ALIVE & FIT MAGAZINE Vol.13 Issue 52 Winter 2020: 20 Super Easy Health Hacks

Every morning we wake up is a glorious day! Health is wealth, pure and simple. Staring the day with an attitude of gratitude puts life into perspective. Focus on goals not obstacles. Keep your eye on the prize. There are laundry lists of life coaches’ quotes on mega memes helping us manifest, attract and plant seeds for a better tomorrow. Life should be simple, but sometimes we are so overwhelmed, living in survival mode, we forget daily holistic habits are key to wellness.

 Each choice we make is a leap towards holistic help or step towards sickness. Change is challenging, but small adjustments can alter the course of one’s health. Please don’t dismiss even the smallest swap to choosing healthier foods to kicking a bad habit once and for all. One positive change sets the tone, creating life-long feelings of self-love. A small shift is like skipping a rock across still water. The ripple effect is very real.

Maybe your New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside, but it’s never too late to set a new goal! Spring into Spring with 20 easy and doable health hacks. Make 2020 positive physically, mentally and emotionally.

1)  Wake up to water. Water is life. It’s needed for countless functions in the body, from regulating body temperature to preventing constipation, aiding digestion, transporting nutrients and even helping regulate blood pressure.  Optimal intake equals straw colored urine. Funky smelling yellow to brown hues translate into dehydration. Thirst tells a tale of too little too late. We should never feel thirsty. Sipping all day ensures a proper flow of water in and toxins out. The magical number of liters required is specific to you. Ensuring a minimum of 30 ml per kilogram of bodyweight daily is a must. Exercise, medication, outside temperature and diet all add to your daily requirement. Keto requires extra intake. Water is wonderous. Fall in love with a bounty of inside body and outside beauty benefits. Power-up your portable H20 with immune boosting lemon, lime or mint leaves for dandy digestion. Sipping on-the-go is a sure way to reap rewards.

2) Exercise turns back time. Health articles highlight exercise because it works, helping maintain over all health inside and out. Moving our body is directly correlated to mastering one’s metabolism. As we age, muscle atrophies and flexibility decreases. Exercise keeps us strong and agile. Moving your body, whether yoga, weight-training or gardening, the happy hormone serotonin, provides an on-the-spot mood boost.

3) Mindful eating is a must. Being a busy bee is part of a hectic life, but eating on-the-go disrupts digestion. Put down the phone, turn off the computer and pause your favorite show. Mindful eating means stopping multi-tasking is a must. Take your time, chew slowly and limit fluid intake while eating. Drinking dilutes gastric juices, often resulting in gas, bloating and belching. A holistic reminder: It takes 20 minutes for leptin, a hormone that signals the brain to stop eating to work its magic. Eating slowly translates into consuming less calories.

4) Fiber is your friend. It’s tough to reach a daily intake of 35 grams of fiber with a processed diet. Adding a tablespoon of psyllium to yogurt, shakes, stews and even soups helps promotes fullness and regulate blood sugar. Psyllium is a superstar for aiding in weight-loss. Fiber bulks up the stool, increases transit time and helps eliminate toxins and LDL (bad cholesterol) on a trip to the toilet.

5) Sneak kelp granules into the Himalayan saltshaker. Kelp is a sea vegetable stocked full of iodine. This tiny trace mineral packs a punch, powering the thyroid.

6) Chocolate crazed is a good thing! Antioxidant-rich, chocolate contains copper, iron, manganese and mega-magnesium, elevating any mood. Chocolate, an ancient food of the Aztec Gods, wasn’t stocked with soy and dairy. Power is connected to pureness. Add pep to your step, swapping coffee or energy drinks with a teaspoon of cacao nibs in hot water, smoothies and yogurt.  Perk up a workout or workday with a  portable power snack of cocoa nibs, nuts, seeds and cinnamon.

7) Ditch chemicals at home. Synthetic colors, fragrance, BPA, PFAS and phthalates are lurking in every room. Personal care and cleaning products are prime offenders, but Teflon coated pans and microwave popcorn should also be banned. Chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they interfere with hormonal systems. They have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer to name a few. In the pursuit of health for us, furry friends and the environment, there are no shortage of natural and ethical companies who use 100% clean ingredients. Cleaning with good old-fashioned vinegar and baking soda scented with essential oils is safe and affordable. Pine and citrus are anti-bacterial and fresh-smelling holistic helpers naturally.

8) Slurp soup! A cup of soup adds to your daily water intake, plus promotes satiety.  Bone broth is keto and paleo friendly, on top of being goodness for the gut. Soups are super for achieving a rainbow of vegetables loaded with key vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients. Soup is an all-star for winter weather warm-up, but also summertime picnic fun time. From squash to watermelon, soup is a wealth of health in a snap. 

9) Go green! Wheatgrass shots are wellness overload thanks to chlorophyll, life force behind plants, providing the gorgeous green hue. Chop chlorophyll chocked cilantro, a heavy metal eliminator or parsley, a dandy diuretic into salads, couscous or rice. A handful of spinach and kale blended with your favorite fruit is fabulous, but a sprig of greens is a glorious go-to. Addressing health concerns with herbs takes smoothies from splendid to smashing!

10) Take time out from tech! The number of minutes spent tied to a smart device does vary within age groups, increasing with those under 34. Bring back good old-fashioned chatting. Re-connect with family and friends, eliminating all cell phone use at the dinner table and while driving.

11) Stop pop! Chemicals, sugar, sweeteners and the aluminum can are all a health hazard.

