20 ways to achieve great health
In the rush of morning routines, weekly to-dos and weekend schedules, finding space and time to dedicate to your mind, body and soul may feel like a wish list unfulfilled. Yet, ensuring that you get quality “me time” can accrue big health and beauty benefits while helping foster calm in usually stressful situations.
From recharging energy and improving concentration to increasing productivity and cultivating inner balance, there’s good reason to stop and contemplate, says author Sherrie Bourg Carter, who offers women advice on how to take check in High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout (Prometheus Books).
In an article for Psychology Today, Carter says that simply stopping and adding self-love rituals to your daily routine can become a direct path to greater clarity and self-awareness.
“[This] can lead to a better understanding of yourself … what drives you, what inspires you, what excites you,” she writes. “This in turn can have a positive effect not only on the quality of your relationship with yourself, but also on the quality of your relationships with others.”
Where to begin?
Just as everyone’s body is different, finding what brings you greatest calm and clarity is a matter of personal choice. However, there are natural laws that, if followed, suggest you will live a life of greater meaning, infused with balance, a depth of understanding, happiness and beauty from the inside out.
“A lot of times people think healthy lifestyles are about food only. It’s not just food — it’s a multiplicity of things,” says nutrition and lifestyle coach Tyler Tolman. “For thousands of years, individuals have recognised there are seven basic principles that lead to a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. I actually follow eight.”
Tyler Tolman’s 8 principles of health
1. Air. Breathing deeply through the nose, into the stomach and out through the mouth creates a healthy way of breathing. It oxygenates your body, makes your body vital and alkalises you. When you are breathing deeply, you want to breathe clean air, so get some plants. Plants naturally detoxify the air around us. Studies have shown that plants eliminate benzene, formaldehyde, trifluoroethylene and all sorts of chemicals that are in the home and all around us. Peace lilies and the money plant (also known as a jade tree) are fantastic.
There are natural laws that, if followed, suggest you will live a life of greater meaning, infused with balance, a depth of understanding, happiness and beauty from the inside out.
2. Water. Drink a litre of water every day on rising. This will hydrate your digestive system and your body. Drink one litre of water per 22kg of body weight over the day. It’s also a good idea to eat a lot of high-water-content fruit such as watermelon and papaya.
3. Sunshine. Get out into the sun for a minimum of 20–30 minutes every day, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon. It does wonders for your wellbeing by boosting vitamin D levels and, accordingly, that vitamin’s effect on your body, such as assistance in calcium metabolism and maintenance of the cardiovascular and immune systems.
4. Exercise. Get the body moving; life is movement. Find a sport or something you love doing and just do it. Bare minimum, you should be walking for 30–45 minutes almost every day.
5. Wholefood. What does “wholefood” mean? Complete. It means the food has not been cooked, hasn’t been processed and hasn’t had artificial sweeteners, colours and hydrogenated oil added to it. An apple is a wholefood. You can look at the food and know what it is. Wholefood is complete and has the nutrients your body needs. Eat as fresh as you can, as much as you can!
6. Relationships. I believe if you have been doing all the above, you will be satisfied and healthy. You will figure out how to process your relationships. Focus on your relationships and do what you can to improve them.
7. Passion. Have passion in your life and share that passion with other people. Get out there!
8. Sleep. Work on each of the above, one at a time, and finally do a little bit of meditation and get a good night’s sleep — my number eight. Get at least eight hours a night to recharge your batteries.
Let the river run
While the seven natural laws bring balance, what you eat and how you eat it play an integral part in your wellbeing or lack thereof. In the hustle and rush of modern living, however, most of us have forgotten the importance of growing, preparing and mindfully eating food — and regularly consuming clean water.
“We are mostly made up of water. The more water we drink, the more things start to move and unfold in our bodies.”
It’s the latter — consuming good, clean water — that is the most important regular ritual anyone can adopt, says wholefood chef Cynthia Louise. The co-author of the bestselling Real Food Chef cookbook series says that regularly sipping water is a reminder to stop and nourish the body and is the “ultimate in health and beauty” tonics.
“We are mostly made up of water. The more water we drink, the more things start to move and unfold in our bodies,” she says. “It really is the ultimate care you can give to your body, your mind and, yes, even your soul.”
Finding your ritual in food
Cynthia Louise, who runs in-demand workshops across Australasia and Bali, regularly impresses the importance of mindfulness at the dinner table — a self-nurturing practice that is a ritual everyone can, and should, adopt in order to properly nourish the body. It’s also a reminder to stop and be in the moment and an opportunity to connect with family.
“I call it ‘living in the let go’ and ‘getting grateful’ and being mindful that more than half the world is starving,” she says. “We in the West have an option to choose and that is genius … I facilitate for humans how to sustain Health and beauty long term and that starts from one simple rule: 24/7 quality control of our thoughts.”
The wholefood chef says that eating on the run means you cannot be present and is an action that negatively affects your cells and your whole being.
“My teaching explores the participation in the present moment … falling in love with food and its flavour, and creating a transformational relationship with our food and thoughts. Yes, food does matter and, more so, our thoughts matter. Where thoughts go, energy flows!
“When eating food, I recommend to get grateful when chewing, while thinking thoughts such as, ‘My body’s intelligence is awesome. Every eating action and function is operating in perfection.’”
What to eat
When viewing daily habits as an opportunity to care for yourself, what you choose to put in your mouth can mean the difference between self-nurturing and a ritual gone wrong.
