Created: Dec 31, 2021 08:00 AM
Try meditation in the new year (FIle photograph)
I’ve always thought this week in-between Christmas and New Years is a weird one. It is a sort of last-minute limbo – a tiny breather where we look back on the year we had and wonder what the next one will have in store.
Hopefully, you’ve had lots of great moments in 2021 – carrying you through the odd complexities of the pandemic and tricky things life might have thrown your way. It’s hard to accept the bumps that come with the smooth sometimes, but remember – no rain, no rainbows. Is it possible to experience true happiness if you’ve never felt a little blue? That’s the lecture I give myself whenever things go awry.
This was a crazy year. I packed away some old problems, paid off debt, sold my company, launched some great new projects, sold my house, broke my arm, moved in with the Irishman (yeah!), experienced a heartbreak and rode the teenage rollercoaster with full force. I also dropped the Christmas turkey within the oven three times… yup THREE times, one for each time I basted it and tried to put it back. Yet somehow it turned out okay. It felt like a symbolic representation of all the madness. We’re still here. Life is still wonderful, even if a little messy.
Of course, what really matters is having people to ride the ups and downs with. And whether it’s one person, a whole gang of buddies, a close-knit family or even a furry-friend (sometimes dogs are easier than humans). I hope you have companionship on your way. I think we forget how important that is, nourishment for the soul, so to speak. Connection is such a vital part of being healthy, and the hardest part of the pandemic to come to terms with.
If good health is on your wish list for 2022 and if you struggle to get there, remember that just as good people can build you up, so too will good food. I’m always aiming to help my clients reach the point where they choose food that nourishes them because they WANT to, not because they have to. Recognise that healthy choices take you towards everything you want: vibrant health, tons of energy, buoyant immunity, a balanced mood (whatever is on your list!) Unhealthy choices might feel good in the moment, but just keep us in the same old cycle of feeling sluggish, moody, unmotivated, sick and stuck.
It’s often overwhelming to start healthy-living when you feel stuck in old-cycles, so this is where I would encourage a “choose one thing” approach. Just choose one thing to do at the beginning of the day that will help nudge you towards better habits. I’ve put some ideas below. Good habits tend to snowball, one productive thing leads to another. Try it and see how you get on. If you’re ready for more, pop along to Waterfront Wellness online and see what we have planned for the New Year. The new Beat the Couch and Nutrifit dates have been posted and I’d love to work with you! www.waterfrontwellness.bm
Healthy ways to start your day (choose one thing!)
Drink a glass of water
Gosh I know this sounds simple but I see so many people who make it all the way to lunchtime without drinking water. It’s all coffee, coffee, coffee and maybe a smoothie too. Imagine pouring all that on a plant … would you expect it to flourish? If your water-habits are bad, then drink a big glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning. Ideally, keep hydrating through the day but let’s start with that one big glass.
Warm up with some golden milk!
If you have the water habit down then try a golden milk instead of a tea or coffee. Golden milk is golden because of the turmeric which is rich in anti-inflammatory properties courtesy of the active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin is also thought to help support liver detox pathways (phase 2) and shows lots of promise for cancer prevention too. You can either just whisk it in to warm plant-based milk with a dash of honey and a crack of black pepper (improves absorption) or buy a product that does all the work for you. I like the Garden of Life golden milk powder at Miles.
Try a meditation
Sometimes the healthiest way to start your day is with nothing at all. If you have never meditated before, try a five minute meditation to start with as it’s really pretty difficult to clear your mind. I find guided meditations easier and love the Insight Timer app (there are lots of options under the free version) and lots of people like the Calm app too.
Wake up and work out
And then it’s done for the day. Whether it’s a YouTube workout, a class at the gym, a jog to see sunrise at the beach, anything that gets you up and moving is a good idea. Start gently and build up. If you have no idea where to start, then come and see us in the gym!
Get your blood circulating by dry skin brushing before you hop in the shower. This is brilliant for helping improve circulation, draining lymph (supports detox pathways) and makes your skin baby soft too. Buy a brush designed for the purpose from the pharmacy or the Body Shop. Start at the end of your extremities and brush towards your heart or your groin (ie up your legs towards your groin and along your arms towards tour heart.) You just need short, quick brush strokes, firm but not too firm. Stay hydrated through the day to help flush your system.
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram
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