Now that we're already a month into 2017, those New Year resolutions could be falling to the wayside. Often we make large and overwhelming goals with the best intentions, however this isn't always the best recipe for following through.
Instead, why not incorporate some small changes that can add up to big positive changes in your life if you're consistent? Here are 5 of our top simple-but-effective life hacks to get started with.
Cut Out Refined Sugar
It's no secret that refined sugar and refined sugar filled products equal havoc for our health. Processed sugar (AKA the white devil) is both terrible for our brains and waistlines. Cutting this one "food" out of your diet can have a hugely positive impact on many aspects of your wellbeing, from mental state to energy levels and digestive health.
Removing refined sugar cuts out many unhealthy products by default, so it's easier to rule out bad options in general. Just make sure you read labels and watch out for added sugars under another name such as "glucose/corn syrup."
There are so many healthy sweetener alternatives today, that cutting out refined sugar the healthy way is easier than ever. If you want a calorie and carb free replacement that won't impact your blood sugar levels, stevia is a great choice.
Get Enough Sleep
Good quality sleep is important for regulating our appetite hormones, feeling good, having energy, bodily repair, and detoxification. Get at least 7-8 hours a night and refrain from staying up late as this can mess with our body’s circadian rhythms (natural body clock).
If you have trouble falling asleep, try not to watch TV or go on the computer right before bed, as the brightness stimulates receptors in our eyes that wake us up. Don’t eat too close to bedtime either, as if your meal is still being digested it can make it difficult to sleep properly. Still struggling? Have a relaxing bath with lavender oil or a calming herbal tea (chamomile or “sleepy time” varieties are great), to relax the mind and body before hopping into bed.
Keep Vitamin D Levels in Check
Vitamin D is an important factor in maintaining good health and in order for our bodies to produce enough, we need sunlight! As a general rule, spending an easy 10-15 minutes in the sun each day with a good area of skin exposed will help you keep your levels in check, so get outside on your lunch break, sit back and relax!
Once your daily sun dose is up, always use sun protection if you're staying out longer, such as wearing a hat, sunglasses and using a natural, toxin-free sunscreen.
Embrace "Meatless Monday"
Going vegan or vegetarian for just one day a week can make a huge difference to your health, giving your body a break from any chemicals and hormones found in meat and your digestive system a rest from digesting more difficult to break down animal protein sources.
With so many delicious plant-based recipes available today, it's a fun way to try new, delicious and healthy dishes too! Plus, it's not only great for your body, but also for helping reduce our carbon imprint. Win, win!
Be Grateful Daily
Studies have reported that people who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
Practising gratitude means taking time to especially focus on everything we are thankful for in our lives. You can do this easily and in a time effective way by simply going through 3 things that you are grateful for either first thing in the morning or before bed, or you may wish to use gratitude journaling and write it down.