Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Simple ways to start the New Year with a Sparkle

Happy 2014 to everyone. Here are a few simple ideas that you can easily slip into your daily life to help you feel full of vim and vigor for the coming year.

1. Delight in a daily diet of whole, living, plant based foods - whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, sea vegs cooked in a variety of ways with different seasonings, herbs and spices. Benefits are numerous and include; diabetes prevention, lower blood pressure, heart health, maintain natural body weight, improve digestion, increased energy, clearer thinking, beautiful skin and an overall sense of well-being. Remember you are also helping the earth when you chose a plant based diet.

2. Slow down - meditate, breath slowly, relax, observe nature, give way to other drivers, cook and take time with each step - cutting, wiping the board, stirring, serving, sit down to eat every meal, walk slowly, eat slowly, listen to others. Slowing down helps you to 'taste' the moment, relax the mind, enjoy steady progress, improve quality of life, feel more nourished and achieve bigger goals.

3. Spend time everyday outdoors in nature no matter the weather, even for 5-10 minutes - strengthens immunity, regulates all the body's systems, stress relief, calming, energizing, prevents SAD

4. Get good sleep - set a regular bedtime, get up at the same time each day, take a nap during the day, soak feet at night to make falling asleep easier, make bedroom as dark as possible. Improves memory, increases creativity, reduces inflammatory issues, helps with athletic and mental performance, lowers stress levels, decrease depression.

5. Do something you love everyday even if it is for 5 minutes - paint, take photos, read, kick a ball, write poetry, play board games, hug a dog, enjoy a cup of tea with a friend.. - makes life more fulfilling, increases passion, keeps you in the moment, work becomes play, feel more inspired.

6. Laugh - watch funny movies, read humorous books, giggle with friends - lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow, reduces stress hormones, improves alertness, creativity and memory, gives mini workout, strengthens immunity.

7. Life is a movement and a rest - if you are sedentary, then take time to stretch and move - if are always on the go, then take time to sit and relax - increases sense of joy, vitality, longevity, reduces aches and pains, improves mental clarity, and stress response, and prevents disease, constipation, and emotional distress.


8. Help others and give back - opens heart, relieves stress, releases oxytocin the compassionate hormone, good for health and longevity, strengthens connection with others, enjoy a greater sense of well-being.

9. Write your worries away - get a worry book and list all those things that create anxiety - make sure to include the trivial ones too - one of the easiest ways to empty your brain and feel lighter and less tense.

10. Before going to sleep, give thanks for three things that have happened in your day. It could be a beautiful sunset, connecting with an old friend, creating a fabulous meal, completing a project, something a child said or watching the dog chase after a ball. Giving thanks 'ups' vibrations and makes it easier to cope with challenges and stress, feel happier, more optimistic, and maintain a brighter future.

Happy 2014 from Chef Mel xxx

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