Here are five easy to do habits that can have an impact on your mental and physical health. These are not new practices, they have been practiced throughout the world for centuries, even millennia and only ceased in American culture within the last 80 years or so.
1. Add vegetables to breakfast:
I know, I know, you are thinking vegetables in the morning is not easy. You think it’s time consuming and will require planning. But here’s the thing, it can be easy if you make it easy. When I cook vegetables for dinner I always make extra to throw in a pan the next morning with a scrambled or poached egg. No extra time needed! You can reheat the veggies in the time it takes to cook an egg. Another easy and fast option is to cook up a frozen veggie patty or make a green smoothie or juice. On weekends when I have a little more time I opt for cooking up a delicious vegetable hash. My zucchini hash and sweet potato hash are both are so delicious you just might find working vegetables into breakfast is worth the extra effort!
2. Use Butter, Ghee or Coconut Oil Instead of Vegetable or Canola Oil:
Butter, ghee and coconut oil have many health benefits for both the body and the brain! Processed, refined vegetable oils and canola oil do not. So ditch the processed oils. I always bake with coconut oil or butter using the same amount to replace the unhealthful oils called for in a recipe. I sauté and fry in butter, ghee or coconut oil. These fats taste great and can be used for high heat cooking because they are stable medium chain fatty acids. Pasture butter, coconut oil and ghee are available just about everywhere. * Resources and links regarding the healthful properties of butter, ghee and coconut oil are at the bottom of this post.
3. Drink homemade broth.
Homemade bone broth is high in many nutrients, especially gelatin. Gelatin helps seal a “leaky gut”, improves digestion, promotes strong healthy bones, decreases inflammation, promotes nail and hair growth, and so much more! Broth is easy to make, literally cooking while you live your life and makes everything you make with it taste better! Check out my recipe here and enter ‘soups’ into my search bar (to the right) for recipes using broth! * Resources and links about bone broth at the bottom of this post.
4. Get your vitamin D from the sun. Everyday.
I am not going to lie, in theory getting out in the sun everyday sounds simple but in reality you may have to change some other habits to make this one work. But before we get to that, here are the reasons you should make an effort!
Vitamin D research has repeatedly shown that vitamin D can improve a number of brain disorders, including depression and dementia—the most devastating form of which is Alzheimer’s disease. It also improves mood, lifts depression, strengthens bones, improves immune response, increases fertility, and prevents cancer!
I am not a big fan of taking too many supplements so I recommend the good old fashioned fireball in the sky to get your Vitamin D unless you are diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency. If you are diagnosed and need a supplemen then this is my favorite brand. (affiliate link)
So, how can you squeeze in sun time every day? Here are some suggestions: If possible, take your workout outside. If you go to a restaurant for lunch opt to sit outside, or better yet pack a lunch and sit on a park bench soaking up those rays. If you don’t work sit in the yard for lunch. Go on a morning or late afternoon walk, hike, ride a bike or read outside in the yard or on a balcony. Take a nap on a lounge chair…there are many ways to get outside, find one. Resources and links at bottom of this post.
5. Add fermented vegetables to your diet
The fact is every culture of people on our planet ate some form of fermented and/or cultured foods until the industrial food revolution. When this ceased to be the norm human gut health took a dive.
Cultured and fermented foods are loaded with the good bacteria essential for good digestion, elimination and a strong immune system, not to mention mental well being (yes, mental health and a gut bacteria are linked). Two ounces of sauerkraut have more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules! And it’s far cheaper. I buy my fermented vegetables from Whole Foods Market (this is my favorite). I will admit I was reluctant to start eating fermented vegetables but I am going to share a secret with you…all by themselves I don’t love them, but placed on a veggie patty I do! Think of fermented vegetables as a condiment, nobody eats (or even likes) ketchup all by itself, but on a fry? Yum!
This is a typical weekday breakfast for me….poached eggs, avocado and veggie patty topped with fermented beet sauerkraut. ***Resources and links with lots of fantastic information about fermented foods at bottom of post!
These suggestions are easy to implement and will make a real difference in your mood, your energy levels, the strength of your immune system and digestion. The best part about adding good habits into your routine is that they squeeze out the bad ones!
~ Linda Spiker
Resources and Links:
5. To read about how probiotics, drinking broth and avoiding certain foods healed my daughters eczema and anxiety click here.
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