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If you’re reading this, perhaps you crave a more orderly environment, or maybe you’re thinking of making some small changes in your life that will give you a sense of making a fresh start.
In that spirit let me offer some suggestions to “spring clean” your life, your diet, your mind & your body!
Try one of these tips for your own personal jump start.
Focus on the positive. Give yourself credit by listing resolutions you made in the past and reflecting on those you actually kept. This can help you see the long slow pattern of change, and remind you that change is indeed possible. We tend to remember our failures, but we can learn to build up resiliency and upbeatness by seeking out the successes.
Simplify. Even cleaning out one junk drawer feels good. Or make a list (mine is called “The Big Declutter List”), going room to room in your imagination. Just putting on paper all the things you intend to do to simplify your environment feels refreshing, even if you only accomplish a tiny bit at a time. Taking the idea a giant step further, write down where your time goes. That’s the first step to cutting down on inessentials so you can focus better on what’s truly meaningful to you.
Get physical. Try out a new form of physical exercise, or do the same thing differently. There are so many ways to making walking around your neighborhood more fun, for example, whether you’re walking with a kid or a mate or a pal or by yourself. One I like is what I call a “What’s new” walk. Pay attention to details and notice every single thing that’s new or different to you, such as a new car in front of your neighbor’s house, or a cat on a roof, or a box in the trash that shows someone bought a new coffeemaker.
Change the music. Ask your friends on social media what they’re currently listening to. Give it a chance and try to grasp why some people are aficionados of that form. You can do the same with movies or books.
Revamp your workspace. Does your workspace, at home or at work, reflect your current goals? Subtract something old, add something new.
Pick one small habit to change. Whether it’s checking your email constantly or leaving your pleasure reading until you’re too sleepy to enjoy it, or something related to your eating habits or some relationship issue, even working on changing one small habit is bound to shake up your awareness.
During the long winter it’s easy to fall into poor eating habits, when fresh, local produce is a distant memory and comfort foods become the norm. Making matters worse, your training likely tapered off during the colder months. If you’ve emerged from hibernation feeling lethargic and heavy, now is the time to spring-clean your diet.
But “spring-cleaning” doesn’t mean restricting yourself to juice cleanses and detox fasts. “It’s about going back to basics with whole, minimally processed foods that will prepare your body for the boost in spring training. Freshen up your diet with easy changes that will kick-start your training and improve your health.
Cut Out Sugar
Cleaning up your diet starts with scouring your kitchen for items laced with added sweeteners. A report in the American Journal of Public Health followed nearly 5,000 men and women over 30 years and found that participants’ calorie intake from added sugars increased by about 50 percent during that time period. As sugar consumption increased, so did waist measurements. Sweeteners deliver empty calories and encourage overeating. Both of which lead to weight gain.
Too much of the sweet stuff has been linked to an increase in disease risk, including diabetes. Natural sugars in dairy, vegetables, and fresh or unsweetened dried fruit don’t count as added sugars. But corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, and other sugar impersonators in yogurt, cereals, granola bars, and even pasta sauces certainly do.
Scan ingredients on packaged foods and choose those with little if any added sweeteners. Replace sugary breakfast cereals, flavored yogurts, and reduced-fat peanut butter (which often swaps fat for sugar) with steel-cut oats, plain yogurt, and natural nut butter.
After a winter full of stews and roasted vegetables, you may be craving fresher-tasting raw foods—and that may help you lose weight. Cooking increases the amount of calories your body absorbs from food. That’s because heat breaks down cell membranes in food, making more calories available for absorption. It also makes digestion easier, so you don’t burn as many calories digesting. The implication is that a serving of raw carrots and sashimi salmon may contain fewer calories than the same weight of roasted carrots and grilled fish. Raw food requires extra chewing, which gives your brain a chance to register fullness, so you’re less likely to overeat, too.
Bolster your meals and snacks with more raw edibles. Top your (cooked) chicken or fish with a raw vegetable salsa. Replace flour tortillas with lettuce or collard greens. Snack on raw nuts and baby carrots.
Sweep away the dull winter with spring’s colorful fruits and vegetables. Eating a rainbow of foods is a great way to load up on fiber, vitamins, and other disease-fighting compounds. The pigments that give fruits and vegetables their colors are vital antioxidants. Runners need these antioxidants to combat exercise-induced oxidative stress that can impact recovery. The more colors you eat, the better.
Include three or more colors in each meal and one or two colors in snacks. Scramble eggs with spinach and red bell pepper. Add strawberries and apricots to green salads.
