To get the new year off to a good start I have decided to put together some simple Wellness Tips each day for the month of January - here is the tips from Week 1 - enjoy!
Wellness Tip #1
So it's January 1st and a lot of us would have had health on our minds for what we want to improve in 2017 ... and it all might seem a little too hard today. I'm a big believer in the idea that little changes or additions to our days can all add up and lead to improved wellness and wellbeing - this is why I'm doing a Wellness Tip for each day this month.
I've started with the beautiful and simple Dandelion - and this little tip wouldn't going astray for those that indulged with a little extra drinks last night.
People say that roasted dandelion tea is like coffee - those people who say this don't love coffee - it is black and it is bitter, you can add your choice of milk to it to tone down the flavour as well.
Wellness Tip #2
Cacao isn’t the only thing the old Aztecs enjoyed that we too can benefit from – Chia seeds, from the plant Salvia hispanica are little nutritional powerhouses and something I love popping into my morning smoothie. So often our breakfast doesn't include enough good protein so to me this is an easy addition. I also love them for their fibre content – and getting good fibre in helps our gut function and ultimately our poo.
I do approach the inclusion of chia seeds with people with digestive issues gently – so if you do have some issues (IBS, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc) then start small.
They come in white and black/brown colours – the nutritional benefits I believe are the same, I personally like the white just in case they get stuck in my teeth!
Wellness Tip #3
Wellness is not just about what we eat it's also about our mental health and wellbeing.
A lot of us are back at work today (or at home with partners back at work) and things can often be a little blah getting back into the swing of things. I love this idea I saw by Elizabeth Gilbert ages ago - she has a giant jar that she places a little note in every night on something that made her happy today - how wonderful (& easy) is that!?
Even on our crappiest days there is always something that brought a little light - was it a cup of coffee? Time with family? A smile at the shops? Being lucky enough to drink tap water? It takes only 30 seconds to write it down - I like the jar idea but you can also write it in a journal or even on your phone (not as romantic but you need to do what works for you).
Wellness Tip #4
Gut health really is a big deal - more and more research is supporting the intrinsic link between it and other diseases or imbalances in our bodies.
Antibiotics don't pick sides and therefore attack all the bacteria in our gut - further gut dysbiosis can lead to a really compromised immune system and can have a knock on effect to other parts of your body - stomach pain, low mood, bad skin, constantly sick, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea ... the list can go on.
I recommend people who need to take antibiotics to have probiotics as well - just take them away from the antibiotics so you're getting the most benefit from them.
Also look to include probiotic foods into your diet as well - that way you get a good balance of different probiotic strains into your gut.
Wellness Tip #5
Detoxing is obviously the flavour of the month at the moment - whilst it is something our wonderful bodies do naturally we can often do things to help it along.
Dry skin brushing is an easy way to help support detoxification - from the outside (removes dead skin cells and helps support external elimination of toxins) and from the inside by stimulating our lymphatic system and blood flow.
Do this before a shower and make sure your movements are directed towards your heart - it's good to start at your feet and use long stroking movements as you work your way up.
Wellness Tip #6
I'm not a yoga instructor so for proper guidance on what yoga poses are appropriate for you please speak to one but from my experience I love this pose and always do it supported (with a small towel placed under my butt.
This pose is called Viparita Karani (or Legs up the Wall pose if you're like me) - it's benefits include supporting anxiety, depression, calming the mind, helping with digestion, swollen ankles, headaches and more!
I used to love this pose when I travelled a lot for work - long flights and different time zones can cause havoc on your body and this pose was easy and worked well for me.
Wellness Tip #7
I am a massive fan of lemon water of a morning - I don't do it all the time but always feel better when I do.
I like to add a little bit of boiling water to the bottom of a cup, slice up a lemon in 4-6 sections (depends on the size of the lemon and how lemony you want your water). I then squeeze the lemon piece into the cup and throw it in as well (why not) and then top with filtered water. As I mention above recommend using a straw so there is no risk to damaging your tooth enamel (and it will keep your dentist happy too).
This simple drink of a morning helps kickstart everything along, and after being at rest all night your body sometimes needs that gentle help and encouragement to start!