Top 5 Habits to Live By
Your food is not only your fuel, but provides the building blocks to all of your cellular structures – including the integrity of your hair, skin, and nails! That beings said, with every bite you take you can either be nourishing your body, or depleting it. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase “glowing from the inside out” and here are some top habits to get you there!
- Consume nutrient-rich, whole foods: rather than focusing on calories, consider the nutrient density of your foods. A colourful salad with dark lettuce greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado for example is PACKED with vitamins and minerals, whereas a candy bar would be completely devoid of anything beneficial to your body. In fact, the white sugar and additives in this type of “food” would actually dehydrate all your cells and latch on to nutrients in your body, preventing their absorption (yikes!). Now this is a very drastic difference between food choices, but you catch my drift. By focusing on whole foods in the produce section, preferably local and organic (or even better, home grown and freshly picked!), you are ensuring that your body is getting maximum nourishment.
- Begin the day with a glass of freshly squeezed lemon water: this is one of my absolute favourite ways to start the day. Lemons are naturally cleansing to your lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing cellular waste from your body. They also kickstart your bowel function due to having a high vitamin C content which acts to soften your stool. Proper daily elimination of toxins is essential for beauty! Remember, if your body isn’t eliminating toxins efficiently – it will likely be coming out through your pores as well.
- Stick to an all fruit breakfast: “breaking the fast” is a crucial part of the day and the best way to do it is with FRUIT! Fruit is digested the most quickly (melons digest in less than 15 minutes!) compared to any other food and therefore is best consumed alone and never after a protein or starchy meal, which takes hours to digest (consuming foods in the wrong order can result in bloating, gas, and indigestion – not fun). But what’s even more important, is that fruits are packed with healing antioxidants, phytonutrients, are cleansing to the lymphatic system and high on the alkaline side of the food spectrum. The tendency in Western culture is to consume too many acidic foods and this is where we see a ton of inflammation, skin conditions, and chronic pain as a result. Fruit will help keep the balance in the right direction and give you jolt of useful energy in the morning to boot!
- Incorporate spices: spices are fantastic not only for taste, but do wonders for digestion and detoxification. I love adding Ceylon Cinnamon (aka “True Cinnamon”) to fruit to enhance nutrient absorption and manage blood sugar levels. I use turmeric in fatty meals (healthy fats only of course!) or make a nourishing turmeric latte with coconut milk to increase liver detoxification. You can add black pepper (freshly ground, not the powder) to meals post-cooking which will help with digestion. The list goes on to their amazing uses! Notably, anything that is improving your digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and detoxification – is make you one glowing beauty.
- Drink nettle tea daily: one of my favourite herbs! Nettle is a powerful kidney tonic and strengthener and will help you to flush out any water retention or swelling, as well as cellular waste. It’s known as a “Jing tonic” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Jing is the seat of your vitality and life force energy – you’ll want to keep this high in order to look and feel your best! When Jing is low, you get pre-mature greying and loss of hair, back and knee aches, memory loss, as well as infertility. Let’s amp up our Jing, shall we?
Author: Dr. Erica Grenci, MH, ND.