Let’s bring in this new year with positive change and practical resolutions!

I believe realistic health goals are one of the best ways to achieve results. Here’s some food for thought.

Catch More Zzz’s 

Got sleep guilt? It’s understandable. We’re a culture that prides ourselves on being busy – aka “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” However, James Maas, PhD explains that, “people devalue sleep and are completely unaware of what happens to them when they have a deficit. As a society we are so habituated to low levels of sleep that most of us don’t know what it feels like to be fully alert and awake. There’s a down side to this he says, as “sleep deficit or disruption can create wide-ranging havoc, compromising our immune system, causing inflammation, and damaging our genes.”

How much sleep do we really need? Well, it depends, says Maas. “While most people do well with seven and a half to eight hours, there are individuals who need less — or substantially more. “Some people find they need 10 hours,” says Maas, “and they can no more change that than they can change a size-9 shoe to a size 6. Women, especially, often need more sleep because of fluctuations in hormones, including testosterone, cortisol and melatonin during menstruation and pregnancy, and at the start of menopause. It’s ultimately in the genes.”

Maas suggests catching up on sleep by going to bed earlier, not sleeping in later. And make up the sleep over a number of successive days, not all at once. Here’s a few more Sexy Sleeping Secrets.

Floss Your Chops

Such a simple thing. Flossing your teeth prevents plaque, which creates a toxin that your body has to work hard to fight, ultimately freeing up your immune system to fight other ailments. Ideally, we should be flossing after every meal. If that’s sounds unlikely, aim for at least once a day. Plus, your mouth will feel cleanier and your teeth will be shinier! Already a flossing pro? Take it one step further and give Oil Pulling a try.

Try a New Grain

There’s still lots of hype around going grain-free. While some of us certainly can do well by this – I’m a proponent of choosing organic, gluten-free grains; as these grains lack the “gluey” gluten protein, often making them easier to digest. Buckwheat, millet + amaranth are three of my faves. They can be soaked and sprouted too. 

Eat Local Superfood

I love enjoying foods native to our land and believe that every continent has it’s own beneficial superfoods. Local foods have a unique nutritional make-up, which can provide us with what we need during that time and season. Elderberries and rose hips are two my favourite B.C. superfoods and they both make wonderful additions to a winter herbal tea.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

This is one of my favourite things. I believe expressing gratitude is one the most powerful ways to feel amazing and appreciate what you already have. We have the tendency to feel that we’re perpetually needing more – by acknowledging what we’re grateful for presently helps keeps things in perspective. If you want to start attracting positive things into your life —show your gratitude, appreciation and love for the people and things around you. 

Write down five things you’re grateful for each day and your life will change forever. — Happy Tapper 

Love What You Do

While you may not love everything about your day job – it doesn’t define you! On your time off enjoy what you truly love. Follow your passion, as you never know what can come of it. Maybe one day your hobby will turn into your dream job!

Go Greenalicious 

We all know green is good for us. Think of the beautiful colour or chlorophyll. Green foods cleanse the blood, detoxify the lymph and can help increase our energy. Some of my top greenlicious favourites include: cabbage, kale, sprouts, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, avocados, chlorella, sea vegetables + lots of herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro + rosemary. Aim to enjoy something green with every meal of the day.

Real Foods vs. Supplements

While I realize everyone has a unique constitution – not all of us need supplements. The other issue is the high level of processing many vitamin pills and powders endure. Just like many packaged food products, supplements can contain undesirable fillers, binders and genetically modified ingredients. The more processed the product – the more difficult it is for your body to absorb nutrients from. I prefer the use of whole, real foods. I also believe in consuming quality, and choosing local and fresh whenever possible.

Ferment It!

Incorporating more fermented foods into your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. Fermented foods help strengthen immunity, improve digestion and enhance vitamin + mineral absorption. Cabbage for example, is packed with cancer-fighting compounds, but turn it into sauerkraut, and you’ve got an even more powerful raw-food wonder. Sauerkraut the way your great-grandmother likely made it—fermented in a crock—is a probiotic powerhouse that can help promote digestive health, something that’s especially important during cold and flu season. After all, your gut is the base of your immune system.

The Power of your Mind 

We all know how powerful are thoughts are – they can literally be life changing. Most people believe that they feel or think a certain way because of their circumstances, not understanding the that their thoughts are creating those very circumstances, whether wanted or unwanted. Thoughts create reality. You have the ability to create the changes you want to see manifest in your life. Reality creation is nothing more than an “inside job.” When your mind wonders off into negative thought or repetitive worry, simply recognize – then let it pass. Focus on letting a positive thought enter and simply see where that might take you.