There are little things that we can do in our daily life that can really improve our health. The tips below can make a huge impact, even though they don't require much effort. I hope you can adopt some or all of these into your health regimen. I have and they have made a huge difference on how I feel everyday!
1) Upon waking up drink one litter of water
We seem to always overestimate the amount of water we drink. Drinking 64 oz of water right after you wake up, gets half of your water intake out of the way. It also makes you eat less calories for breakfast because you the water makes you feel full. There are other benefits to this habit I learned from Karyn Calabrese (have you seen her? The woman is 70 and looks 30!). Your body has been fasting for 8 hours. Do you really want to break this fast with a bunch of sugar in a pancake? Or shock your system with a heavy fatty meal? Instead, drink water. Your cells will feel hydrated and your skin will say thank you. This will also set the tone for the rest of the day helping you make healthier choices later. To make things easier for you: Fill a water bottle the night before and just leave it by your bedside. When you wake up start sipping! Don't eat till you are finished.
2) Add a green smoothie to your morning routine everyday.
I love green smoothies. I feel like they are the most amazing invention. A green shake means that even if you don’t love greens you can flood your system with all of the micro-nutrients it needs. My teenage son is extremely picky, but he will have a green shake in the morning. It is an easy and delicious way to get your greens if you know how to make a great green shake. Lots of disease is caused by nutritional deficiencies (we eat excessive amounts of animal products and not enough fruits and veggies). These deficiencies also cause cravings. A Food craving is the way your body asks you for more nutrients. However, instead of asking for broccoli, your body is programmed to ask for foods that create pleasure (think fats and sugar). If you feed your body the nutrients it needs every morning, you will be less likely to have cravings. Once you get into a routine, you will find that the choices you make after having a green shake are also much healthier. I make a 32 oz green shake every morning and drink it all morning. It is delicious and healthy. See the recipe and outline for green shakes on the plant-based diet 101.
3) Eat your main meals in dessert plates
Every time I travel to Brazil I lose a lot of weight without changing my diet. Sometimes, I lose weight even when my diet is not necessarily healthy. Then it dawned upon me- my mothers plates and glasses are super tiny in comparison to the ones I use in the US. In fact plate sizes in the US have increased by almost 23% since the 1900s. If you travel to South America or Europe you will notice they eat in much smaller plates. If you get a drink in any restaurant in South America or Europe, you will also notice that their small is about 8 ounces - compared to the 16 ounce standard small in the US. Studies in the field of psychology show that our decisions on how much we eat have little to do with hunger levels, but instead are related to the size of our plates. Do yourself a favor and on 2016 serve yourself food using a dessert plate instead of your regular plates and drink from smaller glasses.
4) Adopt a chlorella tablet habit
If you know me, you have seen me pop and chew 6 chlorella tablets at various times throughout the day. Chlorella stabilizes blood sugar levels and provides nutrition, effectively allowing you to gain nutrients your body needs while kicking all your cravings for empty calories to the curb. Chlorella contains 19 essential amino acids and is very efficient at detoxifying your body. It contains vitamins and antioxidants including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, PABA, and inositol. You can find these at your local health food store or buy them at amazon like I do myself. The link is on the left.
6) Bracing for a tighter your core
When I was young my mother used to tell me to always keep my belly sucked in. I thought she was crazy, but little did I know she was onto something. Nowadays, I work with a personal trainer who has taught me the value of bracing. Bracing is to create tension in your core and keep it constant throughout the day. This is different than sucking in the belly, instead think of Bruce Lee creating tension in his body to avoid getting punched. Ok a bit less tension and you are there. Now hold it all day... Or at least hold it when you remember and during exercise. You will get stronger and leaner and you won't even notice it.
Found any health hacks you plan on adopting? Now read the plant-based 101 here!