If there is one universal religion that we all need to follow – it is good lifestyle. It will give us nourishment, presence and joy. I have many clients who tell me, “Oh I lost loads of weight and then I went back to original habits.” This usually happens when we can’t separate our well-being from ourselves. The fact that we have consistent weight problems or we see healthy habits as separate from our being is proof that we don’t see wellness as an integral part of ourselves.
There is a famous quote – you are what you eat. I would say – you are what you feel in your mind and body. If we want to feel good, then wellness should be a lifetime choice and habit. Lifestyle is a religion and that doesn’t have to mean that there can’t be indulgences. In fact, balance is a part of this lifestyle guideline too!
If this resonates with you, then let’s start with a simple guideline that can help you make wellness a lifetime habit. It will boost your immunity and naturally help you drop some inches while adopting a regime that is easy and appealing. This list consists of ‘avoidable’ and ‘integrate now,’ guidelines. Don’t worry you will be surprised at how practical and possible this regime can be!
The Avoidable: Elimination is always a good place to start. It helps clean up and create space for new stuff!
- Processed food: Our avocados aren’t made with green dye! We do not add preservatives in our soups. Our home food cooked with fresh ingredients or even quality food from restaurants, cooked with fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc. isn’t an issue. It is food-like substances, additives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners so on and so forth that food companies add to their food. So simply, put any ingredient that is complicated to pronounce or wasn’t heard of during our grandma’s days (basically wholesome and growing in a farm) can be comfortably avoided.
- White powders: Heard of cocaine? Sure, you have! Refined sugar and flour can be as lethal for you – these are highly addictive and impact the same area of the brain as heroin! No wonder so many people are fighting sugar cravings and battling emotional eating regarding these food items! Rather go for stevia, organic jaggery or honey that comes from plants and is healthy as well. You can make your own sweet dish with it and it taste equally good.
- Hydrogenated oil: Hydrogenation is a process by which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. This increases the shelf life of the products – most commonly found in margarine, baked food, fried food, coffee creamers to name some highly common ones!
- Some other common ‘avoidables’: MSG, also marketed as vegetable protein and natural flavouring, this one can potentially kill brain cells and the worst news is that it induces cravings, so we want more of it! Anything with a cute name such as ‘fruity something’ is not a fruit or even something you can buy at a drive through- best to stay away from these!
The ‘Integrate now’: We have now made space for what we need to add once elimination is done
- Superfoods morning: Starting mornings with great superfoods such as turmeric, black pepper, chia seeds, blue green algae such as spirulina, ghee, can be such an amazing energizer! Rooted in goodness, these are great for immunity, digestion, skin and energy. Most of these can be had with hot water that also helps with detoxification.
- Wholesome foods: Why is it so tough to eat what comes to us naturally with each season? From grains to dals and legumes to fresh vegetables, if brought from the right source can be so delicious. Creating a variety of dishes with these can be fun and exciting! The easiest question to ask is – if I go to a farm, will I see this? If yes, let’s bring it to our kitchens.
- Hydration: From eating our water (water rich vegetables and fruits) to just simply having loads of water can keep our 85% (we are 85% water) intact. It will help us manage hunger, have glowing skin, keep the bowel movements regular and feel light. As per Ayurveda, sipping hot water it is even better! It gets absorbed easily and eliminates toxins.
- Self-care routine: What we put in our mind is as important as what we put in our body. Daily meditation, breathing, journaling our thoughts, taking time to be in nature, cooking our own meals can all be some of the ways in which we release extra ‘mind weight’ and keep our subconscious clear to invite new possibilities. It also helps us to let go of the day and just be more present.
- Night routine: I believe that we should first fix the night routine before creating a morning one! It will help eliminate toxins from our brain, help us get baby sleep, relax our nervous system, and feel great at the end of the day! I love turmeric for morning and night routine but especially night! When mixed with good fat such as milk and made into ‘golden milk’ or just blended in hot water with black pepper, increases the bio-availability of turmeric. Its active compound, curcumin, is especially proven to have a many health benefits including being an immunity booster. Usually, turmeric gets rejected by the stomach and can be tough to absorb, so when we blend it with good fat or black pepper, stomach can take it in well. So, haldi doodh or hot water with turmeric and black pepper is a great ending to a beautiful day.
As you see, all of these are practically possible to integrate when done in baby steps. I swear by these. These habits have helped me make wellness a lifetime habit. We owe it to ourselves to live well, eat well and feel well – lifestyle isn’t a choice, it is a universal religion and language. Make wellness an integral part of who you are!
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