My Top 5 Healthy Habits To A Vibrant Life

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How would you feel to wake up in the morning with energy and feeling vibrant all day? Health is not a destination, it's about all the possibilities you create when you are full of health. More energy creates ripple effect on your mood, the food choice you make, the exercise habits you have, the dreams you want to chase and the life you live. If you don't have energy, you won't have the motivation to change your lifestyle.

If you don't know where to start and feel overwhelmed, here's a list of my 5 essential habits to incorporate in your daily life for a more vibrant and healthier you. I like to keep things simple. Change your mindset. If you make changes from a loving place instead of a hating one, you will find it easier to keep up with your new habits as it will bring you joy to love and care for your body and mind. It's about making sustainable changes. It's the small habits we do daily that changes our life in the long run.

Here's my top 5 healthy habits to feel more vibrant:

1. Drink more water.

Everyone knows this but we actually often forget to do it. Aim for 2-3 liters of water a day. The first thing you should do when you wake up is drink one or two big glasses of water. Our bodies are made of more than 70% of water, our brain is even more, so to keep energized and our organs and cells hydrated, drink up! It will improve your digestion, energy, concentration, your skin will get clearer. You can add lemons, oranges or cucumbers slices to jazz it up. Drinking more water throughout the day will also help to crowd out cravings or snacking.

 

2. Move

Move your body every day, whenever you can. We spend so much time sitting, which strongly impact our health. It doesn't have to be 1 hour on the treadmill, start taking the stairs instead of the elevator, avoid sitting when you can, stand up when you're on the phone or in the bus, do a 10 minute workout, walk home from work, dance in your kitchen, do squats before you hop in the shower. We often get overwhelmed or find excuses not to move because we don't have enough time to dedicate to exercising but if you start with 10 minutes on your mat in the morning and evening, with some walking in between, it's already a good start. We're made to move and use our body. Moving creates endorphins, which is the "feel good" hormones. The more you move, the more you'll crave movement.

 

3. Avoid processed food

Limit anything that comes in a package, bag or can. Processed food contain high quantity of sugar, fats, preservatives and no amount of nutritious properties. If it's too overwhelming, start by reading the labels and avoid anything with more than 5 ingredients or anything with ingredients you can't pronounce, that should keep you away from nutrient-deficient foods. Think about the food you eat and its energy. Food that's been highly processed and is often not even real food, how well can it nourish you? A good way to limit processed food is to add whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. The more your plate is full of fresh goodness, the less room you have for the less healthy ones.

 

4. Eat more veggies

There's a lot of different diets and trends these days so it can be confusing to know exactly what to eat. But one thing everyone agrees on is vegetables. Eat a rainbow of veggies, go to the farmer's market to know what's in season, experiment and try ones you're not so familiar with. Leafy greens are the kings, they're packed with antioxidants goodness, purify the blood, improve circulation, strengthen your immune system, and clear congestion. By adding food high in vitamins and minerals, your body will start to crave more of it.

 

5. Slow down, sleep & meditate

Sleep is essential for your body to restore and replenish. When you don't sleep enough, you crave sugar, are more irritated and stressed. The hours of 10pm to midnight are the most restorative ones and count double. Slow down. When is the last time you took 5 minutes for yourself, to do absolutely nothing? Meditation has many health benefits, it improves concentration, memory, sleep, immune system, lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels. Meditate for a few minutes daily when you wake up or go to bed and focus on your breath.

Aim for balance, not perfection. Be curious and experiment. Connect with your body. And most important, make sure whatever you do nourishes you.

Sleeping rituals for a better sleep

Having trouble falling asleep? or waking up in the middle of the night? Insomnia? Not surprising as lack of sleep is a big issue and many people suffers from sleep deprivation. We live in a society where there is a non stop flow of information, the news, hectic work hours, busy schedules. We run all day long between our multiple chores and we can't separate from our phones and laptops. This constant "noise" isn't helping to find rest at night. We forgot about how to find rest and calmness after a long day. We always feel the need to do something and if we don't, we feel like we're losing time.