Drinking water during the colder months is not always appealing, so fluid intake tends to suffer. But with long runs in warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to take hydration seriously again. Dehydration can impact your metabolism, leave you sluggish, and can mask itself as hunger. But avoid drinking your calories.
A good guideline for anyone is to consume .5 ounce of fluid per pound of body weight each day plus extra fluid during and after exercise. Replace sugary lattes and sodas with green or herbal tea, coconut water, seltzer, and unsweetened iced tea. And load up on water-rich produce, such as lettuce, celery, and fruits.
Get in the Kitchen
Eating at restaurants drains your wallet—and can add pounds to your waist. Even nutrition labeling on many restaurant menus isn’t doing much to slash the calories we inhale. By prepping your own meals you can sidestep calorie bombs, improve portion control, and pack meals and snacks with nutrient-dense whole foods.
Create a weekly meal plan so you’re less inclined to eat out or dial for takeout. Get excited about cooking again. Try a new recipe from a healthy cookbook. Buy a new kitchen gadget that you can’t wait to try, or shop at a spring farmers’ market for inspiring local ingredients.
Detox Your Colon
With additives in our food, pesticides on our crops, and pollution all around us, many might say we live in a toxic age.Sometimes all that toxic buildup can take its toll on the colon, which negatively affects digestion and overall health. When your colon is backed up with toxic material, your entire body becomes sluggish and unable to perform its day-to-day tasks. Luckily, your body does a good job detoxifying itself on a regular basis; however, some toxins require some help to facilitate removal. Helping your body detoxify itself isn’t too difficult when you stop and think about it. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are two of the most effective strategies. But, sometimes we need a bit more when it comes to toxins, many of which can easily store themselves in the colon. So, if you think you need a colon cleanse, or you just want to look into the idea, don’t put it off. Here are five great benefits of colon cleansing you should know
–Improves Digestion and Prevents Occasional Constipation
Occasional constipation can make for poor digestion and vice versa. When digestion is impaired, and constipation ensues, waste products can linger in your body. This whole process can lead to the inability to absorb many of the nutrients you’re taking in, leading to a lack of energy and hampered immune function. Detoxing your colon allows those undigested waste products to be pushed through your system and also puts some ease in your bowel regularity. Since lingering waste can breed bacteria, this purge clears the way for good nutrient absorption, thereby supporting good health.
Increases Energy and Concentration
Purging your colon of toxins allows energy from the intestines to focus elsewhere, meaning your energy levels could improve. Nutrition is crucial to mental health, and weak absorption of nutrients may lead to loss of concentration. In addition to having more energy, absorption of crucial vitamins responsible for mental clarity is improved—meaning concentration is supported.
Jumpstarts Weight Loss
Low-fiber food is often part of an unhealthy diet. Without adequate fiber, digestion and the body’s ability to feel “full” are affected. Low fiber foods also linger much longer in the gut. When you cleanse the colon, this matter is flushed from the system, and, in some, may lead to significant weight loss. But, if you’re looking to lose weight, one study suggests that increasing fiber intake can help you shed unwanted pounds.
Supports Overall Colon Health
All the toxins you take into your body will eventually make their way to the colon. By not cleansing your colon (and liver), toxins can linger in the body and cause untold damage. Ridding the body of waste supports the many functions of the colon, including digestion and proliferation of beneficial gut flora.
Encourages Whole Body Detox
The body is adept at constantly detoxifying itself every day. But sometimes the combination of environmental factors and poor lifestyle habits make it hard to catch up and your body may show signs of toxic colon overload. A Total body detox like Xtreme Reboot Detox & Cleanse may be helpful for encouraging removal of toxins and pollutants in the body. Xtreme Reboot will help you establish a good daily bowel routine, overall helping with elimination difficulties.
Something to Keep in Mind
If you find yourself feeling sluggish, detoxifying your colon might be just the thing you need. Simply skinny flush is our 15 day colon flush. Flush was designed with the philosophy that your colon should be thoroughly cleansed every couple of months. Poor diet, environmental toxins, alcohol, etc. all contribute to limiting your body’s ability to manage waste and absorb nutrients effectively. Flush utilizes a blend of 9 different herbs. Yes, it works! One of the main ingredients in Flush is Senna Leaf. Senna leaf is a stimulant that encourages Peristalsis. That is a series of contractions throughout the colon. These contractions are necessary to move waste through the digestive system. Peristalsis occurs naturally; however, when it does not, build-up of fecal matter and occasional constipation can occur. The Senna leaf in Flush may encourage these contractions and help your digestive system eliminate waste effectively.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.