I know how easy it is to become overwhelmed with all the information regarding healthy eating and living, and it can also seem stressful to change habits, or  know where to begin! It would certainly be easier to look the other way and keep doing exactly the same as before, and simply ignore that voice deep down inside you that already knows it’s time to take responsibility of your health.

The good news is that creating a healthier lifestyle can be simple and empowering! Start with where you are, be gentle on yourself and go at a pace that works for you. Every small step is an accomplishment worth acknowledging and celebrating!

Here are some tips on how and where to begin your journey to health and happiness.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #1. Drink Water – Get Hydrated!

  • Increase water consumption to minimum of 2 liters a day! You can even add some fruit, vegetables or herbs to flavor your water naturally.
  • It is important to drink filtered (or distilled) water. Invest into the best system you can afford.
  • Replace carbonated, caffeinated and sugar sweetened drinks with water, fresh organic juices and herbal teas.

Note: Yes at first this means a few extra washroom breaks during the day, but don’t worry your bladder will adjust over time as the body gets accustomed to being hydrated!

Why drink more water? Water transports our nutrients, hydrates our cells for optimal performance and helps to flush out toxins to name just a few of the many important roles water has in our bodies. Carbonated, caffeinated and sugar drinks are very acidic and rob your body of nutrients in order to process them, they are dehydrating and also very hard on sugar balance and adrenal function.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #2. Increase Whole Foods

  • Add dishes created from whole foods (unprocessed, real ingredients) to every meal.
  • Increase whole food snacks such as carrot sticks, apples, nuts & seeds throughout the day.
  • Create something from vegetables, leafy greens, sprouts, fruit, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds. There is so much to choose from. Get excited!
  • Begin simply by adding a salad to every meal, or more vegetables with the entree, or use quinoa instead of pasta.

Why consume more Whole Foods? These are real food. They are complete with fiber, vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, enzymes and healthy fats to nourish your body and promote healthy digestion. They nourish your body and you will feel more satisfied, balanced and experience reduced cravings.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #3. Clean out the Kitchen Cupboards.

  • Replace highly processed/refined products with natural alternatives.
  • Replace GMO foods with non-gmo or organic product.
  • Begin slowly and simply replace one item at a time, repeat this every week and soon your kitchen will be filled with healthier product to choose from!
  • Begin with anything, oils, pasta, peanut butter, boxed ready to go foods like Kraft Dinner, cereals, snacks, etc..

Why Clean Out The Cupboards? If you keep healthier food choices in your home, you will eat healthier! Processed foods are lacking in nutrients, they are empty calories, you will eat more of these as you try to feel nourished, and they create health challenges such as blood sugar imbalances, increase cravings, mood disorders. They also lack in fiber and contain many additives, non-food ingredients or processes that are toxins, which the body cannot properly digest.

Tips to Succeed:

Success Tip #1: Keep your focus on the new healthy habits you are creating and find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods and keep them on hand so you never feel deprived.

Success Tip #2: Remember as you learn more information during your journey, let it empower you and realize you have the ability to choose, you have the ability to continue taking steps in creating a healthier lifestyle.

Success Tip #3: Always keep an open mind when learning new things, experiment and have fun in the kitchen again!

Start with these 3 things and then check out Part 2 (coming soon)!

Michelle Cloutier

Nutrition & Lifestyle Educator at Refresh Natural Health
I am crazy passionate about empowering and educating others to take responsibility of their health, as I have seen such incredible transformation and believe everyone has the ability to be healthy and happy. My focus is on the education of healthy eating of high quality living foods and products that nourish and supports our body's ability to detoxify and heal. I incorporating digestive health, mind-body connection and lifestyle choices in order to enhance our overall quality of life. I am a Whole Food Nutrition & Lifestyle Educator, an Hippocrates Health Educator, and a Certified Raw Food Chef.