5 Little Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health

Taking care of your spine and nervous system is an amazing way to improve your health, but there are many other lifestyle factors that will help you feel fantastic. For some people though, the thought of improving their body and making some lifestyle changes can leave them feeling intimidated, and even overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be this way though! 

What if you just tried to do 5 daily things to improve your health? 

Imagine doing 5 little, yet important, intentional acts everyday to get you closer to your most important health goal: feeling and functioning well.  I’m not talking about massive, major changes to your health that require a dramatic lifestyle change, but small daily things that ultimately create a bigger impact because you are actually doing them.

“Success in anything is created through the performance of a few small daily disciplines that stack up over time to create stunning results.”

Robin Sharma

It’s much easier to build on small steps and gradually add more, than to attempt a massive change. 

It’s likely that you’re already doing some great things to support your health, but perhaps they have already become so routine for you that you’ve even forgotten they are good for you! 

Focusing on the good things you are already doing, and all the good things your body is capable of doing is also a powerful gratitude reminder and can motivate other small changes.

Can you think of 5 things that you do on any given day to support good health?

Need some ideas? Here’s some to get you thinking:

  • reduce your caffeine or alcohol
  • drink more water
  • go for a walk/run/swim/bike/hike….
  • visit a friend
  • eat some fruit
  • go to bed a little earlier
  • play with your children
  • read a book
  • put that donut or cookie down
  • take a yoga class
  • breathe (with awareness! consciously relaxing, with full deep breaths)
  • do something you love
  • learn something that can help you live healthier
  • get adjusted!

Need more ideas? Just ask!

Hungry for more? Check out the rest of our blog posts!
If you’re more of a listener than a reader, you may prefer tuning into my Rock Your Health Podcast.
If you love conversation, reach out here, I’d love to hear from you!

RYH Episode 20: How Do I Deal With Illness In My Family?

Despite being 13 and 17 years old respectively, neither of my sons have ever taken any medication. The only support they’ve had from pharmaceuticals is when dealing with broken bones and pain management. If they have colds, congestion or any other common illness, my approach since they were born, was to let the body handle it naturally. I have the support of an amazing health team, including a great physician and a naturopath who have always been there for advice, and thankfully, believe in the power of the body to heal itself. To find out how we’ve done it, tune into today’s show.

For more information on how to handle illness naturally, check out this blog post, and this one too.

Hungry for more? Check out the rest of the Rock Your Health Podcast episodes!
If you’re more of a reader than a listener, you may prefer checking out some  blog posts!
If you love conversation, reach out here, I’d love to hear from you!

RYH Episode 17: Gardening With Your Body In Mind

It’s that time of year (at least here in Canada), where we reap the last of the harvest, pack up the gardens and put them to bed for the winter. Your body, while genius, does not care which season you’re gardening in, it still needs you to be conscious of it as you work. On today’s episode, I’m sharing the quick tips that will save you from the injuries I commonly see in my practice during this time of year.

For more Gardening Tips for a Healthy Spine, check out this blog post.

Smoothies!

ID-10097149When made with wholesome ingredients, smoothies boost your body with nutrients while also offering hydration.

Smoothies are a great way to start your day, or to simply add more nutrition throughout it – especially if you are always on the go.

Kids love smoothies too! Freeze them in popsicle molds for a cool treat that is full of many more nutrients than commercially made versions.

As with any recipe, there is always room for  individual creativity. Proportions can easily be modified to suit your taste and texture preferences.   For all these combinations, start with adding 1 cup of liquid (water is best but diluted juices work too). If you like your smoothies thick,  add less fluid, for a more liquid consistency add more.

Adding protein powders or other supplements can offer additional benefits, but remember, supplements supplement not replace!  Choosing only the goodness in these fruits and vegetables is a great place to start.

These are some of the favourite smoothie combinations from within the practice and within my own home. Give them a try and share your favorites too!

Kickstart

1 Banana + 1 Avocado + 5 Strawberries + 1 Carrot + Pineapple Juice

Morning Sunrise

1 Banana + ½ Mango + orange juice

Strawberry-Banana-Romaine 

1 cup strawberries   +   2 large romaine leaves  +  2 bananas    

Pear – Mint – Kale

sprig of fresh mint + 1 pear + 2-3 kale leaves     

Parsley Citrus

handful of fresh parsley + 1 orange + 1 banana

Red Devil

2 cups watermelon + 1/2 cup raspberries

Chocolate Monkey

1 banana +  1 tsp of cocoa powder + 2 tsp of honey

                      *this one works best with almond, coconut or rice milk

 

Basic Cleansing & Detox Protocol

The concept of detoxifying and cleansing your body has been around for hundreds of years, and has been used medicinally to promote the healing of many types of ailments.  Seasonally detoxifying gives your body a boost, allows for cell renewal, and will help you look and feel younger!

