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Healthy Habits

By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC

When we speak with clients in our nutritional evaluations, the focus is on what has been going wrong and how can we fix it by feeding you?  We talk about all kinds of different struggles, between responsibilities at work and home, and all the things people know they should be doing, but… drumroll please… don’t have time!  Some people may even feel they don’t have time to read this email.  But I hope you do!  I promise to keep this short but valuable, and to give you some practical tips for getting more productivity out of your day. It’s the New Year – time to build some new healthy habits!

A sneak peak if you’re short on time:

  • Wake up 1 hour earlier.
  • Go to bed 1 hour earlier. 
  • Make a commitment for your self-care.
  • When you cook, make larger meals so you can have leftovers.
  • Confine your eating to a certain window.
  • Order what you can to minimize shopping. 
  • Eliminate a little bit of clutter whenever you see it. 
  • Go for a walk after dinner. 
  • Start a gratitude journal. 

Habit 1: Wake Up 1 Hour Earlier

By this, I don’t mean to change your alarm, but hit the snooze button 5 times.  Decide the night before what you are going to do with your extra time, so it will be your first thought when you wake up.  Decide for yourself you are going to feel accomplished by getting this one new goal DONE first thing in the morning!

You can use this as your quiet time for meditation, organization, planning, stretching – whatever you need most!

This is the best time to get your workout done – believe me, this is 10x easier than waiting until later!  Set your clothes out the night before, so there is no rummaging around.  Pack the car with your gym bag at night so nothing is forgotten!

Habit 2: Go to bed 1 hour earlier

  • See, waking up earlier doesn’t mean you’re about to get less sleep.  The majority of people we see really do need more sleep!  Actually, more quality sleep.  However, they’re setting themselves up for a restless night by what they’re doing after 9 pm.
  • Nothing on late night TV will benefit you.  The political shows will make you mad, the local news will make you fearful and sad, and anything else is just nonsense.  It has nothing to do with your life and just takes away from your precious time you can devote to your happiness.
  • Turn off the TV, loud music and bright lights – to reduce nervous system stimulation and tension
  • Don’t look at devices – the blue light causes a reduction in melatonin production.
  • Put your phone on Airplane mode and put the Wifi on a timer to reduce EMFs.
  • Get in bed early and read a book – something positive, happy and easy to read.  We suggest The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry.  Just reading one or two pages gives you sweet, peaceful dreams!

Habit 3: Make a commitment for your self-care

I know everyone in this audience already loves the power of Chiropractic.  But are you as consistent as you should be?  How about your spouse?  You don’t have to be a professional athlete to be good to your body.  If you’re stuck in the rut of only coming in when you hurt, you are missing out on the beauty of what Chiropractic really can do… Over time, your sleep will get deeper, immune system will get stronger, and an immeasurable list of problems will be prevented.  If you’re not already in the habit, plan to get more consistent with your adjustments, your massages, your vitamins, and any other choice of self-care that you love.  Your body will thank you for it!

Habit 4: Cook larger meals so you can have leftovers

If you let yourself get too hungry, you will eat anything.  So make sure you have healthy food ready to go, convenient to take for lunch at the office or for when you need to grab and go.

Make your own dehydrated fruit.  Once you set up the dehydrator, the work just does itself for you.  And making your own apple chips is a whole lot less expensive than buying from the store! 

Other things you can easily make yourself that take almost zero time:  homemade chia pods, apple cider vinegar drinks, hard boiled eggs, and customized trail mix (with only the ingredients that work well for you).

Ask Dr. Bob what’s his favorite time-saver of a snack – a healthy Detox Balance shake complete with cinnamon, Nitrogreens and MCT oil – made in a shaker bottle!  Easy to keep at the office when you’ve got a little more to do before taking lunch.

Habit 5: Confine your eating to a certain window

Choose a time that works for you – 8:00 is a good finish time for your dinner.  Eating too late can disturb your sleep by making your body work on digestion vs. the growth and repair you need.  So if you’re hungry, drink a glass of water and go to bed!

Habit 6: Order what you can to minimize shopping

If you must shop, go at off times (like 6:30 am, on your way home from your workout).

Thrive Market and Sunbasket are my current lifesavers to stock the pantry and to get dinner on the table.  Especially because of their easy-to-use apps that I can quickly set up while I’m on the stationary bike or waiting for some other reason. 

And when you go to the store, try to make a list before you go.  Only bring home real food – not the processed stuff you will feel bad for eating later.  If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it!

Habit 7: Eliminate a little bit of clutter whenever you see it

Don’t wait until organizing the closet is a weekend–long project.  Just do a little as you go, just 5 minutes here and there.  By clearing out the things you don’t need, you also eliminate a whole lot of stress from your life.

Donate to Goodwill, your local church or Salvation Army

Sell clothes on Poshmark or a local consignment shop

Cancel subscriptions you don’t need

Unsubscribe to email clutter that is blowing up your Inbox.

Habit 8: Go for a walk after dinner

This is a good time to unwind, either with yourself or your spouse, with no distractions from the TV, phone or social media.  Listen to the sounds of nature, feel the breeze and just clear your mind.  Try not to talk about things that need to get done, but rather, talk about things that were good about the day, or what you look forward to for tomorrow. 

Habit 9: Start a gratitude journal

You probably already have a little notebook around the house just waiting for this purpose.  A gratitude journal will help make you aware of all the wonderful things you already have happening in your life.  Not that we need to completely disregard the negative, it’s just that we are already bombarded with so much.  So, I want you to start each entry like this:

One thing that I will not worry about today:  ____________________________________.

Two things that I am grateful for today:  _________________ and ___________________.

Focusing on more positivity will help the good things multiply in your life.  Give it a try!  This might just become your new favorite healthy habit!

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