Can you feel the change in the air? A bit of warmth, the chirp of birds, a few flowers poking their way through the earth, it’s all signs that spring is here. For many people, spring is a time of renewal, and it signals an inspiring time to make a few changes to improve your health. So, here’s where you can start.
Step #1: Simplify
Our lives can be hectic and chaotic. Not only can this affect our daily lives and how we eat and exercise, but it can also have long term effects on our mental well-being. Before making any major changes, start by making minor ones to help simplify your life. This process could be as easy as changing your schedule to eliminate excessive driving around, planning some meals ahead of time, or clearing out your fridge of unhealthy foods.
Step #2: Restock
The number one way to have a healthier lifestyle is to ensure that you have the ingredients on hand to do so. Start by getting rid of junk: chips, soda, ice cream, processed foods, alcohol, etc. Then refresh with good ingredients – from local fruit and veggies to canned and dried legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
It can help to set aside a few hours every week or two to prepare meals and snacks – so you can have healthy stuff on hand when you need it. A great way to get started with healthy, plant-based recipes is with The 22-Day Revolution and The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook. Both books, by our Founder Marco Borges, will help you understand the tenets of a plant-based diet as well as provide you with delicious and easy-to-prepare vegan recipes.
Step #3: Drink Water!
One of the quickest ways to feel refreshed is to include more water in your diet, especially if you are using it to replace less healthy options like soda or coffee. If you’re not a fan of plain water, keep a jug of “infused” water in the fridge with lemon slices, cucumbers, mint, etc., inside for a touch of flavor. If you absolutely must have a caffeine kick, try green tea (full of antioxidants).
Step #4: Antioxidants
Including foods high in antioxidants helps to clear your body of free radicals and repairs damaged cells, so your body can start working with optimal efficiency. The quickest way to up your antioxidant intake is to include brightly colored or dark green fruits and vegetables, as well as berries. Start your morning with a smoothie or fresh-pressed juice so you’ll have energy for the rest of the day. Here’s an amazing recipe from The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook to help reset your diet:
Radiant Beet Juice
Makes 1 serving
2 small beets
1 orange, peeled
½-inch piece turmeric
½-inch piece ginger
Juice all ingredients in a juicer and enjoy!
Step #5: Get Active!
Let the changing weather inspire you to get moving. If the thought of a 3-mile run is torture, try breaking things up into smaller, shorter bursts. For example: a brisk 10-minute walk on your way to work, 15-minutes of stair climbing during lunch, and 30 minutes of yoga or another preferred activity. On weekends – get outside! A leisurely bike ride, hike, or walk in the woods will do the body good.
Step #6: Gradual Increases
Many people fail to make changes to a healthier lifestyle, simply because they try too hard, too fast. Imagine going from never running one day to running a marathon the next – it’s too much for your body to handle. The same goes to suddenly switching your diet and exercise. Take it easy. It could mean starting the day with a healthy breakfast, including 10-20 minutes of exercise per day, or cutting out caffeine and sugar. Once your body adjust to the change, find somewhere else to make improvements.
Step #7: Keep It Going
Once you become comfortable with a new healthy habit, add another. Perhaps increase from one healthy plant-based meal a day to two meals per day. Or maybe it’s from one plant-based day a week to 2 days a week. Set new goals for yourself and soon you’ll be living the healthy life you want.
Detoxing is a process, not a sprint – take your time, take small steps, and in just a few days or even weeks you’ll see and feel remarkable differences.