While juicing isn’t the trendy health gimmick it was a few years ago, the idea of a liquid boost to your diet is still a popular one – let’s face it, many of us start with a liquid caffeine fix to get us going in the morning, but what about something that does more than just feeds the addiction? It’s not a case of trying to follow the latest diet trend of health kick fad, it’s not really even about making positive “changes” to your life to create a healthier you.
New Year’s Resolution
New habits take time to form, and for some people a complete lifestyle change works. Often following a New Years Resolution to get fitter, be healthier, be kinder, live longer, these sudden lifestyle changes will often be a complete turnabout, with people giving up smoking, coffee, alcohol and swapping them for water, daily meditation and gym memberships.
Better Lifestyle Improvements
Although for some people these changes do work and they make positive changes that last a lifetime, for most of us the novelty wears off by around February and we’re often in an even worse position by March than we were at the start of the year. However, if instead of making a dramatic gesture of giving up everything, you just add one healthy thing at a time you’ll likely find it much easier to improve your lifestyle over time. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505409/
Your main areas to look at are going to be nutrition, fitness, physical health and mental health – and they are all connected, which is why making one small change will allow you to continue to make more changes over time. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, points out that if you’re eating pizza every day after a year you’ll probably have put on a bit of weight, but going to a 20-minute jog every day and after a year you’ll be leaner and fitter. Neither are going to cause instant dramatic effects, but you want to create long term change that will stick.
This isn’t about giving up sugar, going Keto or living on nothing but bread and water – or whichever other diet is in fashion this week. It’s about portion control and balanced nutrition over a week. One of the better diet ideas is to “eat a rainbow”, and this doesn’t just mean that you have to get up and have a full breakfast first thing, you can turn to juicing and smoothies then just add one of the range of the best greens powder in Australia and you have started your rainbow. If you decide to give up meat, then ensure that you are still getting adequate proteins, iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins from other sources.
If you are concerned about making healthy nutritional choices, talk to your doctor or a qualified nutritionist who can help you come up with meals that will work for you, and your lifestyle. There is no point saying that you are going to eat the most amazing meals if you leave work at 7am, get home at 7pm and collapse into bed at 9pm. Changing habits need to be sustainable and realistic. If you tend to snack on chips or biscuits at work, take fruit (even though it’s high in sugar), raw veggies or roasted chickpeas instead.
Fitness & Physical Health
These are not the same thing! You can be incredibly fit, but still not healthy. Physical health means things like not smoking, limiting the amount of alcohol, ensuring the you have organs that aren’t being damaged by your lifestyle choices – even just wearing a mask when you’re painting or wearing earmuffs when you’re mowing the lawn.
Fitness means increasing your stamina and strength. You want to be able to walk for 30 minutes without getting puffed, or carry your child, your groceries, or your shiny new exercise bike, without breaking your back.
However, to do this you need to start at a level that will keep you going, and you also need to get that energy boost from a healthy diet (see, all intertwined). Again, you can start small. While you’re waiting for your breakfast smoothie or juice to be ready, do a few jumping jacks, push ups (against the wall if that’s where you’re at), squats or calf raises. When you park your car, park a little further away than you need to be so that you have to walk just those extra few metres.
Finding new ways to increase your healthy habits (see here) will quickly become a fun game, and before you know it you will be setting yourself a range of challenges that wouldn’t have crossed your mind 6 months earlier – and it all pretty much started by you deciding to make one small change every day.