FIVE THINGS TO ADD INTO YOUR DAY IN 2019

New Year’s Resolutions tend to revolve around taking things out of our day. For many people, everything from sugar to alcohol are promised to be removed beginning January 1. But the feeling of deprivation slowly drives people crazy until they succumb, and the vices are often back into our lives by mid-month. Instead of focusing on all the things we need to remove from our day, it can be very effective to instead focus on things that we need to add. Health of addition instead of subtraction can feel empowering, abundant, easier to stick to, and can even crowd out some of the vices so that they naturally fall out of our day. These top 5 items are high-priority strategies that have demonstrated in research to improve our health:

  1. More sleep

  2. More steps per day

  3. Bone broth

  4. 5 colors from fresh food daily

  5. Meditation

More, Better Sleep

Sleep may seem like one of the simplest things to tweak in your daily life, but for many people, this is one of the hardest. It’s essential to aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night for a vast array of reasons. Adequate sleep not only helps us feel energized and rested, but it makes us more sensitive to insulin, helps our cells repair and heal, helps us regulate our appetites, improves athletic performance, helps prevent metabolic diseases like Type II Diabetes, and supports optimal cognitive functioning. The list of benefits is lengthy, but unfortunately people are reporting less sleep than decades past, with 40% of Americans sleeping less than 7 hours per night (I). Strategies to help support adequate sleep include reducing blue light before bedtime, going to bed at an early enough time to allow for 8 hours of rest, meditating, and showering before bed. Additionally, sleep trackers like the Oura Ring can be incredibly helpful in collecting data on this vital aspect of our health.

Minimum Steps Per Day

Everyone with a fitness tracker gets told the rule of thumb to walk 10,000 steps per day. While this number is a fantastic goal, it sometimes seems a bit arbitrary. In fact, researchers discovered that participants in one study who walked less than 7,100 steps per day demonstrated a physiological uncoupling of appetite regulation. In other words, those that walked the least ate more, gained the most weight, but reported the lowest food intake. The researchers discovered that the group wasn’t simply lying about their food logs, but rather was unable to realize how much they are actually eating (II). This led the team to discover that people need to at least take 7,100 steps per day in order to regulate their energy intake. So all exercise aside, it’s essential to walk 7,100 steps per day as a bare minimum of baseline movement.

1 Mug of Bone Broth Daily

Bone broth isn’t merely a suspicious sounding health trend, but is actually a long-standing diet staple for traditional cultures around the globe. Ideally consisting of chicken or beef bones, herbs, and sometimes vegetables that simmer in water for many hours (sometimes 24!), these clear broths typically only taste like soup. But they pack a powerful health punch. Well prepared bone broth will house nutritious compounds such as collagen, glycosaminoglycans, glycine, proline, gelatin, glutamine, and many minerals. These proteins, carbohydrates, and amino acids all provide the body with essential compounds to support intestinal health, immune health, joint lubrication, and cell signaling. Not only is bone broth a yummy way to support the immune system, but it’s a very low-calorie snack that’s high in protein. You can make bone broth at home or purchase from quality brands like Bonafide Provisions. At least one mug a day is a great addition to your nutrition.

5 Colors Per Day

Most Americans are under-consuming whole, fresh foods on a daily basis. This leads to a host of issues that stem from a chronic lack of certain nutrients as well as a lack of fiber from all the plant cell walls. Consuming five colors of vegetables and fruits daily is not only essential to our health from a nutrient perspective, but it also fills our day with items to add, rather than items to takeaway.  The addition of five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables fills our bodies with complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients, and lots of fiber. Overall, these typically causes people to eat less of other things by default, because they’re full. So if you can fill up on the nourishing items first, you will find that you have less room for random snacks or treats that do nothing for your body.

Meditation

There’s a very large, and still growing, body of evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of meditation on human health. Meditation has shown to reduce anxiety, reduce stress, help control social anxiety, held reduce incidences of panic attacks, enhance self-awareness, improve emotional awareness and kindness, reduce physical pain symptoms, and improve sleep. The key is to add this into your day and stick to it, because the benefits increase overtime and require practice to maintain. There are now fantastic apps to help us with this. The Calm App and Head Space are two guided meditation apps that help people learn this practice from the comfort of their own home. A morning meditation and an evening meditation is ideal, especially for those who struggle to fall asleep at night, but at least meditating in the morning is an excellent place to start.

