Listen to your body and you’ll know what you need
The New Year is all about giving ourselves a much-needed reboot to get the year started on the right foot. When it comes to wellness, we’re often bombarded by conflicting information from everything we see in books, on websites and social media.
It’s no wonder that everyone is confused about what to eat and what being healthy actually means.
Having gone through my own decade of chronic health issues, I know what it’s like to feel alone and not know what will truly help you. Paleo vs. vegan? Almond milk vs. full-fat organic milk? The fact is that each one of us is incredibly different and something that works for your mother may not work for you, or something that your coworker swears by, might make you feel bloated and lethargic.
That’s why this New Year reboot is about listening to your own body. We all have intuition, but we’re so overwhelmed by the messages we hear every day about what we should be doing and eating to be “healthy” that we’ve lost touch with who we really are and what our bodies actually need.
So do yourself a favor. Turn off the background noise and focus on what works for you and your body. We asked experts how to stay energized, focused and build immunity when it comes to this time of the year. If you’re worn out and depleted from the holidays, these tips are for you.
According to award-winning nutrition expert, Ashley Koff, RD (ashleykoffapproved.com), "Better energy, better focus, better results all come from making better—not perfect—nutrient-balanced choices.
“Here’s a quick trick: pick a carb, protein, fat and unlimited non-starchy vegetables. Blend 1 cup of organic greens, 2 tablespoons nut butter, 1/2 banana or 3/4 cup of frozen organic berries or 1/2 cup any fruit, 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk and any spices.”
This is a great way to energize yourself with a fiber and protein-rich smoothie anytime of the day. It’s also a great option for breakfast or a midday snack instead of a box of sugar-laden cereal or a processed bag of chips from the vending machine.
Going through an elimination diet, like the one outlined in my book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body, will help reboot your body, energize you and allow you to connect the dots between what you are eating and how you feel. Removing inflammatory foods can do wonders for your wellbeing and energy levels.
• Vega One Protein Powder This delicious plant-based protein powder gives you 50 percent daily value of 12 vitamins and minerals. It’s filled with veggies and greens, probiotics, antioxidants; has no sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners added. It’s gluten-free, vegan and Non-GMO Project verified.
Mix this powder with your favorite non-dairy milk for an easy snack or meal so you can feel good about what you’re eating anytime of the day. myvega.com
• Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain Gluten-Free Bread Made with seven ancient, whole grains including quinoa, teff, amaranth and millet, this bread has 16 grams of whole grains per serving. Aside from its incredible flavor, the best part is that it’s free from gluten, dairy, nuts and soy. canyonglutenfree.com
Toast a few slices of this bread and spread almond butter on top with a sprinkle of chia seeds for breakfast or a snack.
• Know Brainer Creamer An individually packaged creamer made primarily of organic grass-fed, clarified butter and non-GMO MCT oil, a medium chain triglyceride oil boasting health benefits that include more energy, i’m proved cognitive function and weight management. myknowbrainer.com
According to Dr. James Rouse, naturopathic doctor based in Boulder, CO, “When we think about New Year’s resolutions or reboots, we so often think about how many calories to eat or how long we sweat, but if you want to give yourself a revitalizing reboot, think about how you reboot a computer. You turn it off. When working with my patients, I would tell them not to be afraid to turn off.
“Taking this downtime helps boost your immune system and metabolism, and improve focus, motivation and productivity. A few examples are commuting in silence, no emails, powering down and giving yourself a digital sunset, or a social media fast. Allow yourself space and time in your day to just be and to cozy around what you want for yourself.”
We love this advice because these days it’s hard to focus without being pulled in a million directions between social media, emails, television, our families and our daily obligations as well as trying to cook (and buy) healthy food and take care of ourselves.
• Natrol Gingko Biloba Helps support circulation, resulting in enhanced cognitive function as well as sharper alertness and memory improvement. These capsules are vegetarian and are guaranteed for potency of active ingredients. natrol.com
• Ginst Elixir Dr. Jeffrey Morrison of The Morrison Center in NYC shared this: “To enhance calm focus, nothing beats the adaptogenic herb, Korean ginseng.” dailybenefit.com
To Build Immunity
To build immunity, Dr. Morrison has found probiotics to be essential. “Given that 70 percent of our immune system resides in our digestive tract, it stands to reason that healthy gut bacteria can help,” says Morrison.
Our favorite ways to build immunity, aside from probiotics, are eating multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily such as berries and dark leafy greens; eating garlic, ginger and onions; getting at least seven hours of sleep each night; drinking purified water; and decreasing the amount of refined sugar in your lifestyle. Instead, reach for honey, pure maple syrup and naturally sweet root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash. Remember, food is medicine when it comes to immune support!
• Align Probiotic Probiotics are not an overnight fix so it’s important to take probiotics as a consistent part of your daily routine. These are gluten-free and come in easy-to-swallow capsules and in a chewable form, as well. metawellness.com
A daily probiotic filled with beneficial bacteria is a great way to keep your immune system healthy throughout the year.
• KeVita drinks KeVita drinks support digestive and immune health and increase your daily probiotic consumption. KeVita is a refreshing substitute for sugary, high-calorie drinks and contain turmeric, Meyer lemon, etc. kevita.com
• MegaFood Vitamin C Nutrient Booster Powder A concentrated powder of whole food vitamin C as well as astragalus and schisandra berry to support your immune system and your body’s response to stress, it tastes great added with water anytime of the day!
•Immune Benefit To beat a cold, Dr. Morrison uses a medicinal mushroom extract that seems to really pack a powerful punch against infections. dailybenefit.com