Why Detox?  Modern urban life is toxic by definition, but if your body is carrying more toxins than it is built to handle, your health will be at risk.  Many people live life at a fast, hectic, stressful pace, and rely on convenient and time-saving measures to feed and look after themselves.  Your body has its own detoxifying systems (liver, kidneys, bowels), and does an amazing job of removing wastes from your body.  However, if the volume of internal waste exceeds what it is able to safely process, these organs can be overwhelmed and not function properly.

When? At minimum I recommend doing a detox protocol seasonally, but many opt for making a detox part of their monthly or even weekly routine.   Our goal is to help you change your lifestyle to support detoxifying continually, and to lessen the toxic load on your body.  To plan your detox you need to find a time when your social and work calendar is not over-booked, and when you can give yourself the time for some additional rest.  Its often a good idea to start on a weekend, so that the bulk of the detoxifying can start before the typical work week begins.

How will you feel? After the program you should notice increased energy, clarity of thought, and quite often a subsiding of certain health concerns.  However, during the detox program some side effects are inevitable as your body is clearing itself of toxins.  They are generally nothing of great concern and a sign that the detox is working. Some symptoms you might experience are: furry tongue, headache, irritability, excessive elimination, flu/cold-like symptoms, skin eruptions, fatigue. Consult a health professional if you experience anything that concerns you.

The plan:  It’s simple – Stop overloading the body with harmful chemicals and give yourself proper nutrients to support healing and increase the elimination of chemicals. Avoid: smoking, alcohol, caffeine, candy, chocolate,  ‘extreme’ exercise (an intensity your body is not accustomed to).

7 day detox diet – the beauty of this program is that:

(i) ANYONE can do it

(ii) no special products are required

(iii) you can customize it to your comfort level and physiological needs depending on how ‘toxic’ you are

(iv) it can help to determine whether you have any food intolerances or allergies

(v) it provides great perspective on how you eat and your attitude toward food.

DAY 1 – liquids only (water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices,                      unsweetened herbal teas, vegetable broth, smoothies (dairy free)

DAY 2 – liquids and fruit only

DAY 3 – add raw vegetables

DAY 4 – add cooked vegetables and brown rice

DAY 5 – add beans, lentils, nuts and seeds

DAY 6 – add grains and live yogurt*

DAY 7 – add fish

Customize it: depending on how ‘toxic’ you are, or your interest level, this program can be implemented for anywhere from 7-30 days!  If you have never done a cleanse before, consider a simple 7 day program to see how your body responds. If you are more comfortable and confident with the restrictions, consider a lengthier program.  Although everyone can benefit from a 21 day cleanse, only you can determine what will work for you based on your level of commitment.  You might find that once you start with the first week, continuing on is easier than you think!

To create a lengthier cleanse, simply follow the food implementation protocol but extend the number of days.  For example, for a 14 day program follow the DAY 1 protocol (liquids only) for 2 DAYS, for a 21 day program follow it for 3 DAYS, for 30 day program follow it for 4 days..

Other Activities to Consider? 

Detoxification involves not only diet.  Various body and skin treatments help the general detox process and will enhance your results.  They can also be incorporated into your general lifestyle to continually boost your body.

1) Tongue brushing: every morning immediately upon rising, scrape your      tongue with a spoon repeatedly until clean (no white residue) then rinse with water.

2) Hot water with lemon first thing in the morning prior to eating anything.

3) Skin brushing before your shower; hydrotherapy while in the shower (alternating hot and cold).

4) Castor oil packs at night before bed (see handout), ideally combined with quiet breathing and positive visualizations.

Great Way to Get More Greens!

Dark green, leafy vegetables such as Kale, Collards, Spinach, and Chard are an abundant source of nutrients and should be consumed as much as possible.  Try using them in lieu of bread the next time you make a sandwich, creating a leaf ‘wrap’ in replacement of the bread.  If dining on these greens is new to you, consider starting with Spinach or Chard as they are the mildest flavoured (at least in my opinion!).

Once you have selected your filling, simply place it on the leaves, roll up similar to a tortilla and enjoy.  Another option if the leaves are small (or if you want to make several for an appetizer) is to place 1-2 TBsp of the filling on the leaves and serve…they should be easily eaten in a few bites!

Some suggested fillings:

~ sliced/shaved roast beef (from a reputable butcher…antibiotic and hormone-free)   + mustard + aged cheddar cheese

~ hummus + sprouts + shredded carrots

~ roasted red peppers + kalamata olives + cucumber (tossed with lemon & olive oil)

~ tuna/salmon/chicken salad + diced celery

Really ANYTHING you would put in a sandwich can be exchanged this way so experiment!