Today many people find themselves attempting to complete mile long to-do lists while working a full-time job and maintaining a household which leads to exhaustion, stress and anxiety. Eating well, relaxing and sleeping, making time for yourself and others is often not a priority. However, the physical, mental and emotional systems of the body are taxed, leading to health problems such as depression, digestive distress, immune system disorders, menstrual problems, and obesity, among other things. By making small improvements to the way we eat, sleep, and go through our daily lives, we can reduce stress, cravings, and be on the way to a healthier, happier life.
Easy improvements you can make:
1. Whole Foods and lots of Water. Nourishing our bodies with healthy whole foods (i.e. whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, seeds and nuts) allows us to absorb all the important nutrients needed for our bodies to function properly.Â When we eat processed foods that are filled with sugar, sodium and preservatives we cause more stress on the body which decreases our energy, causes unruly cravings and wears down the immune system.Â In addition to eating whole foods we need to drink more water. Making sure to drink water throughout the day keeps our cells hydrated and our bodies happy as well as increases energy, focus and helps to flushing toxins from the body.
2. Physical Activity — start small if needed, 10 minutes a day. We live in a culture that revolves around computers and cellphones and other technology.Â Most people spend 8-12 hours sitting hunched over a computer, getting very little physical activity. Regular physical activity can strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function and reduce your risk of major diseases. Start with 10 minutes per day and increase by 2 minutes each day until you reach 30-45 minutes of physical activity per day.
3. Take time for yourself. Each day set aside (at least) 10 minutes that are just for you. No distractions. No tasks.Â Just time for YOU.Â This could be sitting and reading a book, doing yoga, sitting quietly, meditating, or anything that makes you feel good.
4. Rest and relaxation. Take time each night to unwind. Put down the computer, turn of electronics and just relax.Â Work on getting 8-9 good hours of sleep.Â You can do this by going to bed earlier; try 5 minutes and increase to 30 minutes over a week.Â Our bodies require time to rest and recharge so that we can take on the next day and live a happy healthy life.
Jump Start: Swap our your usual potato chips for this flavorful crispy kale chips. Whole foods never tasted so good.
Sweet and Spicy Kale Chips
* 1 bunch of kale, ripped into chip sized pieces, rinse and dry
* 2 dates, pitted
* 3/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup cashews
* 2T nutritional yeast
* 1T lime juice
* 1t chipotle chili powder
* 3/4t garlic powder
* 3/4t paprika
* 1t shoyu (can substitute soy sauce, tamari or Braggs)
1. Place the ripped kale in a large bowl. Place the dates and shoyu in a blender and process until smooth; pour over the kale.
2. Massage the sauce into the kale until evenly distributed.
3. Dehydrate method: Place on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 118F for 10 to 12 hours (however I doubt that once you start check in them every few hours that there will be any left by the time the days over). Oven method: Preheat oven to 350F.Â Place the sauced kale on a baking sheet and make for 12-15 minutes until the kale chips are crispy but not burned.