While I understand that new beginnings are much needed and I welcome them in my life, the “New Year, New You” campaign doesn’t sit very well with me. The emotional stages of a point in time ending and newness on the horizon can run the gamut of exciting to depressing. For me, it’s about embracing the reality that I’m still going to be me this New Year and learning to love myself more.
I want to make room for new opportunities, intimate relationships, and all the good things that come along, but I prefer realistic resolutions over a new me. I want to embrace myself, flaws and all, and take baby step resolutions, because that’s where lasting change comes from.
This isn’t a definitive guide for the New Year, it’s my wellness bible for 2017. Aim for checking off the list each day, if you muck it up, try again another day. You won’t be perfect, life will get busy and this is where the realistic part comes in. These are realistic resolutions – I’m not asking too much of you and you shouldn’t either.
Can you commit to giving each of these four resolutions a good shot?
Incorporate Superfoods Daily
Can I make it any easier for you? Each day all you have to do is incorporate a superfood (and there is a pretty loose definition to the word, so you’re in luck):
a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
Superfoods are rich in nutrients that are beneficial and necessary to your physical and mental wellbeing. I can go on forever with this list, but I’ve named a few of my top ones to get you started.
Fresh raw green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These particular vegetables act as mini-transfusions for the blood, a health tonic for the brain and immune system and a cleanser of the kidneys. Try any of the following: rocket, spinach, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, parsley, lettuce, endive, chicory, broccoli sprouts and mustard sprouts.
Barley Juice Extract Powder has 11x more calcium than cows milk, 5x more iron than spinach and 7x more Vitamin C and bio-flavonoids than orange juice and significant amounts of Vitamin B12.
Spirulina is one of the highest known protein sources on Earth and contains 70% complete protein, towering over steak which consists of only 25% protein once cooked.
Goji Berries have 500x more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and actually more than any other fruit and are high in antioxidants.
Raw cacao beans contain possibly the world’s most concentrated source of antioxidants found in any food. They also extremely high in magnesium which has been found to be the most common deficient major mineral even following a balanced diet.
Young coconuts are one of the highest sources of electrolytes in nature. Electrolytes are ionized salts in our cells, that transport energy throughout the body.
Coconut oil’s saturated fat is of the medium-chain fatty acid variety, which are digested more easily and utilized differently by the body than other saturated fats (such as butter, meat and eggs).
Seaweeds are one of nature’s true wonder foods! They are one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet and also the most abundant source of minerals in the plant kingdom as they have access to all the nutrients in the ocean.
How much of your day is spent sitting on your tush? I know you’re working hard, your mind is going, but your body needs the same workout your brain is getting all day. Don’t deprive it of a little action. Here are my favorite ways to get going, take your cue from these and make it work for you!
- Take a Burn 60 class. These 45-60 minute workouts will have you moving all over the place and the trainers adjust your workout to your personal fitness level. Classes with pumping music and motivating females really get me going and make the “get moving” part of your resolution easy to commit to.
- Sign up for Sweatcoin, the app that pays you to get fit, seriously. Sign up for it on the appstore, it tracks your steps, and for every step you earn coins, and when your coins add up you get to use your “sweat” coins to purchase things like apple watches and green juices.
- L.A. Dance Fit Studio shouldn’t even be allowed to be called a workout, because it’s so high energy and fun. Here, we call it our “Happy Hour” and trust me, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to leave your dance workout in a funk. Post dance workout, I’m more motivated to order the kale salad over the burger every single time. Wherever you are, find a dance studio and try one of there classes to mix up your exercise (I know you can’t fly to L.A. just to get moving).
- Take a hike. There really are no words for what a walk in the wilderness does for me. A walk up Fryman Canyon (a little less scenery than Runyon) and my stress melts away, I feel grounded, and actually take a minute to absorb the beauty around me – something not so easy to do when running around in our day-to-day.
- Don’t have time for any of the above….take a walk around your neighborhood, walk your dog, walk on your lunch break, walk while you’re waiting on your kid to wrap up practice, get up every hour at the office and do squats at your desk….just do something to move your body every single day.
Take Your “Time-Outs” to Reflect, Meditate, Find Stillness
This one should be number one. If I didn’t already get this far into it, I would move this around and put it right under eating your superfoods. I have found that 99% of my clients simply don’t take their timeouts. Funny, that I have to put successful, middle-age men and women in time out, but I do!
You HAVE to take daily time outs. The world takes a lot out of you.
My favorite ways to take a time out:
- Use my Calm.com app for a 5 or 10 minute meditation in the middle of a hectic day
- Visit my local meditation den for a guided meditation (the Den or the Unplug Meditation)
- Take a yoga class, locally I love Tantris and Earth’s Power Yoga. Yoga is a mindful practice that helps me focus on my breathing and be in the moment.
- Do a guided breathwork exercise, like this http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations
- Take a 20 minute nap, admittedly, not the easiest thing to do during the workday, but when I can find time to put my feet up mid-afternoon and close my eyes for 20-30 minutes, I feel amazing.
- Journaling and gratitude exercises, starting and ending your day with a gratitude exercise does wonders for mindfulness. Each day, I wake up and write out 5-10 things in my life I’m grateful for. Each night, I write out the things throughout the day that were high points or low points. This practice keeps me centered and mindful of my blessings, while allowing me to let go of the unnecessary and negatives.
Taking a time out:
- Can speed up the recovery of disease and plays a large role in prevention of cancer and disease
- Works to balance your feel good hormones (serotonin and dopamine) and helps prevent depression
- Decreases risk of heart attack and stroke
- Boosts memory and brain function
- Lowers cortisol, which in turn lowers your cravings for sugar and simple carbs
- Reduces flare ups of adult acne and other skin conditions
- Promotes a healthy libido
- Clears the mind, encourages positivity, and improves decision making skills
“Often we are caught in a mental trap of seeing enormously successful people and thinking they are where they are because they have some special gift. Yet a closer look shows that the greatest gift that extraordinarily successful people have over the average person is their ability to get themselves to take action.” – Tony Robbins
We cannot grow unless we act. What are you doing to take action in your life?
- Sign up for a yoga studio or meditation class
- Buy a journal and start journaling
- Commit to my gratitude challenge
- Sign up for a weekend wellness retreat
- Sign up for an infrared sweat session at Shapehouse
- Volunteer in a community program that promotes health and mental well-being
- Familiarize yourself with your local farmer’s market and purveyors
- Take a plant-based cooking course or commit to Meatless Monday or Weekday Vegetarian
These sound easy, but it takes courage and commitment to act and add newness into your routine. This is when self-growth develops and self-love increases ten fold.
Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better and be a lot more interesting to have a conversation with at a dinner party when you’ve tried cryotherapy, cupping, yoga, meditation, journaling, sweat lodging, and energy healing! I mean, can you imagine how these experiences will add to your life?
There is a magical dynamic quality about action, have the courage to act on your ideas, for in so doing you will be well on your way to thriving in life.