Along my journey of discovering healthier ways to live for a happier life full of vitality and joy my routine has taken turns and circles back. These are some of the things that have stuck with me through the years that I not only enjoy but feel amazing having in my daily routine, knowing I’m treating myself with the love and respect it deserves for a long and healthy life.
1. Oil pulling
There are many first of the day routines that are great for your health, but this one keeps coming back to me. It’s an amazing way to start the day ridding yourself of all the toxins built up in your mouth during the night, setting the stage for a healthy day. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy where oil is swished or held in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature states oil pulling is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth.
First thing in the morning, I put a spoon of cold-pressed coconut oil in my mouth and swish it in my mouth for 10-20 minutes, then spit it out and brush my teeth.
Studies show that it makes your teeth and gums healthier. On top of that, it whitens your teeth which will hopefully encourage you to smile more!
Bonus - In addition, I then brush my teeth with a mixture of Turmeric, coconut oil and baking soda as another natural way to whiten teeth.
2. Warm lemon water
This is one of the best things I have found to consume first thing in the morning. Drinking warm water with lemon helps alkalize your body, aids digestion and contains enzymes that stimulate the liver, the most important detoxifying organ. It also contains pectin fiber which helps move the bowels and promote a healthy elimination system. Additionally, it fills your body with vitamin C which is an important antioxidant that helps in a detox process by neutralizing free radicals and boosting the immune system.
This morning ritual, when done regularly, also does wonders to your skin, making it youthful and glowing due to the amount of antioxidants and vitamins it contains. It is one morning ritual that I always go back to.
Bonus - When I squeeze the fresh lemon into the water I then use the lemon to massage my face as an amazing astringent, which is also an incredible natural remedy to keep the skin healthy.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
This life style goal has actually become an easy one for me, as I have grown to love so many delicious healthy foods over the years. I try to get 6 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, which isn’t difficult for me at all. I love my giant salads, and fruit first thing in the morning is like a treat I look forward to. It also makes a great sweet snack in the middle of the day. I also try to get organic produce as much as possible, and if not an option I always clean it with a veggie wash. Another favorite way to get it all in is a smoothie, which is also like a treat. I’m a big fan of vegetable soups, so if I have a salad for lunch it’s pretty common for me to have a hardy soup at dinner, or even fish with a vegetable side. I gave up all meats as of 2011, but I still incorporate sea food in my diet.
Bonus – Add a huge health punch to your diet with Spices. Some great spices include turmeric, cumin, sage, ginger, garlic, and hot peppers all having established medical benefits. Things I have removed from my diet include trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup and most sugars, gluten as much as possible, and pretty much anything processes and unnatural. I do treat myself with dark chocolate, so with that said caffeine enters my diet in moderation. Also drink plenty of fresh clean water.
4. Make fitness a priority.
I am definitely guilty of sitting by my computer for long periods of time, however since joining a gym a couple years ago it became a priority to go daily, or at least 3 times a week rain, sun or snow. Then in the summer time I spend a lot of time in my garden that gives me quite the work out as well, but having a gym membership that I pay for and get a health insurance rebate for attending so many times a month, I continuously have that motivation. Apart from the daily routines think adventure! In the winter I started up snowboarding which is incredibly challenging but fun, and in the warmer weather going on a hike or any outdoor activities qualifies to get your body moving. For a long adventurous hike check out these versitile backpacks.
Bonus- Apart from a good sweaty workout, I find time in most of my days to do a tai chi, qi gong and yoga session to get my body moving and stretched in the comfort of my home. It’s a time a cherish that both relaxes and energizes me. I found some favorite videos on youtube and when I feel like it in my day, no matter what the time is I turn on my playlist and go through the videos. It always leaves me feeling amazing.
5. Unwind your mind - Meditate
Each and every day I find it so important to give my mind a break. I don’t live a very stressful life, but I find that taking a moment to reflect on how amazing my life is and appreciate all that I have tends to bring more amazing things into my life. I keep an appreciation journal, synchronicity journal, and diary for logging in wonderful moments I want to look back on for nostalgic reasons. After reflecting and jotting down my thoughts, I take the time to quiet my mind in meditation. Depending on how I feel I may mediate for 5 minutes of half an hour, focusing on my breath and good feeling thoughts that melt my mind into stillness. Another way I meditate is through doing my arts and crafts, wood burning, gardening or even crocheting to music I enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a difficult stillness, just something to get your mind back to a peaceful state.
6. Get enough sleep.
I work a graveyard shift, s my sleep habits are far from consistent with 9 days of work then 5 days off, but I make it work. I prioritize sleep and make sure that I get plenty when my body calls for it. I am very fortunate to have the lifestyle I do, so although my schedule is unusual this is something I can almost always accomplish, apart from having trouble falling asleep. I find a really good workout does impact my sleep and I sleep great on those days.
7. Get supplements.
Although I try to eat a rich diet of nutrients and minerals, I do feel that sometimes I am lacking in a few things, so I like to have certain supplements on hand at all times. Living in Minnesota with long winters I always have a Vitamin D spray available for those months where I don’t get any sun. I like to have a vegan multivitamin on hand as well for days where I feel I didn’t quite get all the nutrients my body deserves, and I throw in a few others for liver support and overall body detox. Another thing I make a priority daily is a good probiotic. I am definitely not a big fan of fermented vegetables, although I did try to be at one point, but now I stick to a good probiotic pill and I enjoy a glass of fruit kefir as well.
8. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
This one is pretty self-explanatory for all the reasons why it’s a good idea to stay away from these harmful substances, and although I probably didn’t need to add it as something I do, because it’s something I choose not to do, I had to include it because I know firsthand that it has definitely played a huge roll in the health of my body. I never had the desire to try to smoke and didn’t take a custom to drinking alcohol so this was never a struggle for me, but a conscious choice I made very early in my life that I’m so thankful for. It’s rare finding other adults who don’t partake in alcohol on an occasion, but I like having these things completely omitted from my life. I love knowing their absence has provided me with a less foggy lifestyle, in all senses.