1. Probiotics = Your Friend I’m sure you've heard of probiotics since they're becoming increasingly popular, but what do they do? It turns out 70% of your immune system lives in your gut and is responsible for keeping your internal organs functioning properly. Simply put, probiotics help everything run smoothly. They work to prevent cancer, fatigue, and even Alzheimer’s, all while keeping your digestion in check. Kombucha is an easy and beneficial way to get a powerful dose of probiotics. This fermented drink is made from tea leaves and uses healthy bacteria to combat the bad bacteria trying to attack your cells. It also works to protect your liver, which is critical for metabolism and digestion. I drink one GT’s Kombucha daily around lunch (it does give you a bit of energy so don’t have it too close to bed), and I've never felt better!
2. Load your protein shake with superfoods
Hopefully you’re drinking protein shakes daily and enjoying all the benefits plant-based protein has to offer (I use Sunwarrior - much cleaner than whey proteins). Since you're already making your shakes, throw in a few extra power ingredients that boost your health. Spirulina is the superfood of all superfoods. Yes, it can stink, but you can barely smell or taste it in a shake. It's an antioxidant containing dozens of vitamins that detoxify your internal organs, fighting some of the most critical diseases. It's even considered brain food! One teaspoon in your shake and you’re good to go! Also, add maca (for a natural energy boost) and a dash of cinnamon for an extra boost of calcium, iron, and antioxidants.
3. Cook with spices that have healing properties
If you’re already cooking a meal, incorporate some healthy spices into the dishes. With just a sprinkle, you’re ingesting so many important things. Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices. Inflammation can become chronic and open you up to harmful diseases, so you always want to ensure your inflammation levels are way down. Garlic is believed to lower cholesterol, fight off viruses and infections, detoxify your body, and support bone strength. Cumin is a great replacement for salt (which causes bloating), aids in digestion, and is said to be good for your iron levels if you have an iron deficiency. It takes less than a minute to sprinkle your stir-fry, vegetables, and grain bowls with these spices. Plus, you’re doing your body a huge favor by using them.
4. Meal Prep Lunch for the Week
One of the most common things I hear from friends is that they have no time to cook healthy meals and are constantly ordering delivery or eating out. I challenge this because, in less than two hours, you can have a week’s worth of lunches ready. On a Sunday afternoon or evening, cook enough for one meal to last 2–3 days, and enough of another for the rest of the days. Then the following week, choose two different meals to cook that you can split the week with. Swap out healthy snacks with your meals like plant-based protein bars, fresh fruit or almonds, and you’ll feel better knowing exactly what is going inside your body. The added bonus: you’ll start saving a lot more money than you realize. Ordering out adds up!
5. Avoid Processed and Added Sugar Foods—Just Say No!
If you've never heard of the ingredients listed on the nutritional label, then chances are it's unhealthy or even harmful to your body. Slowly start paying attention to what you are eating and look at those ingredients. One of the easiest things to look for is when the label says, "no added sugar." If sugar is added in, avoid the food! If you see different food dyes added to the food, avoid it! Stick to natural foods to snack on like fruits, veggies, hummus, almond butter, all-natural bars, and veggie chips. Once you find your groove, it’s so easy to choose the right things to eat and your body will instantly feel better!
In just minutes, these five steps will help you make enormous strides in combating toxic ingredients. Let’s kick off 2018 with a healthier you!
*This article was written for Sunwarrior’s Health Hub