By Olivia Janisch 

Eat veggies, drink water, get sleep. We all know what it takes to be healthy, but there are a few more things we can do to get the best out of our bodies, and to give the most back. Try the following steps to create an exceptional system and to have more vibrance in your daily life.

1. Manage your stress

Stress is extremely dangerous to our physical and mental health. It interferes with our sleep, our work, and our relationships. Physically, it weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. It raises inflammation, which is the underlying cause of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, allergies and pretty much all illness and physical discomfort. Stress can also lead to overeating and accelerates aging. Clearly it is one thing to be proactive about and to avoid if possible.

Because stress is so dangerous it’s critical we utilize good techniques to cope with and reduce it. Learn to manage your stress with exercise, deep breathing, meditation, practicing gratitude, and yoga. For more on effective management techniques, read here.

2. Stabilize your hormones

It is of the highest importance that we respect and support our hormone health. The wellbeing of our hormones dictate when and how much we eat, how we cope with difficult situations, how our body responds to certain foods, and how well our immune system functions.

Hormone imbalances are the main cause of many physical and mental problems. This is the result of eating processed foods and sugar alternatives, and experiencing excessive stress. The good news is that we have a lot of control when it comes to the health of our hormones, and it’s critical to support them through what we put in our bodies.

Try these tips to accomplish this:

  • Reduce processed foods and sugar
  • Eat lots of omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, avocado, chia, hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil and coconut oil
  • Try maca powder – it’s an Amazonian herb that’s been shown to stabilize hormones, reduce PMS, increase fertility and improve skin
  • Eat more fiber – fiber binds to old estrogen and helps clear it out of the system. Good for men and women with estrogen dominance
  • Clean up your beauty regimen – chemicals in your beauty products can be big hormone disruptors. These include but are not limited to parabens, Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates
  • Limit caffeine- if all of your energy comes from coffee, it’s likely you’re adrenals are out of whack. Try getting back on track by minimizing coffee consumption. You can also try Bulleproof coffee. It has ghee and MCT oil which release the caffeine slowly into your blood stream, and gives you a healthy boost of omega-3s.

3. Understand your food intolerances

People everywhere are eating foods they’re intolerant of every day. When symptoms like headaches, bloating, indigestion, heartburn and fatigue flare up, we run to the cabinet and take whatever pills we need to ease the discomfort. While this may work for now, eating things we have intolerances to will certainly reduce our quality of life and can lead to bigger issues in the future. That’s why it’s crucial we identify and weed out the culprits now.

The best way to figure out what you’re intolerant of is to do an elimination diet. Cut out dairy, wheat, soy and eggs for 2 weeks. Then, introduce them back in one at a time, separated by 3 days. Then, cut out peanuts, shellfish and corn for 2 weeks, and then reintroduce separately. Finally, do this with all tree nuts and fish. You’ll be able to tell immediately what’s causing your issues because your symptoms will come back, sometimes more intensely than you felt them before.

Food intolerances create inflammation in the body, resulting in anything from fatigue and brain fog, to constipation and bloating, to eczema and acne. It’s absolutely in your best interest to discover your intolerances and cut them out of your routine as quickly as possible.

4. Focus on what you have to share instead of what you lack

Feeling sorry for ourselves is becoming a public epidemic. If you have an education, a roof above your head, and access to food and water every day, you’ve got the foundation for a fulfilling and joyful existence.

As a society, we’re constantly looking to the future to excitement that surrounds what’s to come. Whether it’s the right job, house, partner, or vacation, a lot of our time is spent focusing on what we want, not what we have. While this is testament to the great power and drive we have as a collective group, it’s also the source of a lot of pain and struggle. When we see not what we have and only what we aspire to, we forget about the goodness that currently exists.

Take inventory of the skills you have to share, whether it’s helping a friend with an accounting issue, offering to tutor a child in math, or spending an afternoon gardening with your elderly neighbor and act on it. You’ll immediately feel rewarded and empowered. Doing this creates a tremendous shift in your psyche and greatly improves your self-worth and value, in your own eyes and in the eyes of others.

For better mental, emotional and physical health, eat real food, listen to your body, share what you have, and be grateful every day for the blessed existence you live.

Photo by Jonas Nilsson Lee

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