I can’t believe it’s already 2011. Don’t the years just seem to keep flying by faster and faster? Are you one of the 45 percent of Americans who make resolutions? Resolutions can be good, and research shows that if you make resolutions you are more likely to meet your goals, believe it or not. I have a list of my favorite resolutions to get you started on the path to health this year:
1. Drink more water! So easy–just get a Klean Kanteen (http://www.kleankanteen.com/) to keep at your desk, and drink at least 64 ounces per day. Spice it up with lemon and cucumber slices. Staying hydrated flushes toxins and keeps your skin glowing. Dehydration can slow your metabolism!
2. Eat slowly. This is MY personal resolution–I just get so excited about eating that I tend to eat too fast. Gulping down your food can worsen digestion and lead to leaky gut and increased food sensitivities. Slow down and watch your digestion & weight improve. Also, don’t zone out and eat in front of the tv. Eat mindfully. Make it a ritual and light some candles and think about what you’re doing!
3. Get in bed by 11pm. Sleeping less than 7 or 8 hours can raise cortisol, your main stress hormone, & cause you to crave sweets. Lack of sleep also robs your body of rejuvenation (read: you’ll look old when you skimp on sleep) and good immune & detox function. The immune system is most active at night. TIP: unplug from your computer & television an hour before bed to ensure restful sleep. Reduce electronics in your bedroom–limit to alarm clock only!
4. Get moving! Do some interval training/burst training for 20 minutes a day–that’s all it takes. 1 minute of high intensity, 2 minutes of regular intensity (this could be sprints/jogging or speed walking/regular walking). Do yoga or pilates on the off days.
5. Make a commitment to shop more locally. Visit a farmers’ market weekly or order a weekly or bi-weekly CSA box. Visit http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to find one near you. A great way to eat seasonally, too!
6. Engage in stress relief. If it seems intimidating, start slowly and work your way up. It can be even 5 minutes daily: deep breathing or meditation or guided imagery. Get a book with some easy meditations. Suggestion: my former classmate, Wendy Millstine, has a book to help you get started! Five Good Minutes. It has 100 morning practices to help keep you grounded and focused all day. Find it on amazon.com.
7. Increase your intake of leafy greens. Eat more kale, chard, collards, dandelion greens, arugula, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens–all of it! Here’s a great & easy recipe for greens two ways:
-Any variety greens
-Fresh crushed garlic
-Olive or extra virgin coconut oil
-Vegetable or chicken broth
-Sesame oil for drizzling
Stir-fried (works best for more tender greens):
Wash greens and chop; remove stalks (unless using swiss chard: Dice stalks, add to salted pot of boiling water. Boil 5 minutes, or till tender; set aside to toss into stir-fry) Heat 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil in skillet with 2-3 cloves crushed garlic. Add onions, shallots or leeks if desired. Heat for a few minutes, adding vegetable or chicken broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add greens and seasoning (sea salt or seasoned sea salt blend). Stir-fry until wilted and tender, adding broth if skillet becomes dry. Drizzle a tsp or so sesame oil over cooked greens. Serve hot. Keeps well in fridge and is also good cold.
Boiled (best for tougher varieties like collards and curly kale):
Bring 4 cups water to boil in dutch oven (large stew pot). Add chopped greens and boil until bright green and tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Mix the following: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sea salt, and 3 cloves crushed or minced garlic. Pour over greens; toss; taste to correct seasoning. Great piping hot or cold.
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