Start as you mean to go on…

Well, we’ve taken down the decorations and emptied out our fridges of indulgent leftovers from the festive season. Now is a good time to reboot our bodies and turn our thoughts to how we can maintain good health over the winter. The D word is often used (and sometimes abused) at this time of year. The key to detoxing successfully, and safely, is: gently does it. I’m not an advocate of strict fasting and intense cleansing at any time of year, but especially not in these chilly climates. Maybe in the warm and sunny comfort of Southern hemisphere countries, but here in the North, it’s just not advisable. We need nurturing, comforting, and gentle cleansing to keep us in tip top shape until Spring, when again, we can reassess our nutritional and wellbeing needs.

 

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Here are 5 simple tips to help you get your mornings off to a clean start, boosting your energy levels for each day ahead:

 

Dry body brushing

Before you jump in the shower, take a minute (that’s all it takes!) and a good quality natural bristle body brush, and brush dry skin from the feet, up the legs, torso and back towards the heart, and from the hands, up the arms, towards the heart. Make a figure of eight across the chest, and finish with some downward chest strokes towards the heart. This process boosts the lymphatic system which eliminates toxins from the body, removes dead skin cells and leaves you feeling awake and energised. Aim to do it every morning, and it’ll soon become part of your wake-up routine.

 

Love Lemons 

Make your first drink of the day a cup of hot water with a generous squeeze of lemon juice (about half a small lemon). Although acidic in its food form, lemon is actually incredibly alkalising once digested. Adding more alkaline foods into your diet – such as green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, citrus fruits, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic – all help to keep the body in balance. We generally eat too many acid-forming foods, like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains and mass produced meat and dairy, so cutting down on these and upping the alkaline foods will ease the body back into a state of balance.

 

Juice it

For breakfast, make a fresh juice or smoothie packed with antioxidant rich fruit and veg – try the Yogiz Get Your Green On recipe – an easy way to push out toxins and refuel with nutrients at the same time. As well as a cleansing juice, make sure you get enough protein in your breakfast. Adding a tablespoon of nut butter, half a ripe avocado and a good sprinkling of flax seeds to your smoothie will make it more of a meal. Alternatively, whip up some eggs and top with avocado, wilted spinach and/or salmon for a protein-packed, slow-release energy breakfast that will keep you satiated until lunch. Starting the day in a healthy way makes you more motivated to continue making positive health choices throughout the day.

 

 Get moving

Take an early morning walk; stretch out; breathe in; jump up and down; dance around; work up a sweat and feel the blood pumping. Just like dry body brushing, physical activity kick starts the lymphatic system into moving out any stagnant toxins, not to mention the cardiovascular, muscular and psychological benefits it brings.

 

Breathe

It sounds obvious, but sometimes we are in so much of a rush to get up and get on with our ‘to do’ lists that breathing gets pushed way down the priority list. By breathing, I mean actually taking notice of your breath and connecting with it.

Try rolling out of bed into a comfortable sitting position (I like sitting on a cushion on my yoga mat in a softly lit room), and just sit for 5 minutes, making your inhales and exhales longer and deeper until the flow of breath is the only thing you’re concerned with. You could say it’s a form of meditation. Starting the day by being present, and checking in with where you are during the day, will help you to stay calm and grounded.

 

 

Incorporating these 5 things into your daily routine is a sure fire approach to feeling lighter, brighter and more energised, ready for anything the day throws at you. Try it for a week and see how different you feel. We’d love to hear your feedback – leave a comment below or contact Yogiz here.

 

Keep your eyes open for more recipes and healthy tips coming soon on Yogiz.

What is health to you?

We are constantly informed by various media outlets, institutions and individuals what we should or shouldn’t be doing to stay healthy and live long, prosperous lives.

But what actually is health? More importantly, what is it to you?

Perhaps being healthy means being free of disease. That’s a good place to start. So how do you ensure you are building and maintaining a disease-free body?

By avoiding the most evident health-robbers, such as cigarettes, alcohol and processed sugar, you are setting the foundations for a health-promoting lifestyle. But how do you protect your body against those nasties that you just can’t avoid? Antioxidants are little powerhouses of nutritional defence that fight against free radical damage from environmental pollution, toxins and stress. They are found in all fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in the dark, rich coloured berries, red onions and leafy greens. So take heed with the ‘5 a Day’ message, which in the UK allows canned fruit and highly processed juices, and aim for at least five portions of fresh veg, with an extra two antioxidant-rich fruit portions. This is more in line with Australian public health guidance, and much better for your long term health.

You may feel physically fighting-fit if you play sports, lift weights or practice any form of exercise regularly. But how do you look after your mind? Mindfulness meditation advocates being present and giving your full attention to what you are experiencing right now. It is a powerful tool to enjoying and appreciating each moment, and prepares you to better deal with stressful situations that may arise.

Perhaps health to you means feeling ‘good’, as opposed to ‘not feeling 100%’. But this raises yet another question; What does 100% feel like?

So many of us adapt to the stresses and strains of modern living by accepting those niggles that prevent us from experiencing true health. A pinching tension in the shoulders; a dull ache across the forehead; feeling  ‘down’ and ‘grey’ without being able to pinpoint why; that persistent cough that just won’t go away, or a constantly runny nose that in the winter is put down to ‘a cold’, and in the summer becomes ‘allergies’.

What would it feel like to be free of all these background demons? To wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the day ahead with a huge store of mental and physical energy that doesn’t flag by mid-morning coffee time?

 

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From a naturopathic approach, ‘health’ means maintaining the delicate balance (homeostasis) of the body’s internal environment to ensure it is functioning optimally, from a cellular level all the way up to a systemic and whole body level. A naturopath would take a holistic approach when trying to bring the body back into balance after illness, or to maintain a healthy state. They would look at the whole person; their lifestyle, diet, past medical history and family health patterns. Step by step, a picture emerges that can be reworked and edited into something more vibrant and longer lasting than previous short-term attempts at health improvement.

Optimal health encompasses the best physiological functioning of the body, as well as our psychological and emotional wellbeing, from early development right the way through to natural aging.

This, my friends, is what real health should look like. It should be abundant, free-flowing and unstoppable. It should power everything you do, from personal goals, professional development and daily tasks, to kicking back and enjoying the simple things in life. Health should be our number one priority which fuels the lives we lead and the people we become. Let’s give our health some attention.

Check in with Yogiz regularly for news, recipes, videos and tips on all things healthy!