“Imagine waking up every day with the health and energy you’ve always wanted? We believe that what we eat has the power to heal us because food is medicine. Despite popular perception, you don’t have to be an expert or have to be wealthy to improve your health and how you feel. In fact, having a healthy lifestyle can be simple, but you will have to decide to make the necessary changes. With some planning, you can step into your best health with ease, even if it takes one small change at a time. We hope you take the time to uncover your health goals and bring your attention to how you fuel your mind and body every day. Everyone deserves a life of vitality with a body that feels great. Here are some helpful tips that everyone can use to optimize their healthy living journey, with a nourished mind and body, from the inside, out.”
Wishing you your best health and happiness,
Dr. Hyman and Mona Sharma
12 Wellness Tips to Awaken Your Best Health
1. Have a big WHY
Why do you want to be healthy? How do you want to feel? How do you want to show up for yourself, your friends and your family now, and in the future? Once you’re clear on your why, staying on a healthy living path and making the right food choices feels a lot easier because your choices are fueled by purpose. Changing the way you eat is only sustainable if it’s fueled by feeling worthy of caring for yourself and self-love, instead of feelings of shame or guilt and resorting to dieting and deprivation.
2. Get rid of sugar
Sugar is highly addictive and dangerous to your body and overall health. It has no nutritional value and today, it’s hidden in many foods, drinks and ingredient labels on processed food to make them more addictive. It not only can cause us to hold onto extra fat, but it can increase our chances of getting diabetes, cancer, and fatty liver disease. Avoid products that contain sugar, sucrose and toxic high-fructose corn syrup, and be aware that there are hundreds of names of sugar to it in foods today! The best way to crave a sweet tooth is to choose a naturally sweet food from nature, with no ingredient label.
3. Increase water intake and eliminate soda
Soda consumption is the number one cause of obesity in children. Drinking just one can of soda can increase the risk of diabetes by 65% for children and by 80% in women. Avoid it, especially diet sodas that are loaded with toxic chemicals that also keep you craving sugar! Instead, find a big reusable water bottle you love and can carry with you. Use filtered water and infuse it with herbal teas, fresh lemon, cinnamon or peppermint, and hydrate your body so all systems can function at their best. Staying hydrated also helps prevent brain fog, proper elimination, and weight control.
4. Add more fiber daily
Dietary fiber is essential to proper gut health, maintaining a healthy weight and for lowering risks of inflammatory issues. We should be consuming a minimum of 30g of fiber daily (from foods, not supplements), yet the average American is only consuming 8-15g a day. Aim to get your fiber from natural foods by eating a variety of vegetables, especially leafy greens, legumes, and fruits moderation.
5. Remove boxed, packaged/processed foods
These foods are often loaded with sugar, salt, inflammatory oils, and chemicals to preserve or add flavor. Read your labels and if you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t buy it! Over time the accumulation of these fake foods and ingredients add to the toxic load your body endures and will deplete your health without you knowing it. Things like fast food, cereals, chips, desserts, jarred sauces, crackers, processed meats, and frozen meals fall into this category. Think of processed food like “fake food” that fuel nutritional deficiencies. Foods in their most natural form, and better yet, the ones with no ingredient list, are the ones that fuel a happy body and long term health.
6. Eat more healthy fats daily
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. Good quality fats come from sources like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, unprocessed nuts and seeds, organic Ghee, and fatty fish. Swap out unhealthy cooking oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and hydrogenated fats/oils that are heavily processed and inflammatory. Instead, replace them with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil that will support your body in reducing inflammation. This means reading labels closely, and avoiding fried foods, especially when eating out because they may be loaded with toxic fats that make you sick.
7. Eat a variety and eat the rainbow
Instead of eating the same foods every week, aim to change your weekly shopping list so you’re consuming a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from different whole foods. You’ll also be taking in a variety of nutrients from the different soils and crops the food is grown. Consider food shopping your natural “Farmacy” to optimize your health – food is medicine so diversify your menu. What you eat fuels you, or depletes you, so choose wisely. Keep reading to see our full list of foods to enjoy.
8. Get enough good quality sleep
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance. Aim to be asleep and awake at the same time daily. Routine is key to quality sleep which is vital for good health and well-being throughout life. Turning screens and electronic devices off an hour before bed is the best thing you can do to support deep, restorative sleep.
9. Reduce stress
Stress isn’t all bad, but chronic, daily stress is the root of dis-ease today. This constant stress impacts brain function and mood, immune/cardiovascular system, contributes to aging and weight gain, digestive disorders and can reduce overall quality of life. Most importantly, your body cannot digest food properly when it’s in a state of fight or flight. It’s essential that you find a stress-reducing technique that you enjoy – journaling, meditation, deep breathing or having a daily gratitude ritual are all beneficial. It can be as simple as stopping to take a few mindful breaths and noticing the relief you feel when you exhale. Tune into your body and your emotions so you can learn intuitively how to release tension and the thoughts that fuel anxiety and stress. A mindfulness practice may be the missing link to reaping all the rewards of a healthy diet.
10. Move daily
Daily exercise or any type of movement you love in your daily life supports cardiovascular health, flexibility, muscle mass and even brain function as we age. Daily movement also keeps you aligned with a healthy lifestyle. Chances are, the more you move, the more you’ll stick with a healthy eating plan. So whether you go to a gym, go for a walk, dance at home or find a yoga class, find something you love to do. Watch the benefits affect your energy, state of mind, and your waistline when you commit to consistent movement.
Positive social connection promotes emotional and physical well-being and today is being heavily researched. If you’re not surrounded by friends and family that fuel a positive mindset and healthy eating habits, consider finding a group or a weekly class that keeps you committed to a positive relationship with yourself, with others, and with a healthy living practice that will serve you for life. One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. So in-person face-to-face connection, off screens and devices, plays a major role in well-being and healing the mind/body through personal empowerment.
12. Remove household toxins
It’s important to remove as many toxic chemicals and products out of your home as possible. Hidden sources of toxins to be aware of are old paint, popular cleaning products, non-stick coating on cookware or food storage products that are produced using plastics, or Teflon (chemical coating), deodorizing room and fabric sprays, air fresheners, and also personal care items like perfume, skincare, and makeup products. What you put on your skin, penetrates faster than what you eat. So reading labels for the products you use, is just as important as reading labels for the food you eat to reduce your body’s toxic load and preventing disease. Check out the Environmental Working Group list of safe products to create the healthiest environment in your home for you and your family.