A New Year is ahead of you! 2013 will be exactly what YOU make of it. If you're in search of lasting change, claim these 13 tips – breathe them in and own them like you mean it.
#1 Cherish Relaxation
Turn off all electronics by 10pm and turn into by bed by 10:30pm to recharge your batteries. Sleep is one of the most restorative things that you can do for your health. With a good night's sleep the renewed energy will allow you to accomplish more, your body will feel more alive and your cravings and moods will be improved. Find ways to relax such as epsom salt baths, long strolls in your favorite part of town, engaging in a novel, or sipping hot tea while listening to the sounds of your favorite artists. By moving into less stress for 2013, you will calm down your adrenals, lower cortisol levels and in turn help to reduce any unwanted belly fat.
#2 Get Your Greens
Continue to keep your veggie intake in check and add in a greens powder like Design's For Health's Paleo Greens or Metagenics' Phytoganix (my two personal favorites) . Adding at least one scoop per day will fill your body up with antioxidants to fight off any free radicals. Every cell will radiate and give thanks to the good nutrition that you are feeding it. A good quality greens product is important as you want to ensure that there are absolutely no heavy metals or pesticides. While I fully support homemade juices with fresh greens, sometimes time restraints and budget can put your well intentioned goal in the backseat. A greens powder is relatively inexpensive for what you are getting (very high nutrient content) and extremely easy to mix in your post workout smoothie or just simply with a glass of water.
It's that age old approach that works every time – Keep It Simple Stupid or K.I.S.S.
#3 Affirm Your Self:
Lift yourself up with positive self-talk. Throw out any trash talk and invest in the glass is half full approach. "I love and approve of myself" is one of the best overall affirmations to live by. Once you've mastered this, move on to "I am worthy of the best that love and life have to offer." Write one affirmation on a post-it note and plaster it throughout your life (the bathroom mirror, the car dashboard, your daily planner, etc). Once you've tackled the fundamental statements, work with affirmations that address diet, fitness and loving your body.
If you know "tapping" or the Emotional Freedom Techniques, start tapping through your affirmations. If you want quick relief and want to truly own positive affirmations, sign yourself up for some Psych-K sessions. As your beliefs change, your life will change. Believe me, I speak from personal experience!
"Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny."
~ Mohandas, Karamchand Gandhi
#4 Get Out of Your Own Way
Excuses begone! If you've made excuses in the past (we all have) for getting to the gym or cooking up a fresh meal, know that these excuses are only preventing you from the body and life of your dreams. If you hear yourself making up an excuse that limits you from being your best self, change the excuse into a positive action item. For instance, instead of saying "I'm too tired to go to the gym, " say something like, "Although I am exhausted, I am still going to the gym because it will energize me."
#5 Go Grainless
There is no doubt about it, removing grains from your diet WILL improve your body composition. This is not an easy task especially if you are a daily bread consumer. Start slow and ease your way into a grain-free diet. Gather up support and resources to make this possible. Remember that going grain-free does not give you permission to eat just meat. A balanced diet is the key to living a healthy life and there are plenty of other food choices besides grains that will keep you full, satiated and happy.
Stay tuned. You'll be hearing much more on this blog about gluten-free and grain-free living in 2013 and beyond.
#6 Lift Heavy
Say goodbye to hour long cardio workouts. This is so 1980s! Save time and improve health by picking up heavy weights. Find a good trainer to show you proper form. If you're afraid of bulking up, realize that your diet has much more to do with this than the added weight.
#7 Create Room
Clutter is going to slow you down. Clutter can be found in stack of papers, in your closet full of clothes, within your kitchen cabinets or even throughout your mind. Discover where your clutter resides itself and start to sort through the cobwebs. Donate items to the library, Goodwill, or even to friends.
In the New Year, let it all go -
the old judgements and fears,
the repeat worries and frustrations,
the outdated labels and false limits.
Step forward into the white space
of a new day, a new destiny that
you craft for yourself.
Live into a grand, authentic vision
of who you can become.
Live into your highest self.
~ Brendon Burchard – Live. Love. Matter.
#8 Detoxify All Of You
I recommend a detox program at least once a year. The toxins in our environment today did not exist 30 years ago. They are dragging us down in many ways but mostly, hurting our health. The only way to say 'enough is enough' with all of these chemicals that are crowding our bodies is to take charge by taking part in a medically sound detoxification program.
A juice cleanse can be great but a detoxification program that includes a spectrum of nutrients that are specifically designed for the liver, gallbladder and other organs will get your system functioning optimally. Something as simple as a 14-day, 21-day or 28-day program can produce increased energy, healthier skin, a reduction in inflammation and body fat, and clarity of thought. My clients have had remarkable results with things like tennitus, acid reflux and joint pain all going away!
# 9 Mix it Up in The Kitchen
Goodbye plain Jane and hello flavorful fun! If you're stuck in a boring meal routine, it's time to start incorporating spices or new flavorings to make your cuisine experiences more eventful. In order to lose the pounds for good, you must enjoy what you are eating….otherwise, you are bound to fail. With my clients, we share recipes and find great new ways to make eating healthy a divine experience!
#10 Quality Over Calories
While calories can be a helpful guideline, they are not the end all be all in today's nutrition world. I'd rather see my clients eating excess calories with good whole food nutrients than limiting caloric load with artificial sweeteners, "diet" foods, and low fat bland products.
I'll get you off the calorie roller coaster and into a place of pure contentment after each and every meal and snack. It's call hormonal based eating and THIS is what rules your body composition and health, NOT calories.
#11 Cherish All Winks
Years ago I read a book called, Winks from God. This quick read made a major impact in my life and the lesson learned is something I constantly fall back to. By appreciating the little things, you will keep getting more and more wonderful beauty showered into your life.
Keep a notebook and record everything that lights you up! It could be the sunset, a call from a friend, the close of a business deal, a meal that satiates you 100%…. you name it, put it down, and be thankful. The more we give thanks, the more the universe says, "YES, She/He wants more of this"
#12 Shake It Up
Buy a high quality non-allergenic protein shake mix and store this in your kitchen. It's great for post-workout, a morning breakfast or a mid-day healthy snack. While it's not considered "whole food", it is full of good nutrition (if you buy one of high quality) and a great addition to anyone's dietary routine.
When I first meet with clients, the first thing I typically notice is not enough water intake and a starch heavy breakfast. A shake can help out in both of these areas. If one adds about 4-8 ounces of water to a morning shake, the dehydrated body will soak up that pure liquid. And the high protein content of the shake powder can transform any body to one that is a lean, fit machine. So for 2013, shake it up!
#13 Make Each Day of 2013 Memorable
If you look back at 2012, can you say that every day counted? If so, GREAT! If not, 2013 is THE year to make it happen. Do something big or small every day that makes that day special. Perhaps it's a giant hug that you give your kids or a new recipe that you can add to your repertoire. Maybe it's a workout that pumps you up to a new level or a random act of kindness to a complete stranger. Whatever it is, make it count and when you reach December 31, 2013 you can say to yourself, "This year was the best one yet!"
Alison Held, M.S.