Change doesn’t happen all at once. To help plot your course to wellness, we’ve put together a list of 45 things you can do to further your journey to a healthier lifestyle this year.
Select two or more healthy habits to put into practice this week; next week, add a few more or devise your own list. Each week consider what more you can do or change to improve your lifestyle and your health.
1. Drink one or two glasses of spring water first thing every morning.
2. Eat protein instead of grains for breakfast.
3. Drink organic coffee, to avoid ingesting pesticide residue.
4. Cook with coconut oil, instead of canola or corn oils.
5. Make your own salad dressings with olive oil. Most commercial varieties contain soy and sugar.
6. Consume apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar (use that for cleaning!).
7. Steam vegetables instead of microwaving.
8. Consume the rainbow—eat a variety of fresh, colorful vegetables.
9. Eat sprouted grain bread or homemade sourdough bread.
10. Use stevia or coconut sugar as a sweetener instead of artificial sweeteners, or refined sugar. Avoid food products containing high fructose corn syrup.
12. Eat grass-fed meat and pastured, organic eggs.
13. Season foods with sea salt instead of highly-refined table salt.
14. Drink sparkling water instead of diet soda or sugary sodas.
15. Wash the outside of melons before slicing to remove possible mold and bacteria. See our tips on washing fruits and vegetables.
16. Store food in glass instead of plastic containers.
17. Buy eggs, nut milks, broths, and frozen vegetables in waxed paper boxes or cartons instead of plastic.
18. Cook in ceramic or cast iron instead of nonstick-coated pans.
19. Eat wholesome meals prepared at home, instead of fast food to establish healthy eating habits as a family.
20. Replace your toothbrush monthly.
21. Practice oil pulling one or more times a month for oral health.
22. Bathe and shave with all-natural, chemical free soaps and shampoos.
23. Remove make-up with almond oil. Rub extra virgin coconut oil into your skin daily.
25. Burn beeswax candles instead of artificially-scented candles.
26. Make your own air-freshening spray or diffuse essential oils into your home to avoid environmental toxins of plug-ins and artificial sprays.
27. Once a week sanitize cleaning sponges by soaking them in distilled white vinegar. Replace sponges every few months or at first sign of wear, mold, or staining.
28. Hand wash clothes instead of sending them to a dry cleaner, when possible. Clothes picked up from the dry cleaner should be hung outside for a day or more to remove chemical vapors. Remove plastic first. Or better yet, ask your dry cleaner to skip the plastic wrap.
29. Use cedar coat hangers, sachets and shelving to protect your clothing from moth damage instead of mothball products which release harmful chemical vapors into your home.
30. Maintain good posture at all times. Avoid rounding your shoulders and leaning your head or neck forward. Position your computer monitor so that it is eye level. Sit back in the chair.
31. See a chiropractor for a posture and spinal analysis (when things return to normal).
32. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, stand every hour, stretch and do at least one exercise. See why sitting is the new smoking!
33. Jump on a rebounder daily. Watch your mood improve!
34. Strive for 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day.
35. Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime.
36. Sleep in a dark, cool room.
37. Sleep on your left side with a good, cervical support pillow. Your head and neck should be level with the rest of your body when lying on your side.
38. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night.
39. Wear shoes with good arch support. Give yourself a daily foot massage.
40. Take vitamin D daily.
41. Take probiotics daily.
42. Ask your natural health care provider which supplements and vitamins you need daily.
43. Adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of going on a crash diet to lose weight and improve your health.
44. Say a positive affirmation each morning, like these.
45. Volunteer to help others. Give what you can to others in need.
Here’s to a healthier you!
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.