Doing the basic, the fundamentals, right, is the best kept secret about longevity. I work on this foundation with my clients from Day 1 and I encourage them to take action EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. One habit at a time. What really matters is not what you do every now and then but what you do every day. You may have a long list of things to work on or just a couple of aspects to improve. No matter what, set your priorities straight. Celebrate what works well and focus on what needs to be improved. Do not get overwhelmed, go at your own pace.
What are some of the most important fundamentals that almost everyone needs to optimize? Whether we are experts or just beginners in our health journey, prioritizing these aspects will take you a long way:
1. Eat your dark leafy greens: these are like health treasures… full of anti-cancer properties, great for brain health, full of fiber and believe it or not, very satiating.Whatever you like, spinach, broccoli, swiss chard, kale, brussels sprouts… eat them, everyday!
2. Drink plenty of water: great to combat hunger, avoid headaches, stay alert, show a glowing skin and many other benefits. Minimize or eliminate alcohol (sorry about this), which interferes with weight loss and sleep, and affects cognitive health, cancer development and so many other disease dynamics.
3. Have healthy fats: this is the secret for healthy everything: brain, heart, weight;this is particularly important for women, hormones are built on fat, and on cholesterol! Yes… cholesterol. But we need the right fat, monounsaturated fat: olive oil, avocados, omega 3s, nuts, seeds.
4. Incorporate superfoods in your diet, daily! The most nutritious foods in the world create magic: blueberries, flaxseeds, goji berries, mushrooms, garlic, maca, collagen protein, asparagus, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, legumes, olives, berries, green tea, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and so many others…
5. Watch those (refined) carbs: it all depends on your carbohydrate tolerance but as a general rule, decrease all the white stuff (white flour, rice and pasta) and sugar and go for the whole grains (if you can tolerate them), but in moderation.
6. Eat lean protein, grass-fed and organic whenever possible. Another great source of nutrition to maintain a healthy weight, feel satiated and build a healthy muscle tone. I include legumes here.
7. Rest your body from food at times!! We can’t be eating all the time… I know some health practitioners support fasting in some radical ways. I would say, start by fasting 12-14 hours every night and you will have accomplished something: your cells will be repairing (via autophagy), insulin sensitivity will be improved and you will be burning fat.
8. Find exercise that you like and do it on a regular basis. You will be leaner, stronger, happier and smarter! Also, exercising outdoors may be beneficial for your vitamin D level!
9. Master Stress Management. Find ways to actively relax, such as meditation, breathing, gratitude journaling. But also, playing with kids, pets, having a massage, smells delicious produce, essential oils, dancing, singing. Stress is inevitable, it will always be there,what matters is 1) how we respond to it and 2) how we de-stress when we need it.
10. Try to sleep well every night. Find a routine and the number of hours that work for you. Remember that supplements such as magnesium and chamomile tea may help. Lavender oil may also be useful. Leave those ruminating thoughts outside of the bedroom, write them down and clear your mind.
11. Find your tribe and spend time with them! One of the best kept secrets for longevity is spending time with family and friends. Cherish them, love them up, share your thoughts with them, your health will benefit tremendously.
12. Love what you do or find work you love. It doesn’t mean you need to quit your job! Learn to enjoy what you do every day as a job, look at things from different perspectives, find different projects, various teammates. BUT if you decide to go after your passion no matter what, “take the bull by the horns” and make the most of it, you will have achieved a real dream, stay on it. The key thing here is to find your purpose in life, which is key for brain health and overall happiness.
If you need some help implementing these recommendations, please schedule a consultation with me and I will be delighted to help you optimize your health.
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If you have any questions about how you could benefit from Functional Medicine applied to health coaching, please schedule an initial consultation with me. During this session we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals.