Happy New Year!
You crossed it! You were given 366 blank pages to fill with vibrant, health-sustaining habits. If you spent most of 2015 underserving your body, then today – right now when you’re reading this – is the day to do something different.
Lifestyles & Habits
The question we most often ask persons who are hearty and agile in their 80s, 90s and 100s is, “What did you do?” This is because we understand that their lifestyle was the main contributor to their long life. But, what so many of us fail to realise is that a lifestyle is built on habits, and habits are things we have done so consistently that we do them on autopilot. These little things that we do every day, without even thinking about them, are so ingrained into our psyches that they are part of our identities. This is why short-term fixes like a weight-loss programme or even a fitness challenge never produce long-term results. We only follow the guidelines for a specific duration and then return to our normal way of being once the programme or challenge has ended.
Even if you have joined me in a 30-Day Jamaican Green Smoothie Challenge or even read the Jamaican Green Smoothies book cover-to-cover, it won’t be long-lasting unless drinking a green smoothie becomes a daily habit.
Now, I’m not just talking to you! This message is for me, too. You see, I got into the green smoothie movement by accident, really. I was trying to find a patch to fix a problem some of my friends had: food addictions that prevented them from sticking to their commitments to make healthier eating choices. Then as I sought out solutions and explored green smoothies, I realised three things:
- If you drink a green smoothie every day, you will get maximum nutrition and your daily supply of fruits and vegetables.
- If you drink a green smoothie every day, you will change your palate (the things you think taste good).
- If you drink a green smoothie every day, you will kill the cravings and addictions you have for all the wrong foods. For example, the cups of coffee you must have throughout the day, the extra cheese and bacon you always add to your lunch order, or the pastry shop you have never been able to walk by without getting your fingers sticky.
Well, anyway, these 3 lovely things, were my reasons for getting my friends and loved ones to join #TeamBlender. But, in the beginning, I never realised that even vegetarians, vegans and whole-food, plant-based eaters needed to pick up a green smoothie habit, too. Now, I do and today, my personal mantra is “Gratitude, Greens & Growth” (referring to my philosophy for life which addresses my values for Spirit, Body & Mind). ‘Greens’ have become my symbol for vibrant health because as I have researched nutrition and shown others to build a green smoothie habit, I have come to learn how essential dark-green leafy vegetables are to our diet. So, now I understand that while a diet made up of mostly plants is preferable, most of those plants need to be dark-green and leafy!
So, if you’re like me and have decided to put your health on top priority for this new year but you want to keep it simple, I have 3 habits that you can pick up to transform your life, one day at a time:
Have you ever seen the notice on the back of a bottle of chemical or cosmetics, that instructs you to flush your eye with water if the product gets into it? Well, that’s what I mean by ‘flush’. A big thing that many health-seekers miss is water! You need to flush your system out by drinking enough water. You probably already know that you need to rehydrate your body because you lose water when you exhale, sweat or urinate. But, in addition to that, you need to flush out waste matter and any harmful substances that get into your body through food or the environment.
If you are not drinking half your body weight (or more) in water, then you need to start today; and, “half your body weight in water” works out in ounces. Therefore, if you weigh 130lbs, you need to drink 65oz or 2 litres of water each day.) So, everyday you need to be drinking enough water to flush your system.
While drinking lots of water helps you to flush out the toxins in your body, drinking green smoothies helps you to flood your body with energising, nourishing, immunising and detoxifying nutrients. Green smoothies are blended beverages made from dark-green leafy vegetables, fruits and unsweetened liquids (like water, herbal tea or orange juice). The liquefied vegetables are easier to consume than if you had to chew through a large salad and your body is better able to digest the nutrients because they hit your stomach ready to be absorbed into your blood stream. Of course, the combination of the fruits and vegetables gives the drink a pleasant flavour that even children and sugar-lovers will enjoy.
So, as you blend up your greens, you can just begin to imagine the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants rushing through your digestive system and bloodstream like a big flood through a parched and deserted piece of land.
Did you know that when you move your body, exert energy, raise your heartbeat, breathe heavily and break out a sweat you are helping your body to heal, renew and get rid of toxins? Working out is also a great way to manage stress, because it floods your body with the happiness hormone and distracts you from the challenges you have to hurdle from day-to-day. Flexing your muscles, through regular exercise is key to vibrant health and happiness. Of course, exercise helps you to use up any excess calories that make you overweight, but it can also build new muscles to make you fitter and stronger – which is so important as we get older with each new year.
But, you don’t need to fork out money for membership at the gym. A brisk walk through your neighbourhood or a quick workout with a fitness expert on YouTube will do you just fine. Just ensure that you recruit a friend or family member, because you will need the accountability partner and of course, you want them to be healthy and happy as well.
As we embrace the concept of ‘new beginnings’ that comes with the changing calendars and commit to living intentionally, let us work on building vibrant habits: simple things that we can do every day – not just for a 30-day challenge or a 90-day weight-loss plan. With consistency and focus you can design a vibrant life. Don’t think about your mistakes of yesterday or the health failures of last year.
You can start over today.
So, will you join me in building greener habits, this year?