We all tend to commit to a refreshed resolve at the beginning of each year regarding our diets and life style. And I have already blogged about many aspects of how to go about this. So I thought a quick re-cap and a short plan of action might be timely.
Sugar is now considered by many experts to be a key factor in aging because of the additional free radical activity it causes and because of its ability to deplete the immune system by reducing the germ gobbling capacity of our white blood cells.
So the first step to getting healthy for 2013 is to cut back on sugar. Start by reading food packages to check the glycemic index they contain. This includes everything from ‘healthy’ juices to bread. Sugar shows up in surprising places so you really have to develop some serious sleuthing techniques. Try to eliminate as much starch and as many simple carbohydrates as possible.
Load up on vegetables and fruits, particularly apples and berries, and if you crave something really sweet, stick to dark chocolate. For more information on sugar and the effect it has on our bodies read my blog “The not so sweet side of Sugar”.
Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle.
Take some time out from alcohol. This is another source of sugar that really works the liver so to detox well we have to give the liver a break. Start each day with a big glass of water – room temperature or warm with a squirt of fresh lemon in it. Continue to drink water throughout the day.
Limit the amount of caffeine you drink – maybe to one caffeinated beverage a day – supplement with fruit teas, green tea, dandelion tea and ginger root. Juicing is a great way to cleanse out inner organs. Celery, kale, cucumber, watercress and beetroot are fabulous diuretics and these same vegetables can also be made in to a nourishing soup.
Take those vitamins.
Everyone tends to have a certain regimen in place but to start the New Year off on the right foot, check you have included C, zinc, the B family (particularly 5 and 12), fish oils, milk thistle and a good probiotic in the mix (make sure the cultures in the probiotic number in the trillions).
We live in a great place for getting out into nature if you are not a gym rat or like attending classes. Mix things up to keep it interesting – 3-4 times a week for at least 40 minutes for maintenance; more often if you have some pounds to lose.
Rest up and play lots.
Check out my most recent blog “Sleeping beauty (How sleep affects your skin)” to bone up on the importance of sleep and how it affects your skin and the aging process. But bear in mind, rest is just as important. Cultivate hobbies and interests outside of work, like reading and gardening. Schedule social time with friends and loved ones and quiet time and spa time for yourself.
Your mind is a powerful tool. When you feel your life is in balance because you are working, resting and living well, you feel more positive about everything. It has been proven that optimists live longer so I really recommend you make the effort to treat yourself with care. I guarantee your efforts will result in more energy, a slimmer waistline and a more focused, fulfilled and happier life.