With [RE]NEW getting ready to start (registration closes Monday, Oct. 1, BTW), and as I've been getting into the mindset of a reset myself, it's had me thinking about some of the most valuable health tips or strategies I've figured out for myself over the years that I do regularly (some daily) because I know they make me feel awesome.
Now, here's the thing - big caveat here. These are the things that I know work for me and my body. And what I am not saying here is that these will work for you.
Everybody, and every body, is completely different.
And while there are some things like drinking more water, getting better sleep, eating vegetables, etc. that are pretty universal. There's another level that's specific to you.
That's what makes this crazy science of nutrition so fascinating (or maddening, depending how you look at it).
We all have a code. And it's up to you to figure out what yours is. YOU are the only one that can.
This is what we do in [RE]NEW, my 4-week program designed to help you reset your relationship with food, tune into your body and start feeding yourself on another level, where diets don't exist (for real).
OK, there's my plug. 🙂
Now, let's talk health tips / strategies.
5 Health Tips That Make Me Feel Awesome
1. I eat fruit first in the mornings.
It feels really good to me to start my day with a fruit heavy breakfast. Sometimes it's a smoothie, or what I call "fruit cereal" which is sliced up banana and berries with some coconut flakes. I do still get hungry a couple of hours later and then I have a snack like an apple with almond butter or some nuts or yogurt or more fruit to get me to lunch.
I've tried the high fat thing and it just doesn't feel natural to me first thing in the morning. My body really craves the fruit, I can actually feel my mouth water for it. So that tells me it's what my body really wants and needs in the first meal of the day.
2. I feel most satisfied with animal protein at lunch.
Lunch is when I prefer to have meat or any sort of animal protein. I notice I feel more satiated at the end of the meal and I don't catch myself lingering in the pantry or kitchen right after looking for something else to eat. For me, lunch is usually a big ol' salad (like you've probably seen all over my Insta feed) with a bunch of veggies (sometimes cooked and leftover from dinner) and a light dressing of EVOO + lemon + salt and pepper.
I think it's so interesting how everyone is different in what fuels their body best. For some meat is a non-negotiable, others thrive on strictly plants. What is it for you?
3. I sleep my best ever after an epsom salt bath.
This is pure magic. For me I know it's a good night's sleep when I don't even get up once to go to the bathroom and I wake up feeling a little like, "what the heck just happened." My sleep has been really interesting to follow on my health adventure because I've noticed it's gotten deeper, my dreams are more vivid (this is a really good thing for your health because it's how your mind and body work out and process everything from the day.... kinda like therapy), and I feel so much more rested.
Epsom salt is super rich in magnesium - the muscle relaxer mineral. It's great to soak in to soothe tired muscles (and just overall tired mamas). It relaxes ev-erey-thing. As your body absorbs the magnesium, the heat from the bath gets you sweating and it's a great little detox too.
To make: I run a hot bath and add 2 cups epsom salt (a little more if it's a big tub), and 6-8 drops Lavender essential oil. Then I get in and soak for 20 minutes, sometimes 30. I aim to do it 2-3x a week.
4. The more fruit and sweet veggies I eat, I crave sweets less.
This is a big one from [RE]NEW because I've found this to work for so many of my clients too. When you add in more naturally sweet foods and eat less artificially sweet foods (read: made with refined sugars) a couple of amazing things happen.
1.) You get that sweet taste from a much healthier, nutrient-rich source. Your body gets the nutrients it's craving (signaling to you with the sweet craving) and your sweet tooth gets what it's after. 2.) Over a little bit of time (about 2 weeks) your sweet tooth gets recalibrated and is more satisfied with a less dramatic of a sweet sensation. All of the sudden that strawberry tastes a lot sweeter than it did before. Greens and bitter vegetables taste less offensive too.
This is real. I see it happen over and over again. And I think it's one of the coolest, most empowering things ever. Join us in [RE]NEW and you'll see.
5. I'll take a swap, but don't tell me I can't have that...
If there's something I'm trying to avoid, say coffee (gasp!) for instance, I can handle it (read: I'm so much more pleasant to be around) if I swap my coffee out for something at least sorta close to being on the same level. At times it's been green tea, matcha, lemon water, and my latest which I just shared on Instagram: my mushroom adaptogenic concoction (if you want to learn more about this, let me know in the comments and I'll follow up with a more in-depth post about it.).
I've learned this major lesson over the years, it's SO much easier to change a habit than drop a habit. So I make sure to replace rather than remove. It's not always (OK, I'll be honest, it rarely is) a 100% even swap. The replacement can sometimes feel a little lacking, especially at the very beginning. But it's something, and it helps tremendously in getting over that hurdle until it becomes a new habit.
It took me years of trial and error to figure this stuff out for myself.
I know they may sound simple and some even pretty obvious, but like anything else, when you're deep in the weeds, going through it, it can be hard to put two and two together. And it can be hard to see things with an objective eye when your at the mercy of old habits, a sweet tooth, or the convenience of ordering a pizza....
I can tell you though, knowing and understanding these things about myself and how my body runs, has given me this sense of calm and certainty, that I now notice in places far beyond food.
When I follow my own health tips and strategies I feel better, have more energy, think more clearly, get more stuff done, and feel more joyful and get more out of life. I really wish I'd figured all this out a lot sooner.
I'm not perfect. I don't follow my own health tips - what I even know for certain is good for uniquely me - because well, that's life.
Life's always going to get in the way.
It's the irony of doing all of this to feel and live your best and then life derailing you all at the same time...
That part doesn't matter though, because when you know these things for yourself, you can always find your way back.
They're sort of like a trusty healthy compass. When I veer off track I know I can always whip it out to get me right back on track.
And I feel more confident drifting off that straight and narrow path. That's part of that certainty I mentioned earlier...
[RE]NEW helps you find your own 5+ strategies that will be your own compass, that you can whip out anytime.
What is it that makes you feel like your best, most energized self in the morning (without a crash in the p.m...)?
What kind of protein does your body need and what's the perfect amount for you?
What relaxes you, like really really relaxes you?
What do you crave often and what does it mean your body is telling you?
The answers to questions like these are part of your code.
If you're not quite sure what your answers are, just by reading this here, you're on your way...
Check out [RE]NEW, see how it works, and if you're into it, you should join us.
I'm curious now - what are your own health tips and strategies that work best for you?
Will you share them with us in the comments?
Like I said, every one is different and hearing what works for one person can spark something in another.
It's also just a lot more fun to figure all this out together, don't you think?
P.S. Registration for [RE]NEW closes Monday, Oct. 1. This is 4 weeks to hit the reset button on your habits and relationship with food. You'll learn how to tune into your body better so you can start feeding yourself on another level, where diets don't exist (for real). Get all the details and sign up here.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.