Have you noticed that everything’s a health hack nowadays?
For example, leeks are good for detoxing your liver. Throw chia, hemp and flax seeds in your smoothie for heart health. Recently, I overheard someone say, “I drink my water ice cold because it burns more calories than room temperature water.” That’s the last straw! C’mon! Really? I’m not saying these things aren’t true, but maybe we’re getting carried away here. After all, my liver would be helped more if I didn’t drink as much alcohol; my heart would be healthier if I got more cardio; and I’d eat fewer calories if I cut back on that daily crappucino. Just sayin’.
It reminds me of a Weight Watchers meeting a long time ago when the topic turned to salad dressings; which flavor was the best tasting for the fewest calories, or which brand the least fattening (back when low-fat salad dressing was considered a good thing). As sometimes happens at meetings, the topic digressed – to the point where the group began sharing tips on measuring salad dressings.
Finally, the leader got everyone’s attention and said, “Look, People. I doubt any of us are here in this room because we’re putting too much dressing on our salads.”
The room became silent. She was absolutely right. It’s possible that there was one individual with five pounds to lose who would benefit from this discussion, but it was far more likely that we should focus on the big things: like our mid-afternoon peanut butter binges (me), our nightly bowls of ice cream, or those donuts on the way home in the car.
This is how our attention gets de-railed sometimes.
We focus on the minutia, rather than taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture. The little things matter, but if you want to make a change, it might as well have a larger impact. If I had to pick my top five, here they are:
1. Drink less alcohol. I’m not even going to suggest drinking NO alcohol because then no one would subscribe to my blog anymore, and all my friends would call me a hypocrite! But let’s be honest with ourselves; we’re not drinking wine for its anti-oxidants. My new rule is to only drink when I’m out; no drinking at home. It’s doable, and it’s in the right direction.
2. Eat foods that have 5 ingredients or less. Better yet, don’t eat any food that needs a label! With the exception of eggs, oil and nuts, if it has a label, avoid it entirely.
3. Get your sleep. Research has proven that 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal for health. If you have a hard time sleeping, try to figure out the root cause, rather than pop over-the-counter sleeping pills. It could be pointing to a larger problem. Talk honestly with your doctor about it. You might need some yoga!
4. Get rid of everyday sugar. Sugar sneaks into everything we eat and drink nowadays. Even those supposedly healthy Naked drinks have a surprising amount of sugar! Then go ahead an enjoy a splurge, but only once a week. I love a dark, rich, chocolate dessert. I never waste my dessert on an Oreo or some store-bought goodie. I save it for the real thing, and enjoy every bit of it.
5. Drink water. Water is SO good for you; here’s a link to why: http://bit.ly/1cbimUl Ideally, drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. (If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day.) Have even more if you exercise a lot. In other words, carry a big water bottle with you every day. I doubt that it matters if it’s hot or cold; just drink it! 😉