasks and challenges. Alas, the routine you need to build for a healthier lifestyle is a battle between consciousness and old bad habits and it is rarely easy 🙂 The good news is that according to a number of studies every new habit is created within 2 weeks time. What happens is efforts become a habit, and the habit becomes a routine. All that is required of you to change your lifestyle and optimize your health is to endure the first two weeks. By feeling the results from the change on your body and mind you will want to follow each of the rules above. In the end, everything will turn into a mechanical process like driving a car or washing hands.