It is all in the planning
When we are talking about living healthy lifestyles it is important to note that it can take quite some planning to examine our habits and make changes, this being especially true in the initial stages.
People create habits, sometimes good, sometimes bad and improving one's health starts with making changes to our old habits by making good choices and in turn creating new and good habits. Any new choices that are working positively towards better health, no matter how small, are invaluable towards achieving a healthier lifstyle.
Steps you can make this week:
- Look in your pantry/ cupboard and in the refrigerator and throw out all the processed, sugary foods that you do not need in your body. If tempting food is there you will probably eat it at some stage . Often in vulnerable times you will consume it. Do not use your body as a rubbish bin, your body and health are special so feed yourself the right things and remove temptation.
- Look at where you purchase your food, what you will need and what day in the week you can shop. Plan where and when you can conveniently purchase your organic fruit and vegies and supplies. For some people this might be at their local supermarket, for others, a delivery service such as 'Organic Origins'. Where can you get your organic and or grain fed meat or fish? Fish is best eaten the day that it is purchased. What days can you pick up fish? What days does your ;local butcher or fish shop go to market? Fish needs to be avoided if it contains mercury and is not ideally farmed
- Learn to read labels so that you are checking you are buying optimally for yourself and family
- Plan out when you can fit in exercise so that it does happen and it becomes part of your daily routine. No matter how busy you are everyone can fit exercise in
- Plan your work life balance so that you have some relaxation time and do not stay up too late. Sleep is an important part of a health regime
- Plan your meals. This does not have to be rigid and flexibility may be necessary to accomodate everyone's individual daily circumstances. However having a rough idea in place can be very helpful.
When planning for a healthy lifestyle as a family, plans need to be adjusted regularly depending on each family member's needs and the age of any children. Some nights can be busy with after school activities and so, simple meals such as soup or omelettes might work well. Fish for dinner might be an option for a day when you know you can purchase fresh fish and eat it that same evening. If both parents are working taking it in turns to cook or having a set night to cook dinner might help to keep things running on track and avoid 'quick fix' temptations. Precooking casseroles that just need heating up is also another great idea for those busy nights. At home, I like to have nights when the kids help with cooking or even fully prepare a meal and this for us is often on a Friday or Sunday night. Precooking biscuits, soups, muffins, bread or banana loaf provides healthy lunch options. It can be very usefgul to sit down as a family and discuss the healthy plan so everyone can contribute and work together.
Families with young babies changes routine in a big way. Sometimes the evenings are tiring so preparing meals in the morning whilst baby is sleeping can really help the day go more smoothly.
Shift work can not only effect sleep but our whole circadian rhythm. Whilst shift work is on it is like a whole different lifestyle of sleeping eating and exercise. Plan ahead for the shift with meals precooked and exercise late afternoon when you are awake. Have thick blockout curtains so you can sleep well in the day. Many shift workers need melatonin to sleep and Vitamin D. Once awake it is a great idea to get outside in the fresh air and sunlight. Family members of shift workers also need to plan for this is when eating alone wrong foods are consumed like toast for tea or skipping meals.
Elderly does not mean you are unwell. Everyone at different ages has different stamina and different abilities.
I saw a lovely couple today at the clinic who are nearly ninety - still independent, still walking, still cooking for themselves and even have a vegie patch. Yet others need meals delivered to try and guarantee nutrition. If you are in a retirement village make sure meals are nutritionally balanced and you do not eat to many sweets or gluten ideally. There is a great book called the "Blue Zones" and in this book they talk of people over a hundred still exercising daily and eating well. For some It may be easier to get groceries delivered. Another observation is that many of the healthiest older people I consult consume raw veggie juice daily.
Living alone, whether it be a young student, or an older person, is one of the more challenging situations. It takes discipline and planning and serious focus to keep a healthy diet and lifestyle. Yet it can work and does work with planning. I definitely encourage the throwing out of temptational foods and planning meals for a week ahead. Why - you may ask - because if you are tired, bored, lonely, eating food and sitting infront of the tv or computer become your life. The best people at healthy living alone do a night/day of baking and freezing soups and casseroles and stocking up on raw foods. They exercise in groups so they are commited to go and make the effort. Try not to buy things for visitors unless you encourage the visitor to take it home - once again the temptation is there. Juice regularly and go to bed on time.
If you would like to discuss your plan with your practitioner please bring it in to your appointment. Or ask your practitoner to give you ideas for a individual plan for your individual situation. It is all about making choices. See what you can change this week and see how you feel.
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