2014 is here!
(Even though for the next few weeks I will undoubtedly still be writing “2013” on checks and other memos. Do ya feel me or what?)
Have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? Below are 10 simple healthy habits to adopt in the new year that you can actually see through all the way to 2015.
1. Drink warm lemon and cayenne pepper water first thing in the morning.
This practice helps stimulate the body’s detoxification systems. Lemon is a natural detoxifier as vitamin C transforms toxins into digestible material. Lemon is also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body. Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It also kick-starts the metabolism. Read more about the health benefits of warm lemon and cayenne pepper water.
2. Practice a few detox yoga poses everyday… or at least once a week.
There is a set of yoga poses that I practice on an almost-daily basis. They promote cleansing by stimulating the body’s natural detoxification processes. Best yet, you do not need to be a yogi to get the benefits as these poses are extremely simple! Check out these 10 poses that promote cleansing.
3. Go anti-antiperspirants!
Aluminum, the active ingredient in antiperspirants, has been linked to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. With rates of both on the rise, help reduce your risks by forgoing antiperspirant.
If you want to join the fight and really rebel against this nasty (Welcome.. we’ve been waiting for you.), make my DIY all-natural detoxifying deodorant, which contains an active ingredient that actually pulls toxins and heavy metals from the skin. It’s the anti-antiperspirant.
4. Take your shoes off at the front door.
Did you know that wearing your shoes indoors is accountable for up to a whopping 60% of indoor air pollution!? It’s true. Fortunately, there has never been a simpler solution: simply take your shoes off at the front door. And there you have it, folks.
5. Eat more chocolate — this simple homemade and healthy chocolate, that is.
Yes, I’m suggesting you eat more chocolate. Now hear me out…
Do you know what’s really in your chocolate? Well if it’s one of those chocolate brands that can be purchased at the local drug store or gas station minimart, it only contains between 5-10% cocoa. This is unfortunate since dark chocolate with a high cacao content is packed with healthy antioxidants. But finding pure dark chocolate without any unnecessary additives can be a real struggle.
This simple homemade & healthy chocolate contains just raw cacoa powder, raw honey, coconut oil, and coconut butter — all of which are extremely healthy. I like to think of these more as little antioxidant supplements that just so happen to be scrumptious (*winky face*).
6. Go glass! End your relationship with plastic.
Plastic may just be the thing I hate most in this world. OK OK, not really, but some days I do feel this way. Why? BECAUSE IT’S EVERYWHERE! And even when you think it’s safe (*ahem* BPA-free) it’s really not (BPA-free is a bunch of B(P)S). Check out these 10 ways to end your relationship with plastic and pick at least one way to rid your life of this abomination.
7. Detox your beauty routine.
One the average day the average woman wears 515 chemicals. That’s right. They look as innocent as shampoo, mascara, and perfume, since they are in shampoo, mascara, and perfume (to just point a finger at a few). The chemicals in cosmetics have been linked to some scary things like cancer and reduced fertility.
Check your personal care products in EWG’s Skin Deep Database, or by using one of these cool smart phone apps, to see just how they rank. Pick one of the worst to trash and buy a healthier option. I’m personally a fan of 100% Pure, Juice Beauty, and Nourish Organic products.
8. Filter your water — both drinking and your shower water.
What’s in your water? Oh just a bunch of nasty things from approved chemicals like fluoride to industrial and agricultural chemicals linked to a host of health problems from damage to DNA and the liver, elevated risk of cancer, hormone disruption, and a decreased supply of oxygen to the brain.
What’s the solution? Well I argue that it is NOT bottled water — I’m adamant that bottled water is bottled water is unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly, and a joke. Rather, a quality water filter and glass pitcher or water bottle is the way to go.
If you are a home owner, you might be interested in an under-the-sink filter. If you are a renter like me or have extra counter space, Berkey water filters are simply amazing. While you may be saying “HOLY COW!” at that price tag, I can assure you that the price balances in the long-run: the black filters last up to 10 years, the stainless steel body will last forever (well, unless a car runs over it or whatnot), and the ceramic filters that need to be replaced annually are $50. If you’re still saying “HOLY COW!” all I have to say to you is “The best investment you will ever make is in your health.” Go ahead and quote me.
In addition to drinking water, it is very important to filter your shower water, since our bodies absorb more chlorine in a 10-minute shower than if we were to drink a gallon of the same water. Berkey has a great shower filter with a massaging shower head, and Aquasana sells a showerhead water filter with a handheld hose which is convenient.
I’m kinda sort obsessed with water quiality which is why this health habit was the longest. Sorry I’m not sorry — this stuff is important!! Moving on…
9. Make the switch to healthier cooking oils.
Still using canola oil? Using olive oil for all temperature ranges? PLEASE STOP.
10. Use houseplants to purify your home’s air.
Indoor air quality can be up to seven times more polluted than outdoor air. Clean it up with nature’s purifier, the houseplant. Check out these three houseplants that are each highly effective at filtering out common indoor air pollutants.