“New Year, New You” they say.
But what good is balanced nutrition/weight loss if we are not addressing mental health?
And what good is a new found focus on mental health, if our sleep hygiene is poor?
What good is perfect sleep hygiene if we lead a completely sedentary life, laden with processed food?
As you might guess, all of these habits deeply connect and rely on each other for the other to fully develop. In other words, our body is a powerful unit. If we only address one part of this complex system, we may struggle to experience long term health and happiness.
While it can be extremely overwhelming to implement multiple big changes in a short period of time, taking the next year to gradually address whole body health could be an unexpected game changer.
Here are my top 3 tips for a truly new you:
Focus Only on One Pot Meals for a Month
Does cooking stress you out? Are you constantly crunched for time which leads to a repeat pattern of junk-food shovel and go? Having quality food on hand can be life saving BUT ONLY if you prepare the food in a way that makes sense. Most of us do not have time to cook with 10+ ingredients each night and then spend another hour cleaning all of the pots and pans required in the process.
Instead, set 10 minutes aside today for a little Google research. Type “5 ingredient or less one pot meals” into your search bar and choose 4-6 recipes that would entice you and your family. Once you’ve perfected these creations, consider doubling the recipes and freezing the extra. Get into a groove of rotating these meals for a month, and I promise it will be much harder to go back to your old ways!
Incorporate at Least One Adaptogenic Herb Into Your Daily Routine
Adaptogens are essentially herbal pharmaceuticals and can be a fantastic addition to your health regimen if you are looking for an added layer of protection against stress. Adaptogenic herbs have been used since World War II to increase energy, improve focus, enhance cognition and combat stress. There are many adaptogens to choose from, however, some of the most heavily researched include, schisandra, Siberian ginseng, ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Not sure where to begin? The chart below was created by Healthline and is an excellent cheat sheet that can be used as a starting point:
|American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)||Boosts working memory, reaction time, calmness, and immune system|
|Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)||Reduces stress and anxiety|
|Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)|
|Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)||Boosts stamina|
|Goji berry (Lycium barbarum)||Boosts energy, physical and mental performance, calmness, and sense of well-being, and can also improve sleep|
|Eluethero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)||Improves focus and staves off mental fatigue|
|Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum)||Reduces stress and boosts endurance|
|Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)||Reduces stress|
|Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea)|
|Schisandra berry/Magnolia berry (Schisandra chinensis)||Boosts endurance, mental performance, and working capacity|
|Tulsi/Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)||Reduces physical and mental stress, stress-related anxiety, and depression|
|Turmeric (Curcuma longa)||Boosts brain function and reduces depression|
Invest in Yourself by Learning Something New
What have you always wanted to know more about? What do you wish you could improve upon? Whose life do you admire? Make it a goal to listen and learn for 30 minutes each week. Consider listening to a book on tape or subscribe to a new podcast.
Feeling overwhelmed as it is? Implement this practice during your commute, in the shower, as you are folding laundry or cleaning up dinner. Learning is empowering and feels even better when it’s done without having to carve extra time out of a busy day.
Cheers to the New Year!