Sleep is essential. We need between 7-8 hours of sleep. Noticed how when you sleep less, you are moody, craving sweets, more hungry, brain fog, tired, no motivation and exhausted after a work day? Sleepiness is also one of the main reason for car accidents. Lack of sleep do really have an impact on the quality of your life. That's because our body rejuvenate from our busy lives during night time.

Sleep is definitely a health component and the number one medicine for beauty! It is good for your skin, it improves your memory, your creativity, your performance. It lowers your stress levels and helps control cholesterol level. Studies showed that longer sleep increases your lifespan. It affects your anxiety and depression. And catching up on your sleep on the weekend due to a busy week schedule isn't always helping as your body needs a routine. Having a balanced healthy week should be the goal in the long run.

Here's some tips to find sleep:

 

  • Sleep routine

Our bodies need a rhythm, so why not start a sleeping ritual before going to bed. Stop working (if you are a workaholic!), turn off your laptops and phones an hour before going to bed and enjoy this 1 hour to relax, and have a moment for yourself. Take a relaxing bath, shower, body lotion time, do some meditation, read a good inspiring book, light some candles and listen to some relaxing music. It's a good opportunity to write in your gratitude journal.

 

  • Sleeping environment

Your bedroom should be a warm and cozy place. You spend so many hours of your day in your bed that you should feel good and comfortable. Make your bed in the morning, organize and make space for a quiet, peaceful haven of yours. Your room needs to be dark at night. If you can't close your shutter or there is too much light, wear an eye mask. Open your windows - keeping your room cool and fresh is also part of a good night sleep. You know it already, but no TV, no computer, no phone an hour before bed. The light and electronic energy isn't good for your body, so try to hide those little annoying lights from alarm clock or other devices. Lavender or tea tree oil are known to improve sleep. Put a few drops of these scents on your pillow.

 

  •  Exercise

A 30 minute physical activity during the day is important not only for your health but also for a good night sleep. Walking home after work is a good transition between your day and evening. Avoid late workouts as they can give you more energy and stop you from falling asleep.

 

  •  Restorative Yoga / Relaxation / Meditation

A 10 minute meditation where you just sit still and do nothing helps to find peace and stop thinking about your to do list for tomorrow. Yoga is a wonderful tool for so many aspects of life and it is also for the sleep too! Relaxation, breathing exercise or yoga are good ways to relax and let go of your day. Here's some pre bedtime yoga poses! Studies have shown that yoga improves the time and quality of sleep for people with chronic insomnia. Preparing your body for a good night sleep is also key to falling asleep faster. If you slow down an hour before, your body will recognize that it's time for bed.

 

  • Sleep Cycles

We have sleep cycles during the night and you don't want to miss your wave! When you feel tired don't wait too long before finding your bed as you may miss your cycle. Cycles last from 90 minutes to 2 hours. And the more restorative sleep is often said to be the sleep before midnight.

 

  • Food

There are some foods that will make you find dream land easier like bananas (magnesium and melatonin), potatoes (tryptophan), oatmeal (melatonin), almonds (tryptophan and magnesium), flaxseeds (omega 3 fatty acids that helps to sleep), herbal teas like chamomile (it relaxes and calmed the mind), mint or valerian and honey (orexin that helps to calm). You shouldn't eat at least 2-3 hours before bed so your body has time to digest and avoid coffee, alcohol or sugar in the evenings and even better if you can stop your coffee breaks around 4pm.

Good night!

 

Sources:

http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/health/15-sneaky-sleep-stealers

ttp://www.drfranklipman.com/sleep-tips-top-10-sleep-mistakes-and-their-solutions/

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/stressed-out-having-trouble-sleeping

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/02/sleep-health-benefits-_n_817803.html#s234464&title=Improve_Memory

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/yoga-insomnia_b_1939696.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009