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My Fab 5 -Healthy Living Principals!

Follow these tips and tricks and reap the instant results of a healthier you!


5 Principals for balanced healthy living

Marissa Sylvester – RHN, CNE – Hons

Adopting healthy habits, whether it's mapping out a plan for the first time or creating a new beginning after falling out of your habits, can be a confusing process. It doesn't have to be though!

I became a Holistic Nutritionist to help my community to prepare easy, healthy meals that fuel our bodies, minds and microbiomes. 😉 Being my first official blog post I thought I would start by sharing the basics of healthy habits I use with all of my clients.

In a society that focusses on the "easy" button or a one size fits dietary model, I feel it is important to stress that while we all share similar properties, we are human and have basic needs of consuming food and water (for nutrition and cellular function), we are also biochemically unique. What I need out of my dietary lifestyle to ensure my cells and body systems function optimally will be different than your needs. Your cells, need a completely different set of guidelines - no two clients in my practice, get the same meal plan.

I don't focus on fad diets or crash diets. The truth of the matter is that while you may achieve results in the short term, long term results falter and you'll usually gain the weight back +++.

Here are my Fab 5 healthy living principals, to get you started on your road to optimal wellness:

1) Nutrition:

Take the lead by making sure you have a nutritious breakfast. It doesn't have to be complicated!

Two eggs with greens, rye toast topped with nut butter or avocado for healthy fats, perhaps a protein rich smoothie, or Gluten Free Organic oats, coconut yogurt, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds. Filling, delicious, and really good fuel for your body!

Consider involving your kids (or spouses) in age-appropriate meal prep. Vegetables and other foods can be more fun to eat when you've helped prepare them. Besides, chopping vegetables and fruits is an essential life skill and we want to empower our kids to be masters of in the kitchen. Start with easy, soft things like banana and cucumber. Progressing over time to apples, pears, carrot or celery sticks.

Make big-batch meals that you can freeze — this ensures you'll have something healthy to eat on super-busy days (simple chicken soup recipe attached).

2) Hydration

Begin each day with a glass of room temperature water, ¼ squeezed lemon and pinch of sea salt. Lemon creates an alkalinity in the body, balancing our PH levels and being naturally antibacterial is a great way to keep our immune system functioning optimally by killing any potential bacteria that creep into our GI tract.

Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to hydrate our GI tract, our cells and body tissues so when we introduce food into our system it is not jarring or irritative to the GI tract.

Drinking half our body weight in water daily ensures our cells have abundant support for cellular function, cell signalling and cellular detoxification and replication.

Water is necessary to remove toxins from body. Coffee doesn't count! Get your 2 litres in each day by 2pm! 😉

3) Physical activity

Dietary lifestyle is 80% of our overall health but without movement we cannot detoxify, influence bone health or keep our muscle tissue lean and supple. Sorry everyone, you cannot out-train a bad diet.

The goal is to move every day for at least 30mins. (45-60mins being ideal especially for children).

Types of movement can include – walking at a brisk pace, jogging, yoga, Pilates, weight training, swimming, dancing, martial arts, hiking, biking, golf, basketball, hockey, baseball… and there are so many more! My challenge to you is: "Do something that brings you joy and gets your tissues warm and invigorated every single day!".

Here are some ways to get your physical activity in at work: walk around the building at lunch, request a standing or walking desk, ride your bike to work, consider inviting a corporate wellness instructor in to do yoga, or desk fit during lunch hour. Or take a break and hit the gym on your lunch hour or get to the gym before or after work.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done but you really will feel better and the longer you keep it up the more you’ll enjoy it.

4) Get Better sleep

Sleep may be the most underrated when looking at the long-term benefits to our health!

A basic human need, sleep is as important for good health as diet and exercise. When we sleep, our bodies rest but our brains are active. Sleep lays the groundwork for a productive day ahead. ... Getting the right amount of sleep is vital, but just as important is the quality of your sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours minimum every night!

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort at immortality!

Like the wise Matt Walker says: "Deep- sleep Brainwaves, act as a "file-transfer mechanism at night, shifting memories from a short-term vulnerable reservoir to a more permanent long-term storage site within the brain, and therefore protecting them, making them safe."

With Dementia and Alzheimer Disease at an all-time high we need to look at the long-term effects of lack of sleep!

Men that sleep for less than 5 hours per night have clinically lower levels of testosterone! Gentlemen you need to get in your zzzzz's!!!

Diabetes alert! Lack of sleep impairs our glucose tolerance. Poor sleep = higher insulin levels, which place men and women at an increased risk of developing Insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes. This is also linked to weight gain and an impaired ability to achieve weight loss.

5. Manage Stress

We all know that stress can have negative effects on the body and brain. Research has found that stress can produce a wide range of negative effects on the brain ranging from Anxiety, Depression and other forms of Mental Illness, to actually shrinking the volume of grey matter in our brain. It's as simple as struggling to remember where your car keys are or where you left your lunch bag when you are late for work. A 2014 study by mayo clinic revealed that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol were connected to short term memory decline.

Some tools to assist in stress management:

*Exercise daily! Walking outdoors, working out at a moderate intensity for 30 – 60 mins daily, participating in yoga, all help to flush unwanted toxins from the body. It also helps to increase the production of oxytocin (pre-cursor to Serotonin), and dopamine in the brain. The release of these endorphins increase happiness and help balance neurotransmitters in the brain.

*Meditate! 5-20mins daily... Meditation brings us out of our head, into our breath and creates presence in our bodies. Living in the here and now helps to lessen the fight or flight response. Thoughts can come but meditation and mindfulness teaches us to allow the thoughts to pass (like clouds in the sky).

*Get jiggy with some breath work! Soft belly breathing tones our vagal nerve which engages the para-sympathetic nervous system. Thus balancing out the Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response). Look up alternate nostril breathing technique or the 4 – 6 - 8 method of breathing as two simple ways to tap into your breath today.

Fall is a busy season for most of us, so let's make it easy to prepare healthy meals that fuel our bodies, minds and microbiomes. 😉

"Any time of year is a great time to strengthen or refresh healthy habits — for the whole household, or just for yourself." ... - Marissa Sylvester. Registered Holistic Nutritionist - RHN


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