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.

Jump into Spring!

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Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?

Neltje Blanchan

 

Oh I love spring time! There's nothing better than waking up to the sounds of birds singing, feeling the warmer air, blue sky and rays of sunshine. After those long snowy months, spring is like a magical gift!

I love the birds chirping, spending more time outside, longer days, the smell of blooming flowers, farmer's market, berries, asparagus and spring cleaning! Spring brings this idea of a fresh start and new beginnings. The flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the light is brighter, the breeze is warmer, nature is coming back to life and so are you! Spring is the season for cleansing and rejuvenating your body after heavy cold months with less exercise, heavier food and less sunshine. It's time to take care of yourself, in body, mind and spirit.

A few of my favorite ideas to regain energy and detox your body & mind!

  • Drink lots of water to hydrate your body. It helps flush your toxins.
  • Drink some lemon water with ginger, a dash of cayenne pepper  and turmeric. Great to detox and packed with health benefits.
  • Put your sneakers on and go outside for a run/walk, jump on your trampoline, time to go back to your yoga routine or any physical activity that puts you in a good mood and will help release those endorphins, boost your immune system and improve your health.
  • Declutter your space. Get rid of all the clothes you don't wear anymore, the things that are only taking the dust, everything you haven't used the past year. Make room for the new. A clear space makes a clear mind. It's so much better to come home to a fresh environment where everything is light and organized. There's a real feeling of lightness that comes with clearing your space.
  • Boost your energy with whole organic fresh food in season. Add fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains to your meals. Nature is perfectly made to bring food that we need for our bodies to detox after winter, like cherries, berries, asparagus, leafy greens. Juices and smoothies are packed with nutrients. Avoid sugar, processed foods, dairy, alcohol and meat for 10 days or more. You will gain energy and feel the good vibes!
  • Start a meditation practice, connect with nature around you and enjoy the present moment.
  • Dry body brushing: before you hop in the shower, use a dry brush and scrub in circular motions all over your body, always start from your feet towards your heart. It stimulates your circulation and the lymphatic system and get rid of toxins, dead skin and cellulite.
  • End your shower with cold water- it's good for your blood circulation, immune system and it gives you a boost when you wake up!
  • It's also a great time to do some planning and review your goals & dreams and see where you want to go and what you want to achieve with your precious life.

What are you looking forward to with spring coming up?

 

Happy Spring Day!

xx

Drink your water!

Water is essential for your life and your health. We cannot live more than a couple of days without it. You are all aware of those basics. But do you know all the benefits you receive from drinking your daily H2O? There are so many! Sometimes we can forget and go on with our day without thinking about it, like camels. It happens to me once in a while, and I am directly reminded by my headaches and tiredness to go back on track!

First of all, your body is made of around 60-80% of water depending your body composition and age. Your brain contains 90% of water! I know, crazy! Muscles are made of 75% of water and blood 85%. Those numbers varies according to different studies, but the thing to remember is that your body is mainly composed of water. This is the first reason why you should be drinking it, so it keeps working as it should be.

How do you know when you haven't drink enough water?

Those are the usual symptoms of dehydration:

  • Headaches, migraines
  • Dry mouth, dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Thirsty (of course!)
  • Hungry (often the hunger feeling you have is due to being dehydrated, so better drink a glass of water before eating anything - and specially before those cookies!;) - as it is also a good way to control your weight)
  • Tiredness
  • Muscles cramps
  • Constipation
  • Kidney problems
  • Urinary track infection
  • Dark urine - when you drink enough water, the urine looks clear and almost transparent

So what are all those great benefits?

  • It will relieve headaches and back pain caused by dehydration.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Your skin will glow as it replenishes the tissues, moisturizes and improves the skin elasticity.
  • Keeping your focus. Since your brain is made up of 90% of H2O, the more you drink and hydrate, the better your concentration level will be.
  • It flushes the toxins out. Your kidneys do a great job at getting rid of waste. It eliminates  through perspiration, urination and bowel movements. That's why it's good to have a glass first thing in the morning, to get rid of all the toxins that accumulated over the night and its a fresh start for the day ahead!
  • It improves your immune system; fights against the flu, kidney stones and Urinary Track Infection and even some type of cancer such as bladder cancer.
  • It also helps with cramps and sprains as the water lubricates the muscles and joints.
  • It is good for the digestion system. It breaks the food down into nutrients in the stomach.
  • You will feel more energetic thanks to the good level of water in the muscles. So next time you're feeling tired, drink some water.
  • Water helps to protect the spinal cord, which is also full of water.
  • You'll be in a good mood as you'll be full of energy and your body will be working as it should be!;)
How much should you drink?

The usual recommendation is 8 glasses per day which is around 2 liters. You know your body best so listen to it, but keep it around that guideline. If you are taller, stronger, exerising more, your temperature is going up, the weather is hot, you should drink more. Keep also in mind that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

Starting your day with a big glass of lukewarm water is one of the best health routine you can add to your day. It will wake you up, help activate the organs and flush the toxins out.

If you're not a big fan of water, try to add some lemon (full of goodness too!), cucumbers, oranges to make it a bit tastier & sweeter.

A good thing to know is caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soft drinks reverse the good effects of all the water you drink as it acts as a diuretic, so you will eliminate the water and you'll be dehydrated again.

So tomorrow and every morning, grab your bottle of water everywhere with you. Become best friend with it. Put it in front of your desk, in your bag, bring it to your yoga class or on your next shopping spree! If you have your bottle of water next to you, you will drink it. It is also better to drink smaller quantities throughout the day than big glasses only a few times daily. Drink it better in between meals. Don't forget your water when you travel and specially during long flights, when you need to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated with the dry air in the plane. It's getting more and more complicated with all the security controls to keep your water, so when I am without my own water, I always ask flight attendants if they can give me a big bottle so I don't disturb them every half hour. It usually works if you ask with a big smile.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/benefits-of-drinking-water/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

http://www.naturalnews.com/003202.html

http://www.mangosteen-natural-remedies.com/benefits-of-drinking-water.html