Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Most of us get pretty caught up on all the things we would have to change in order to experience health. We actually kind of psych ourselves out before we even begin. Our minds run away with thoughts of early morning workouts, bland tasting chicken breasts, and lonely Friday night pity parties. We’d not only have to do so many things at once in order to get healthy, but we’d have to be disciplined enough to actually force our way through it all despite our nature to the contrary.
Its no wonder we only dabble in healthy choices every here and there, procrastinating until the “someday“ when we might muster up some real hard-core motivation. But I‘m pretty sure we’re all ‘adult’ enough to admit that that “someday” might not ever come, especially if we keep looking down the tunnel from this angle. The prospect of chasing down our health has become tiresome at best, and down right impossible at worst.
So how might we ever start to feel healthier than we are now, and without the burden of such a disheartening view of an unknown future? Well, we stop looking down that tunnel, first of all. We’ve got to orient our vision differently. Because why?
Because when we stop overwhelming ourselves with the “should have’s“ and the “have-to’s,” and we instead begin to orient our experiences to those small choices right in front of our noses, it is then that ”someday” becomes one with our present moment. Which is another way of saying that we are already healthy on the inside; we are not, in fact, separate from it. All we have to do is uncover what is already there, which is much more manageable than having to track it down somewhere out there beyond the horizon.
And so what of these small changes, you might ask? Well, ones that don’t require much overhaul to begin with, but that will have a HUGE impact on your internal systems of mind, body, and soul. Barely perceptible changes that don’t take any more time than what you already have, and that don’t require you to cold-turkey anything either.
Ready? Here they are, in no particular order:
1) Switch out your cooking oil from vegetable and canola varieties to olive, coconut, and/or avocado for cooking, sauteing, baking, salad dressings, condiments, and dips (we are lowering your Omega 6's here folks!)
2) Switch out your salt from bleached-out white table to Himalayan or Celtic varieties (thereby avoiding extra chemical processes and increasing your mineral intake!)
3) Switch out your fake butter and margarine for the real stuff (Full-fat is not only more satiating, but is way less processed and plastic than it's "diet-food" cohorts. Plus, research is showing that saturated fat isn't the problem, it's the man-made trans-fats and hydrogenated oils that are!)
4) Drink low-sugar Kombucha instead of juice, soda or energy drinks (Less sugar, more gut-health. Yes Please!)
5) After brushing your teeth (so at least twice per day right?), look yourself in the mirror, actually into your eyes, and smile at yourself. Yup. And if you want brownie points, tell yourself, out loud, that you are a healthy person. Say it. "I am a healthy person." With an exclamation point for emphasis! Twice a day, every day.
6) Switch your generic coffee creamer out for a more conscientious brand or make your own! And while you're at it, switch to a higher-quality brand of coffee too (Avoid all those crazy chemical cleaning processes, preservatives, high fructose corn syrups, hydrogenated oils, and artificial garbage; you deserve better in something you love so much!)
7) Say thank you for your food/drink before and after you put anything into your mouth (Slow down for a second or two and remind yourself of what a miracle your body is, and in what a beautiful and safe place we live).
8) Switch to full-fat dairy, including milk, cheese, yogurt, etc! (Again, more real fat equals more satisfaction, healthier cell walls and nerve function, and less cravings overall, plus you avoid all the fake stuff they add to make it taste good).
9) Take a high quality omega-3 supplement, or start eating a lot more fatty fish! For most of us, I think the supplement will probably be the easiest option for now. (We are increasing your Omega 3's, decreasing your Omega 6's, and making your body a very happy place to live indeed!)
10) Switch out your white sugar and artificial sweeteners for high quality varieties of coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, even unbleached cane sugar. (We all use extra sugar sometimes, so we might as well make it count for the better!)
11) Switch your Peanut Butter out for a brand with just one or two ingredients (peanuts and salt), and Mayonnaise out for one with Avocado or Olive Oil. (Avoiding hydrogenated oils, canola and palm oils, high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars, the list goes on and on.)
12) Breathe deeply before you get out of bed every morning and before you fall asleep every night. (Oxygen is best when taken intentionally and with depth, so enjoy!)
13) BONUS! You can always eat whatever you want, always. Just fill yourself up with something nutritious first! (Stop fighting your cravings, just hold off for a couple while you put real food in your system beforehand. This will not only give your body newfound strength and energy, it will open your mind to creativity, mindful response, and empowered action!)
Just making these changes will create an entirely new environment inside your body and your mind. And you won’t be the same person you are now as a result. Which means you'll be of clearer mind and body when you make the changes that come next. But don't think about those future changes right now. Simply begin to un-gunk yourself, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
We all drink coffee and use sugar, salt, and cooking oil on the daily. Most of us probably eat dairy and peanut butter too. Even mayonnaise. Who doesn't love a perfectly-made turkey sandwich every now and again? So simply make these things cleaner. And each one of us is grateful for having food to eat and drinks to drink, so we might as well put all our cards on the table and say thank you, breathe deeply, and stand in awe of this body we've been given.
Granted, the only thing that *might* take an extra beat is the eating of a nutritious food BEFORE going all auto-pilot on the bag of chips or gallon of ice cream (full-fat remember!) or six pack of beer. But, and this is a BIG but, please try it! Fill your body up on a substantial, life-giving, energy-building food first (even if it’s just an apple or a handful of nuts or a cup of hot tea with honey). Then eat whatever you want. See what happens. Notice how you feel. Give it time. I hope you take me up on it ;)
Start here. Start slowly. Start daily. And most importantly, start.
Can you add anything to this list? I’d love to hear from you!!
Intrigued even just a little bit by what you read here? There's a book for that!
Here's to putting our healthiest selves first more and more often, as we connect more deeply and honestly with our inner power and passion!