Monday, 23 September 2013

12 steps to better health... part two

Hello again! Thank you for tuning in again to learn more about the steps you can take to improve your health! Last week we briefly explored 6 out of 12 steps to better health, which can be followed in any order at your own pace. Let me encourage you that by making small changes now you will see a BIG difference down the track. These steps will help to restore and revive your health. So, let's get started!

12 steps to better health

To recap, here are the 6 steps we looked at previously:

1. Drink more water

2. Practice cooking

3. Increase whole grains

4. Increase sweet vegetables

5. Increase leafy green vegetables

6. Experiment with protein

Now, let's look at the other 6 steps that you can take:

7. Eat fewer processed foods

Just to be clear this means eat less of the food that is processed, comes in a package, and has a looong ingredient list with words you've never seen or can't even pronounce! Most people will start to feel significantly better just by eating less meat, sugar, artificial junk food, caffeine and alcohol, and by eating more fruit, vegetables, whole foods, high-quality protein, drinking more water and getting more rest or sleep. For what your plate should look like at a meal and for better health check out this article.

8. Make a habit of nurturing your body

Nurturing your body is all about self-care and taking the time to make sure that you are nourished body, soul and spirit. After all, how can you live your best life and help others if you're falling apart at the seams? Think about the oxygen mask demonstration on an airplane. You put on your own mask before you help others put on their masks. Take the time to breathe in and out again. If you are stuck for a place to start here is a list of 100 extreme self-care ideas. Try to make nurturing your body a habit by scheduling self-care into your daily or weekly schedule. 

9. Have healthy relationships

Healthy relationships are central to living a healthy life. It's all about people in the end. Our relationships with people can either enrich our lives or be a drain on our time, energy and health. One thing I've learnt how to do is to let go of toxic relationships in my life and work towards building healthy relationships based on love, trust and respect. Knowing how to have a healthy sense of boundaries can help you to either release or restore relationships. Here is an interesting article on how toxic relationships are connected to adrenal fatigue with advice on how to work through it. I am so grateful for the richness of relationships I have in my life now more than ever before. To my family and friends (you know who you are), I just want to say to you: I love and appreciate you!

10. Enjoy regular physical activity

Finding exercise or physical activity that you enjoy is the key to keeping active and working towards a regular fitness routine. Our bodies are made to move and all you need to do is start moving more and more often! You can read here for more of my thoughts on exercise and here for an explanation of how much exercise is enough. My weekly exercise regime includes running, walking and Pilates for strength, stretching and cardiovascular exercise, but you may find that by doing more incidental exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, you start to become fitter, stronger and healthier every day. 

11. Find work you love

There are many aspects of life that nourish us other than food and a fulfilling career is one of them. Finding work we love requires us to follow our hearts, dreams and desires, and leave behind the misconception that success and happiness is wrapped up in fame and fortune. Yes, it's about taking risks, but if you're not taking steps to change your life, your life won't change. Finding work that you love may look like cutting back on your work hours to spend more time on creative projects, doing some online study, or starting your own business. Whatever it looks like, know that by doing what you love, you are on your way to better health and a more fulfilling life. 

12. Develop a spiritual practice

We are spiritual beings. And we need spiritual nourishment. For me, as a Christian, I am nourished by being in relationship with the living God, who made a way for me to be healed spiritually and come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. God is the One who quenches my spiritual thirst with His rivers of living water. He is for me, He loves me, He is always with me. My hope and my trust are in Him, and I know that as I turn to Him, He works all things in my life together for my good. He gives me peace and joy. He nourishes me. My relationship with God and my church family at Planetshakers has been an important step on my journey to better health. Perhaps developing a spiritual practice will help you on your way too!

May you be blessed on your journey to better health as you follow these steps and live your best life! xx

My gorgeous cousin and I at St Andrews Market, the best hippie market in Melbourne! I'm very excited to be going on an adventure to Western Australia tomorrow to spend the week with my beloved cousin!

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