12) Establish a bedtime regime. Nightly tossing and turning or daytime sleepiness are sure signs your bedtime protocol needs a revamp. Consistency is key when it comes to the clock! Aim to tuck-in at the same time nightly. Swear off stimulants and alcohol 4 to 6 hours prior to retiring. A hot shower or Epsom bath melts stress away before crawling under the covers. Set the thermostat for between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit and leave your phone set to airplane mode. Intensify relaxation with ear plugs, eye mask and a self-massage to your feet and hands with calming lavender oil. Invest in a white noise machine. Take away tension with the soothing sounds of crickets chirping, ocean waves or the pitter patter of rain drops. One more word of advice. Stop hitting the snooze button. Consistent rise and shine start-ups are the equivalent of endless energy.

13) Swap regular fare for healthier options. Quinoa packs a protein punch over rice and pasta. Coconut aminos stomp soy as an awesome alternative in Asian dishes. Say no way to corn syrup, but a huge yes to yacon syrup. Toss table salt for sea or Himalayan pink salt. Bid farewell to vegetable, soy, corn or canola oils, opting for olive and avocado.

14)  Make a vision board. Be honest, designing a collage of your deepest desires and dreams and watch the “Law of Attraction” manifest your heart’s intentions into reality. Go big or go home.

15) Clear the clutter. Reduce, reuse and recycle instead of buying. Ask yourself if the item is something you want or need before tapping your bank card.

16) Donate time or money to a good cause that speaks to your heart. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan.

17) Self-love is not exclusive to Sundays. It’s not about rewarding yourself with a spa day after a hard week. Self-love is about being you, fabulous you. It’s ok to be your own cheerleader.  Stare in the mirror and speak kindly and lovingly to the beautiful reflection before you. Be your own friend. Live in an attitude of gratitude. Believe everything will work out.

18) Energize with earthing.  Living in a concrete jungle, isolates us from the earth’s positive energy, but direct contact with hands or feet is grounding, allowing electrons to flow effortlessly, and in-turn eliminating any static electric charge. Wiggling toes in the sand, gardening and yes, hugging a tree all translate into reducing inflammation in the body.

19) Go plant-based. Consuming animals, dairy and even eggs raise acidity in the body. Disease can’t thrive in an alkaline environment, making a plant-based diet something to strive for! Increasing fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds is a wealth of health. Plant-based does not belong in a package. Focus on fresh.

20) It’s all about A-C-E: three outstanding vitamins with antioxidant all-star super-powers that may be what your health practitioner missed.

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin is easily stored in the liver. Optimal intake offers a plethora of eye-boosting benefits, especially preventing night blindness and alleviating dry eyes. Vitamin A offers protection against skin, lung and prostate cancer, while also lessening the effects of chemicals, toxins and pesticides on the body. All-star A is an incredible immune booster, increasing resistance to infections and said to enhance the effects of chemotherapy. Liver and eggs are high in usable vitamin A, while carrots, kale and collard greens contain beta-carotene, which the body must convert to vitamin A.

Vitamin C is more valuable than an easy go-to for quickly combatting a cold. From helping absorb iron to strengthening capillaries, blood vessels and connective tissue, C is care for heart health. During stressful times, our adrenal glands work overtime releasing the hormone cortisol. Vitamin C is your first defense in helping offset the effects of stress. Collagen begins to decrease as our age increases, vitamin C helps maintain youthful skin. Fill the fridge to the brim with berries, broccoli, peppers and citrus. Low on iron? Steam greens and add a squeeze of citrus for added absorption.

Vitamin E rounds out the list of 3 exemplary antioxidants, fighting free radicals and therefore reducing inflammation in the body. E is a key player, helping the body use selenium and vitamin K, but also preferred prevention for prostate and colon cancer. Stock up on seeds and wheat germ for ample A1 vitamin E.

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel” according to Kevin Trudeau. One mini modification can shift our mindset. It takes somewhere between 18 to 254 days for a person to form a habit, good or bad. Please choose wisely. Revising one’s regime is right on the money. An about-face is common after the doctor delivers devastating news, but why wait to start a life transformation? Healthy hacks are holistic helpers anyone can start today, accelerating feeling better inside and out.

READ my ARTICLE at ALIVE & FIT MAGAZINE

Power up with SUPER SEED BALLS Recipe

Sunflower seeds are spotlight worthy. Swap nut butter for sensational seeds on toast, smoothies, celery   sticks and apple slices. Stocked with protein, a serving promotes satiety and ultimately weight loss by helping stabilize blood sugar. For starters, sunflower seeds are high in manganese, magnesium and vitamin E. Splendid sunflower seeds help reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), a key chemical involved in inflammation. They are a surefire way to boost daily fiber intake, helping increase transit time and eliminate LDL.

Super Seed balls with a touch of the tropic are gluten-free, nut-free and vegan!

Ingredients:

1 cup Quinoa flakes

1 cup Shredded coconut

½ cup Medjool dates

1 cup Raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup Ground flax meal

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 cup chocolate sunflower seed butter

⅓ coconut oil melted

2 scoops of your favorite chocolate plant-based protein powder

Directions:

Pulse all ingredients (except sunflower seed butter and melted coconut oil) until well blended. Stir in seed butter and melted coconut oil. Mix until well blended. Shape into small bite-sized balls. Leave in the freezer or fridge for easy make ahead on-the-go energy! They defrost quickly at room temperature.

Health Profile per Powerball:

Makes 30

190 calories each

14.5 grams healthy fats

12.4 grams of energizing carbohydrates

2.7 grams good gut fiber

5 grams plant-based protein