Here at Be Well Blueprint we boast living well. There are many things you can do everyday to truly live well and be well. Here are some of my favorite go-to recommendations!
1. Eat a Real Food diet
Food is fuel. It is necessary to live. But for most of us in modern society, it is a struggle centered around overconsumption. Real Food makes this a much, much, much easier ordeal. The fact is, if you are getting the bulk of your calories from restaurants or packages, you are going to struggle staying healthy.
2. Prioritize Sleep
As a parent I regret not doing this earlier in my life. I challenge you to try getting 8 hours a night for at least a week. You will be amazed by how you feel and where your body composition goes with this little experiment. (And you will probably soon realize that you have been in a chronic state of sleep deprivation for most of your life.)
Humans are not meant to eat everyday, and definitely not meant to eat the capacity that we do. Practicing some intermittent fasting or a time restricted eating / fasting window is not only beneficial for body composition, but is beneficial in helping cells repair themselves, thus extending lifespan and preventing cancer.
4. Eat Slow and Chew Your Food Thoroughly
Eating slow enables some important triggers for weight loss:
1. You reduce the insulin spike that is inherent when you eat calories by slowing the release that the food hits your bloodstream. And in case you didn't know: more insulin = more fat storage.
2. You eat less. Eating slow makes you feel full faster and avoid taking in extra calories. We all hate that full, bloated feeling. That is the result of eating too fast and not allowing the full trigger enough time to tell your brain to put down the fork!
5. Cook Your Own Food
Restaurant food is universally bad. Restaurants use cheap salt, sugar, sauces, thickeners, stabilizers and all kinds of other unnatural additives to reduce costs, stay profitable, and keep the food highly addictive. When the average restaurant margin is well under under 5%. Cooking your own food allows you to monitor quality of products.
6. Don't Drink Your Calories
Drinking calories elicits a similar negative response on insulin levels that eating your food too fast does. The calories enter your bloodstream too quickly and cause an overload of insulin. We are made to chew our food. Avoid drinking calories in any form. We also don't always recognize these calories as they don't necessarily "fill us up", so we tend to over consume calories when a lot of them are coming from the drinks we consume. This also usually equates to a higher sugar intake as well.
7. Notice food Sensitivities.
This can be life changing. Start paying attention to how you feel after eating higher inflammatory foods like dairy or gluten. Start eliminating these things if you notice a negative response.
8. Take Vitamin D or Get Sunlight Every Day - Get outside
This could be the missing link in your program. Vitamin D is a necessary hormone in the human body. It is involved in too many processes in your body to neglect. Take a vitamin D supplement (liquid form is more bioavailable) or get 20 minutes of sunlight every day! There are so many positive benefits to being outside daily.
9. Reduce Stress At All Costs
Do everything you can to reduce stress. Stress releases cortisol and insulin into your blood stream just like taking a bite of your favorite candy bar. This extra release of insulin halts fat-loss and promotes fat-gain and throws your hormones out of balance.
10. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on a single object or task and turning off the rest of the noise (thoughts, worry, stress) going through your head. This will help in lowering cortisol and insulin levels. Even 5-10 minutes of meditation daily can make a difference. Use a guided app if you have difficulty finding the silence yourself.
Techniques for being mindful include: Counting your breath (breath meditation), sitting in a quiet place with the goal of emptying the mind (meditation), going outdoors and focusing on the sights and sounds and tuning out the rest (a form of mediation).
11. Keep Sugar Low
Sugar does nothing good for your body. Remember that fat doesn't make you fat. Over consumption of sugar, seed oils, and processed grains are what make you fat.
12. Eat High-Quality Fat
Fatty fish, grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, coconut oil, olive oil, Kerrygold butter, avocado oil, macadamia oil, and ghee are all awesome sources of high quality fat you should eat often.
13. Eat High-quality Animal Products and Seafood
Keywords to look for on packaging include: 100% grass-fed, free range, pastured, organic, all-natural, hormone-free, humanely raised, family farms, local.
14. Move Daily
Shoot for at least 30-40 minutes of movement every single day. This could include strength training, cardiovascular training, yoga, hiking, or anything else you LOVE. Movement and exercise should be fun, so find something that inspires you to move daily.
15. Pay attention to your NEAT (steps daily)
Take the stairs, park at the end of the parking lot, walk the long way. Focus on getting a minimum of 8-10k steps in per day. You can't expect the hour you spend in the gym to do all of the work if you sit for the other 23 hours each day.
Try to include these things into your daily routines and you will be on your way to a healthier life!
Live well, be well.