Living wholefoods, grown organically, should be the top choice for anyone considering a path to better health and self-care. Growing these yourself can bring depth to the ritual of eating: an understanding of what it takes to get from seed to salad, while putting time and energy into the care and maintenance of each plant; mindful actions that ultimately bring the food to the table.
Living wholefoods, grown organically, should be the top choice for anyone considering a path to better health and self-care.
According to Cynthia Louise, greens are the ultimate food of choice for you to create a ritual around.
“They bring on a wealth of beauty — beauty from the inside out,” she says. “Greens are naturally beneficial and are high vibrational foods, meaning they grow up towards the sun. Greens will, 100 per cent, bring that glow into your skin and the whites of your eyes will be brighter than ever before.”
Consuming two to three litres of green juice daily, while eating salads as part of lunch and dinner, is the “ultimate health and Beauty ritual ever created”, says Cynthia Louise. “Your friends will want your beauty ritual, along with the phone number and address of your therapist! You can happily send them to your local farmers’ market.”
In the computer age, sitting stationary has not only expanded our waistlines but seemingly torn us away from movement: one of the most life-sustaining habits.
Regular movement, whether through walking, yoga or simply jogging on the spot, is a soul-serving routine that aids the body to remove toxins, clears the mind and helps you feel better.
“Exercise is essential for stimulating your lymphatic system, which helps to eliminate excess waste products that would otherwise be eliminated through your skin,” says naturopath and personal trainer Dina Savitz. “Exercise also boosts circulation and keeps your digestive system healthy, both of which contribute to the health of your skin.”
Savitz says exercising in the sun for at least 10 minutes daily without sunscreen is a great way to remind yourself to get out of the chair, while activating your body’s natural vitamin D production.
If getting to a cardio class or joining a walking group calls for too much time out of your routine, Savitz says there are simple exercises that can be adopted which, if done regularly as part of a daily ritual, can help to create tone.
“You can start with a simple body-weight circuit with squats, push-ups, lunges, supermans and a plank,” she says. “Complete 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, three times.”
While what you regularly put into your body can become important everyday habit, it’s also what you put onto your body than can bring you into tune with nature and yourself.
Crystals are an ideal element to help form a personal ritual, from using them in meditation to placing high-vibrational crystal elixirs in bathwater. Through their resonance and energy exchange, crystals may bring the body, mind, soul and emotions back into a natural balanced state or vibration, says psychosomatic therapist and Reiki master Ellen Bendin (joya-australia.com.au).
“Besides wearing crystals on your body or in the form of jewellery, placing them in your home and office or by energising your drinking water with crystals, you can enjoy the benefits of a relaxing massage with crystals,” she says.
“All crystals have different energies and vibrations, and can support the body with different health issues.”
“All crystals have different energies and vibrations, and can support the body with different health issues. Rose quartz is said to give a beautiful and pleasant radiance while jade has been used in China for facials for thousands of years for its purifying effect on the skin.”
Bendin says she starts her day with a three-minute dry body brushing ritual, using a brush with clear quartz. “Dry body brushing is an Ayurvedic technique that stimulates the lymphatic system and aids in effective detoxification and increased wellbeing. The invigorating body brushing boosts circulation, while the exfoliation promotes glowing, tighter skin — all in three minutes a day. Just like brushing your teeth.”
8 life-affirming daily rituals
You don’t need unlimited funds to create a more fulfilling, calmer daily experience. The following rituals may be all you need.
1. Meditation. Allowing 20 minutes of quiet time can improve decision-making, bring clarity and remind you not to get caught up in the “little things”.
2. Walking. Taking strides on the beach (or even a treadmill) for 10–20 minutes daily encourages the body to eliminate toxins while helping you to de-stress.
3. Eating mindfully. With thoughts being energy, taking time to stop and practise gratitude can foster a peaceful state while helping the body to digest better.
4. Journalling. Just five minutes a day spent putting your thoughts on paper can produce “aha!” moments and allow you to work through problems more quickly. Keeping a journal can also be a powerful tool for manifesting.
5. Dry body brushing. Besides its lymph-cleansing and immune-boosting benefits, dry brushing before a morning shower can also be a reminder to appreciate your body. Send words of appreciation to each body part as you brush from your feet, working upward, always towards your heart.
6. Switching off the television. Picking up a self-help book or inspirational biography instead of the remote can help foster positive thoughts, relaxation and a sense of direction.
7. Singing in the shower. Whether you choose to chant an OM or Taylor Swift’s latest hit, singing or chanting will take you out of thought mode and into the now. It’s also a great way of letting your hair down while feeling the benefits of vibration.
8. Finding a hobby. All work and no play is a life unbalanced. Take an hour once a week to do something you’ve always wanted to do or know you love doing. It’s there you may also get to connect with like-minded souls.
Chef Cynthia Louise’s green bowl recipe
Creating rituals in the kitchen benefits the whole family. This recipe is bursting with high-vibrational, organic wholefoods — great for a snack on the go or as a nourishing breakfast after a workout.
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ¼ zucchini, chopped into half rounds
- Big handful of spinach
- 3 tbsp Udo’s Oil
- Salt & pepper
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup peas
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- ¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup living sprouts
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- A few olives
- Steam the broccoli and zucchini until just tender. Turn the heat off and add the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, seasoning well with salt and pepper.
- Mix the remaining tablespoon of oil and vinegar together. Set aside in a small bowl ready to pour over your green bowl of goodness.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, arranging them nicely on a large plate. Season well and enjoy.
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