[As featured in Active In Style]
Being healthier doesn’t have to mean a total overhaul. Even seemingly small changes can have a dramatic impact on your wellbeing. Here are 10 quick-and-easy lifestyle tweaks you can make, starting today.
- Kick off the day with a cup of warm water and lemon. As well as providing a jolt of vitamin C, it’s great for alkalising your pH levels and jump starting your digestive juices. Include slices of ginger for added zing and an extra anti-inflammatory boost.
- Ditch the sugar! Ok, this is a big one if you love the white stuff but the benefits are enormous – from increased energy levels to clearer skin. Try using raw honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar instead.
- Go with your gut. Healthy gut flora is vital to the process of digesting foods and absorbing nutrients. To keep yours in check, either invest in a good quality probiotic supplement (you’ll need to keep it in the fridge) or add fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kefir (great in smoothies) to your diet.
- Sleep more. No explanation needed.
- Dry skin body brush every morning before a shower or bath. It sounds like a faff but it needn’t take long and it’s incredibly invigorating. It also reduces cellulite, increases circulation, exfoliates and stimulates your lymph system. In my book, that’s two minutes well spent.
- Eat real or ‘whole’ foods. Eating clean is a big thing at the moment but it’s been around forever. It basically means staying away from processed and refined ingredients and opting for ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible.
- Drink more water. Yes it’s a big old snore, but it pays major dividends (and the Victoria Secret models all swear by it). Aim for 2 litres a day and try pimping with cucumber, lemon, mint, berries, anything to make it less of an ordeal (no vodka).
- Drink green smoothies. They’re brimming over with good stuff, they fill you up, you can pop one in your handbag and have it on the go, they make a good snack and they’ll get you lots of double taps on Instagram.
- Take two consecutive days off booze a week. Your liver is a pretty remarkable organ but it needs 48 hours straight to really start regenerating, which is why the British Liver Trust recommends two teetotal days a week. Come on, it’s not that hard…is it?
- Sort out your good fats from your bad ones. Saturated fats are having a moment right now, with butter, ghee, duck fat and coconut oil all being hailed for their roasting abilities (they’re stable at high temperatures). While olive, sesame, hemp and avocado oils and are best left unheated and used in dressings or for drizzling. Margarines and spreadables tend to be full of trans fats, which are a complete no no. Get rid.