1. Eat more veggies and fruits
As the Veggie Queen™ you knew that I’d probably tell you this but alas, it is true. You want to work your way up to eating a minimum of 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. An easy way to do this is to snack on veggies (and sometimes fruit) between meals, include a salad every day and maybe have some vegetable soup for lunch or dinner. If you just cannot manage this, then drink some vegetable juice (just remember that those made with tomato juice as a base tend to be high in sodium). Since fruit is sweet, most of us tend to eat it more often to satisfy our sweet tooth.
2. Drink more fluids, especially water and tea
Everyone has heard that it’s important to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. I’ve got to tell the truth here, and that is that in the winter I am just too cold to drink that much water. I hardly break a sweat so I drink tea throughout the day to keep hydrated. My favorite teas are rooibos (red bush tea), honeybush, (both of which are from South Africa) and herbal teas, especially those from Numi (link). I drink 4-6 cups of tea during the day and add a cup of sleep tea at night if I think that I need it. My favorite is still Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime.
3. Breathe deeply more often
I heard Andrew Weil, M.D. speaking about something that anyone can do, anytime. He was referring to breathing. I couldn’t agree more. If you learn how to take long, slow, deep, steady breaths you can trigger the relaxation response and get built-up tension and stress out of your body. Should you ever wake up during the night and start thinking, it’s a great time to practice deep breathing. Another great time is when you are sitting in traffic or stopped at a red light. Deep breathing helped me a avoid a red light ticket (but that’s another story).
4. Move more and more often
If you resolve every year to exercise in some form but then slack off, you are not alone. For almost 2 years now, our family dog, Bear (a rescued mostly-Chow mix), has helped keep me in shape. Add that to my weekly yoga classes and home practice and I am feeling pretty good. If you don’t have a dog, you might still want to walk as if you do since it will help keep you moving. If there are other activities that you prefer, choose to do them regularly. Moving helps stimulate your mind and get your endorphins going. I always feel better after I’ve been moving. And anything counts, even sweeping the floor, vacuuming and gardening. I’ve even been known to do a quick workout by moving quickly through the mall. I suggest doing whatever works for you, and sticking with it.
5. Do something that’s fun everyday
It doesn’t matter what you choose – listening to music, reading a book, wrestling with your child, smelling the roses – be sure to include fun daily. Small fun fits the bill as well as big fun.