I. http://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx

II. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/102/6/1332/4555181

FIVE THINGS TO ADD INTO YOUR DAY IN 2019

New Year’s Resolutions tend to revolve around taking things out of our day. For many people, everything from sugar to alcohol are promised to be removed beginning January 1. But the feeling of deprivation slowly drives people crazy until they succumb, and the vices are often back into our lives by mid-month. Instead of focusing on all the things we need to remove from our day, it can be very effective to instead focus on things that we need to add. Health of addition instead of subtraction can feel empowering, abundant, easier to stick to, and can even crowd out some of the vices so that they naturally fall out of our day. These top 5 items are high-priority strategies that have demonstrated in research to improve our health:

  1. More sleep

  2. More steps per day

  3. Bone broth

  4. 5 colors from fresh food daily

  5. Meditation

More, Better Sleep

Sleep may seem like one of the simplest things to tweak in your daily life, but for many people, this is one of the hardest. It’s essential to aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night for a vast array of reasons. Adequate sleep not only helps us feel energized and rested, but it makes us more sensitive to insulin, helps our cells repair and heal, helps us regulate our appetites, improves athletic performance, helps prevent metabolic diseases like Type II Diabetes, and supports optimal cognitive functioning. The list of benefits is lengthy, but unfortunately people are reporting less sleep than decades past, with 40% of Americans sleeping less than 7 hours per night (I). Strategies to help support adequate sleep include reducing blue light before bedtime, going to bed at an early enough time to allow for 8 hours of rest, meditating, and showering before bed. Additionally, sleep trackers like the Oura Ring can be incredibly helpful in collecting data on this vital aspect of our health.

Minimum Steps Per Day

Everyone with a fitness tracker gets told the rule of thumb to walk 10,000 steps per day. While this number is a fantastic goal, it sometimes seems a bit arbitrary. In fact, researchers discovered that participants in one study who walked less than 7,100 steps per day demonstrated a physiological uncoupling of appetite regulation. In other words, those that walked the least ate more, gained the most weight, but reported the lowest food intake. The researchers discovered that the group wasn’t simply lying about their food logs, but rather was unable to realize how much they are actually eating (II). This led the team to discover that people need to at least take 7,100 steps per day in order to regulate their energy intake. So all exercise aside, it’s essential to walk 7,100 steps per day as a bare minimum of baseline movement.

1 Mug of Bone Broth Daily

Bone broth isn’t merely a suspicious sounding health trend, but is actually a long-standing diet staple for traditional cultures around the globe. Ideally consisting of chicken or beef bones, herbs, and sometimes vegetables that simmer in water for many hours (sometimes 24!), these clear broths typically only taste like soup. But they pack a powerful health punch. Well prepared bone broth will house nutritious compounds such as collagen, glycosaminoglycans, glycine, proline, gelatin, glutamine, and many minerals. These proteins, carbohydrates, and amino acids all provide the body with essential compounds to support intestinal health, immune health, joint lubrication, and cell signaling. Not only is bone broth a yummy way to support the immune system, but it’s a very low-calorie snack that’s high in protein. You can make bone broth at home or purchase from quality brands like Bonafide Provisions. At least one mug a day is a great addition to your nutrition.

5 Colors Per Day

Most Americans are under-consuming whole, fresh foods on a daily basis. This leads to a host of issues that stem from a chronic lack of certain nutrients as well as a lack of fiber from all the plant cell walls. Consuming five colors of vegetables and fruits daily is not only essential to our health from a nutrient perspective, but it also fills our day with items to add, rather than items to takeaway.  The addition of five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables fills our bodies with complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients, and lots of fiber. Overall, these typically causes people to eat less of other things by default, because they’re full. So if you can fill up on the nourishing items first, you will find that you have less room for random snacks or treats that do nothing for your body.

Meditation

There’s a very large, and still growing, body of evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of meditation on human health. Meditation has shown to reduce anxiety, reduce stress, help control social anxiety, held reduce incidences of panic attacks, enhance self-awareness, improve emotional awareness and kindness, reduce physical pain symptoms, and improve sleep. The key is to add this into your day and stick to it, because the benefits increase overtime and require practice to maintain. There are now fantastic apps to help us with this. The Calm App and Head Space are two guided meditation apps that help people learn this practice from the comfort of their own home. A morning meditation and an evening meditation is ideal, especially for those who struggle to fall asleep at night, but at least meditating in the morning is an excellent place to start.

I. http://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx

II. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/102/6/1332/4555181