Half of 2016 is already behind us and July seems like a great month for some reflection. With children already on holidays or starting at the end of the month, most of us take time off to slow down from daily routines, rest and re-energise for the rest of the calendar year.

At the beginning of 2016 you might have had some goals to live healthier and happier this year. How has it been for you so far? It is hardly possible to make all the changes in one go. Often, when we don’t achieve the planned goal fully we tend to give up rather than praise ourselves from the small positive changes we manage to achieve. To help you stay motivated, go through the below check list and even print it out and stick it somewhere conveniently so you can refer to it whenever you need.

  1. Stay well hydrated throughout the day and choose filtered water and herbal teas. Some signs of dehydration include tiredness, headache, irritability, constipation, and more. Occasional high quality coffee is also okay. Remove soda drinks from your diet completely (whether sugar / syrup sweetened or ‘light’) as consumption of these is linked to obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and other nasty diseases.
  2. Start the day with breakfast to ensure you provide your body with energy required after the night of fasting.
  3. Don’t skip meals! Eat three main meals and have two snacks in between (if you feel you need to); to ensure balanced blood glucose levels and to avoid energy dips.
  4. Get about 8 hours of restful sleep each night for optimal health.
  5. Clean up your diet by removing processed foods, ready meals, take-outs and start cooking from scratch.
  6. Increase healthy fats in your diet but including avocado (check the health benefits of avocados in my last newsletter here), coconut oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish and organic butter.
  7. Include some fermented foods daily, as they are packed with beneficial microorganisms that are hard to get elsewhere. Examples of fermented foods include: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt and kombucha.
  8. Choose quality over quantity in terms of protein, like grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, and organic dairy products.
  9. Move more! Getting about 10,000 steps per day would be fantastic as walking has been shown to provide anti-aging benefits.  Take regular breaks at work to stand up, move around, and stretch. Engage in some form of exercise for at least 20 minutes per day.
  10. Reduce your daily stress. Learning how to relax can save you from stress-related problems such as insomnia, back pain, IBS symptoms as well as heart disease. Try meditation or mindfulness techniques, start practicing yoga, go for a gentle jog, keep a gratitude journal and get involved in some gardening.
  11. Remember to soak up some Vitamin D during the summer months, as the sunlight is the best source of it.
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