Have you decided that this is the year that you are going to get in shape, lose that weight, and deal with that annoying health issue?
Let's optimize your health starting NOW, so you can begin working towards your goals of better vitality and wellness.
Here are five health hacks that are a must for a healthy 2018 - enjoy!
Eat liver-loving foods
Your liver is responsible for cleaning out all the internal rubbish in your body. Caring for this organ often gets overlooked, but we need to start paying attention - detoxificaiton is important folks! Here's a few liver-loving foods to increase in your diet. These are especially useful to reach for after a night of a few too many drinks.
Cruciferous family veggies - broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, arugula, to name a few. These veggies directly improve your body's detoxifcation of hormones and toxic materials.
Beets & berries - the darker pigment the better, these guys are concentrated with antioxidants and help protect the liver from every day damage.
Milk thistle herb - in a tablet, elixir, or tea this is the queen of liver-loving herbs. This plant helps to restore damaged liver tissue and is an essential to supplement with for after a big night out.
Watch out for hidden sugars
I think everyone received the memo - refined sugars are bad for us. To most health-minded people, this equates limiting foods such as baked goods, soft drinks, ice cream, and candies. However, modern food companies are smart, and often sneak sugar into seemingly healthy products to make them taste better. Here are some examples of hidden sugars in everyday foods:
Yogurt - a healthy choice? Maybe, if it's the all natural organic full-fat kind. Any yogurt product with added fruit or flavour is synonymous with lots of sugar, almost as much as 1/2 a chocolate bar's worth! Do yourself a service and avoid these products. Instead, choose the natural stuff and add your own fresh fruit.
Vitamin water - loaded with sugar (almost as much as a coke) with a microscopic amount of vitamins - it's never a healthy option. If you want a refreshing healthy beverage mix 1-2 Oz of pomegranate or natural cranberry juice with mineral water and add a squeeze of lime - yummy! If you are concerned about your micronutrient levels, a high-quality multivitamin may be exactly what you need.
Ketchup - OK I don't think anyone considers ketchup a health food, but did you know that 1 Tbsp of ketchup has 4 grams of sugar? To give you a reference point, the WHO advises no more than 25 g of free sugar a day. If you're slathering ketchup all over your food, these sugars add up, and quickly!
Breathing exercises and meditation are some of the best practices you can implement for better health. Here's a great breathing exercise you can start right now! I especially turn to this exercise when I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it relaxes me immediately.
The 4-7-8 Breath
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a woosh sound.
Inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a woosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Support your adrenal glands
Your adrenals are little glands that sit on top of your kidneys and they have a very important job - they control your stress response. The more stressed you are, the more your adrenals need to work, and after a while they become tired, and in turn - so do you!
Support your adrenals with rest, sleep, good nutrition, and specific herbs and supplements. Here's my favourite adrenal support supplement:
Rhodiola helps your body better adapt to stress. It also improves energy, calms anxiety, improves mental focus, and helps prevent burn-out.
Caution: I strongly advise consulting with myself or another naturopathic physician before taking this supplements or any other natural medicines.
Note: I have no affiliation with Thorne or any company.
Get your nutrient levels tested
Vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc. Just a few nutrients that are critical to your health and that the vast majority of us are deficient in.
Get your levels tested with your trusted naturopathic physician to ensure your levels are optimal