Happy 2019! For many of us, the transition is a symbolic new start, a time to improve health, and a blank page of another amazing chapter in this thing called life. Are you like me — using the new year as an annual holistic health check? In the past, I would write down my health goals like exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more and meal prepping weekly. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. Can anyone else relate?
You are NOT alone. In fact, studies have shown that only about 9% of people actually achieve their new year’s resolutions. If you are among the millions making a new year’s resolution and you have the intention of actually being healthier this year, you’ll have better success if you break it down in to bite-sized goals.
On area of wellness that continues to get a lot of attention is gut health. And rightfully so. There continues to be an outpouring of information about it, so we’re focusing our new year’s blog around the topic. We’re not talking about a dramatic cleanse to get your gut in check (these can have benefits, but typically you go back to life as usual after the fact), we’re talking about holistic ways to think about gut health, a cleanse physically and mentally that is sustainable and lasting.
Here are our simple recommendations to keep your gut health in check year-round:
Drink at least 16 ounces of water first thing every morning. Taking in water on an empty stomach provides many great health benefits, especially right upon waking. Staying hydrated is great for your skin, your metabolism and your energy levels. Don’t like just plain water? There are many ways to mix up your morning water so your taste buds don’t get bored. They all have health benefits as an added bonus.
Note: all of these work well with 1 cup (or 16 ounces) of warm or hot water:
Warm water and lemon (or 1 drop of lemon essential oil). Lemon alkalizes the system, helps with digestion and speeds up metabolism.
Warm water with ginger. Ginger helps boost your immune system and also works as an appetite suppressant.
Warm water, a teaspoon or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of raw organic unfiltered honey. This will help with stomach indigestion and potentially aids in weight loss.
Curb Sugar Cravings:
After you’ve had your 16oz of water however you like it, we suggest adding a scoop of GC Control in your morning shake or coffee (tastes like a mocha) to curb the sugar cravings. GC Control (in many different flavors) helps to control carbohydrate and sugar cravings and gives you healthy energy support.
As you build in daily morning water intake and some of the tools above and move into your next step of the days, consider your home and personal care items. A growing number of consumers are becoming educated on toxic ingredients that continue to be prevalent in mainstream products from major brands in retail and grocery store shelves across America. Did you know that reducing the toxic load in your everyday home, personal care and beauty products can boost your energy levels and help you lose weight?
Empowering All has access to non-toxic, wholesome and natural products that are affordable. We can help you get started wherever you are – small steps or larger-scale ways to convert your home. We offer ideas and ways to do things like swap chemical-based cleaning products with lemon essential oil, tea tree and lavender solutions; wash your hair sulfate-free, and nourish your skin (the body’s largest organ for absorption) in safe, effective ways.
We’re passionate about this and much of it stems from my personal journey. When my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer the doctors told our family to remove all products containing synthetic materials, such as body washes and shampoos, from our home. When I started doing more research I learned that the most common chemicals in skin care products are parabens, synthetic colors, and phthalates. As a newly educated consumer and in support of mom, I got rid of mine too. That was nine years ago. And today I couldn’t be happier about the switch I was able to make in the name of preventive health and quality of life.
Last simple tip: pay attention to your gut all day long – it’s your second brain. The enteric nervous system (ENS) is made up of millions of neurons that keep the colon moving by firing synchronized electrical charges, which helps to pass waste out of your body. When the ENS is out of balance, your system is not functioning efficiently and your gut bacteria is out of whack.
By incorporating probiotics into your daily regiment (both kids and adults) you can help repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. It’s important to have a combination of prebiotics (fiber) and probiotics in our diets as a powerful step to improving our overall health.
You can get pre and probiotics in a dietary supplement or from food sources so pay attention to both. We love getting them in as a supplement and their most pure form to ensure we’re getting daily dose and not also ingesting the added sugars you may get from food sources. A supplement streamlines it too – when it comes to serving size you would need several cups of food-based probiotic to the same amount that one capsule delivers.
Whether you choose to follow one or all of these tips in the new year, the goal is to think short-term and create small achievable weekly and monthly goals. It doesn’t seem like such a life overhaul if you drink water daily first thing in the morning, eliminate toxic chemicals from your home and personal care products or add a pre and probiotic supplement to your routine for the next 30 days, right?
Start with baby steps. Once you get into a rhythm, it’s more likely that you’ll continue along the journey to a happier and healthier you. And remember, if you get off track make it part of the dance. You simply get up and try, try, try again! –— Amanda