The New Year is the time when we are often most motivated to bring attention to our health and an improved level of being. Yet how often does this start off with a bang, then slip and slide after a couple weeks or months, until we're back in our old habits again? Perhaps, we make a resolution to lose X amount of weight, or go to the gym every day, or simply start off the new year with a juice cleanse, but we slip and fall back into our old not-so-healthy ways.
We can all relate in one way or another, that's partially why the diet industry is a $150billion industry; this only includes books, surgery, and weight loss products! Instead of dieting and making big rigid goals that turn out to be unsustainable, and thus lead to feeling worse physically and emotionally with every 'failed' attempt, what if instead we incorporated some simple shifts in lifestyle that encourage more lasting positive results?
Are you ready to lose excess fat or toxic weight, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, have more energy, less sickness and disease, age more gracefully and live more fully? Good, because you deserve it. You hear me? Regardless of where you're at now or where you've achieved or 'failed' in the past, you deserve to feel and look good, and by good I mean vibrant!
I want to help you jumpstart your new year with some foundational insights to empower a healthier happier you, this year and beyond! The following are four foundational pillars I use with my clients to empower them for more powerful and lasting success in their health resolutions and beyond.
1) Quit DIEting and commit to playfully building a LIFEstyle that encourages your best you, that brings you lasting energy, beauty, health, happiness, success, and longevity. And remember, we're human and by definition NOT PERFECT, so forget the false world of duality, success and failure, and enjoy the journey of discovery. Every bite, every sip, is a chance at choosing our higher selves or not, and if we choose the latter and eat that piece of birthday cake, do not freak out and let yourself believe you are a failure or that you failed your 'diet', just choose better the next time, and the next time. We have SO many opportunities to succeed each and every day! ...We are not static beings in a static world; we need different nourishment during different times in our lives. Women in particular go through so many fluctuations in their hormones and biochemistry
2) Eat WHOLE foods from nature, and avoid foods in a box, bag, can, or with an ingredient list. When it comes to our health, quality is more important that the quantity of calories; ie 150 calories of broccoli is not equivalent to 150 calories of candy; they have very different effects on the body and will influence more than your weight, energy, or illness but also your emotional and mental state. Remember that food is more than sustenance or calories, it's INFORMATION. Foods like organic whole vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat, wild seafood, healthy fats, inform your body with the force of life.
3) Indulge in what serves! True health is not about deprivation, it's about indulging in all the goodness that really serves you, molds and guides you to feeling and being your best self. When we focus on all the bagels and cookies we can't have, that's all we can think about and all that we want. Instead, change can't to don't want to have because ____, and it puts you back in control. I promise you, your options of delicious satiating nourishing alternatives outnumber what you're eliminating. And once you've eliminated your kryptonites and begun feeling the benefits, you'll have more to fill in that blank; ie 'I don't want that pizza because gluten/dairy makes me feel heavy/lethargic/bloated or depressed...' You see, it takes away the power those foods used to unconsciously have over you, and charges your will power and higher power to consume only what helps you feel like your best you, and everything else looks much less appealing.
4) Eat mindfully. We digest more effectively and receive more nourishment when we take in the full experience of taking in food. Sit, connect, turn the phones off, feel gratitude for the food before you, take in how it looks, smells, tastes, and chew it with enjoyment. By eating this way, you'll get more 'bang for your buck' from your food, digest it more efficiently, eat less, and also become more aware of whether you're emotionally eating, or truly asking for and receiving the nourishment you need.
Now these are some powerful principles of Menu, so look for my followup post for the Movement and Mindset tips that will propell you further in 2016. Have a happy and healthy new year and beyond!
Let me know your thoughts on these tips! What's your health resolution and action plan?
<3 Colleen Baxter, Health and Lifestyle Coach