Over the last few years my husband and I have been on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle. Not just diet, but our entire way of living. Our motivation for this came from several different areas. Overall health, weight management, to build muscle mass, fertility, sleep, mental health, and just an increased sense of happiness and peace. There are so many great reasons for a person to shift their health into a more positive direction. We have tried all kinds of different things: Ketogenic, paleo, P90X, yoga, pizza diet, being wanderers and being secure in our faith. You name it, we tried it.
Along our journey to be the very best versions of ourselves as human beings; we’ve researched a lot about food, clean-eating, ketogenic lifestyles, and the like. We also asked our good friends and family to share their knowledge with us about the healthy lifestyles they live. We took all this information and compiled it to build a routine that helps us to live the lifestyle we’ve always wanted. I have listed the sources of our research at the end of this post for you to check out; each website is extremely informative.
Kevin and I have chosen to stick with a ketogenic lifestyle. We have tried so many different things and we have decided that this is what suits our bodies the best. The foods that we put into our body have a great effect on our quality of life, and we have come to recognize how important this is to us. While in ketosis we feel our very best mentally, physically and emotionally. This is what works for us, but we encourage you to do your research. Talk with your family/friends and/or a nutritionist, and try different things. Find what is most convenient for your lifestyle and something you enjoy doing.
Continue reading and I will share with you some of the changes I have made in my life. I have seen and felt my body and mind change in so many positive ways and couldn’t be happier.
1.Wake up with water. Every morning when I wake up I pour myself a nice cold glass of water with a squeezed lemon slice. Although the lemon is not a keto food, I still add it because of its health benefits. I just keep it to a minimum. You shouldn’t just drink water in the morning though. According to the Institute of Medicine the average male should drink 15 cups of water a day, and the average female should drink approximately 11 cups daily.
-Increases your metabolism
-Gives you clearer skin
-Detoxifies your body
-Reduces stress levels
2.Eat lots of greens. When I say greens I mean leaves. So things like Kale, Chard, Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula and Baby Greens. During your trip to the grocery store, concentrate on picking up dark greens. The darker the better. My husband and have been graced with a beautiful garden this year, laden with fresh veggies and lots of dark leafy greens. If you are able to grow your vegetables fresh and organically, this is the best! Greens represent a low caloric, convenient, nutrient-dense source of vitamins and minerals that we might otherwise have a hard time obtaining.
-Packed with antioxidants
-Full of vitamins and minerals
-Reduce risk of cancer
-Reduce risk of heart disease
3.Avoid the middle isles. According to www.thankyourbody.com, about 80% of the food on supermarket shelves today we did not eat 100 years ago. Eat real food people! I cannot stress this one enough. If it came from a plant or an animal (organic, free range) eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t eat it. Processed and pre-packaged foods are filled with sugar, harmful chemicals, trans-fats and toxins. What are the benefits of avoiding these foods?
-Helps fight chronic disease
-Regulates you blood sugar, helping you to avoid fatigue inducing blood sugar spikes, thus feeling more energetic
-Weight loss, reduced inflammation
-Supports healthy cell function
-Supports mental health
4.Always eat breakfast. Nutritionists advise that you eat breakfast every morning within two hours of waking. Doing so is just a healthy habit to form, and it can actually have a great effect on your daily health and mood. It’s necessary to eat a healthy meal in the morning to fuel your body and brain. This helps us to concentrate and be productive throughout the day.
-Reduced risk for cravings and overeating later in the day
-Body consumes more vitamins, minerals and fibre throughout the day
-Boosts your metabolism
-Reduces chance of diabetes and heart disease
5.Get some sunshine. Not only does sitting in the sun feel good but the right balance can have lots of benefits for the human body. Sunlight cues a certain area in the brain that releases serotonin. Low levels of serotonin can have an effect on our mood (amongst other things), and can cause sunlight deprivation. This is known as a disease called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression. I suffer from this. If you also experience this I highly recommend light therapy. I have a special light box that is designed to stimulate the brain to make serotonin. It makes a great beauty light as well 🙂
-Beneficial for overall mental health
-Provides body with vitamin-D, keeping bones strong
-Moderate amount of sun has preventative benefits of cancer
-May help treat certain skin conditions
-Provides the body with a fresh, healthy glow
6.Get proper sleep. Adequate sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. It’s benefits go way beyond boosting your mood and banishing dark under-eye circles. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults (age 26-64) should aim to get approximately 7-9 hours per night. They also state that avoiding stimulants like alcohol or caffeine, having a sleep schedule, and exercising regularly has a positive effect on your quality of sleep. Sleep is a vital indicator to overall health and wellbeing.
-Reduces risk of cravings and overeating
-Improved cognitive brain function
-Lowers stress levels
7.Meditation and prayer. Our species has been praying/meditating for as long as we have been able to contemplate our existence. We are more likely to lose our cool or engage in poor behaviours when we are mentally exhausted. Prayer and meditation keep us healthy, whole and balanced so that we can be the best version of our selves. So be intentional and just let yourself have a moment. Researchers and Scientists have discovered that prayer and meditation have many positive effects on the human body, spirit, and mind.
-Help you to feel connected and whole
-Increases compassion and understanding
-Helps to overcome turmoil and pain
-Increases peace and happiness
8.Exercise daily. As if you didn’t already know this one. But sometimes it can be so hard to get motivated to get moving. Another reason to make some healthier changes in your life is that it will increase your motivation and things like exercising will become easier, and more fun, to do. The Mayo Clinic recommends a healthy adult aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This could be as simple as walking. If you have a specific goal in mind, such as weight loss or building muscle mass, you may need to exercise more.
-Reduce risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
-Improves mental health and mood
-Strengthens your muscles and bones
-Increases life span
9.Journal or blog on a regular basis. Evidence proves that expressive writing can be a route to healing emotionally, mentally, spiritually and psychologically (referred to as word processing). Journaling can lead you into a place of mindfulness. Past and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment when you actively engage with your thoughts. Journaling is an ancient tradition dating back to 10th century Japan. I use my blog as a form of journaling and I have achieved great healing through it. Also, a great way to keep track of your goal setting and achieving is by regularly tracking your progress via a journal or a blog.
-Improves communication skills
-Aids in ability to perceive and manage your emotions
-Sparks your creativity
-Positively impacts physical well-being
-Know yourself better
10.Practice gratitude. Sometime during your morning routine create a short gratitude list. Ponder on 3-4 things daily that you are grateful for. I also recommend everyone read the book ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. The book is essentially a year-long journey of compiling God’s everyday blessings. Ann gives readers a template for finding joy in the midst of our busy lives. When we give thanks for the life we have today, we realize that we are living the life we’ve always wanted. Practising gratitude lets us reflect upon all the good in our lives and brings deep and lasting happiness.
-Improves psychological health
-Enhances empathy and reduces aggression
-Helps you to become more open-minded and optimistic
-Helps you to feel connected
Try some of these out for a week or two and see how they change your life; and please be sure to share your experiences with me!
Sharing this experience with my husband has also been a godsend. Since we’ve been married we have been able to team up and build the life we have always dreamed of, together. Having a partner make these changes alongside you can really help to keep you accountable, motivated and on track. We haven’t done things perfectly, but when we do mess up we can laugh it off and move forward together. It’s about being a better person in some small way today, than we were yesterday. Small steps everyday.
Our bodies are temples, and we only get one; so treat it the absolute best you can. Fill it with healthy nutritious foods and beverages, and be kind and gentle with your spirit and soul.
One Love ☮