Our bodies were not meant to live in the fast-paced, stressful world we live in. This is why so many people are affected by health issues; our bodies cannot keep up. This is why it is important to make small tweaks in our daily routines to incorporate health habits.
Your body requires certain nutrients to rebuild itself. It requires certain enzymes, vitamins and minerals to ensure that the rebuilding process is done properly. There are a few small steps you can take immediately to improve the health and appearance of your skin and hair. Skin repairs itself at a pretty rapid pace, so you can expect to see improvements within a month of adding the following to your diet:
Vitamin/Mineral Supplement: Begin immediately by adding a good multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement to your daily diet.
Antioxidants: Add an antioxidant supplement (A, E, C, selenium or equivalent).
Oils: Replace your salad dressing with olive oil, and change your cooking oil to coconut oil or avocado oil. (Polyunsaturated fats like canola and soybean oil commonly used today; they oxidize at a lower temperature – this means that they throw off free radicals at body temperature, which cause cellular damage and accelerate aging.)
Vegetables: If you aren’t already, add at least one serving of dark leafy green vegetables, one serving of yellow vegetables and one of dark red vegetables per day. This will add important enzymes, phytonutrients, minerals and fiber. The easiest way to do this is to insist on one large salad of romaine and RIPE tomato with carrots to nibble on the side – and don’t forget to use olive oil for dressing. A squeeze of lemon goes nicely with this, and the combination of olive oil and lemon helps balance liver enzyme function as well.
Eggs: Protein is vital to cellular regeneration. Although carbohydrates can give you energy, and in the long run your body can use vegetable proteins to synthesize human proteins, only eggs contain every single amino acid necessary to rebuild human cells. Unless you are allergic, add one or two eggs to your menu every day. You can hard boil and chop it over that salad.
Yogurt: In addition to the protein it adds, yogurt also adds calcium and important digestive enzymes to your diet. Add at least one serving of live-culture yogurt daily. It’s cheap, it tastes good and it’s good for you – what more can you ask for? Full fat yogurt is preferable, since the low-fat kind is usually filled with food starch for texture and adds empty calories. Avoid the kind with lots of added sugar if you can, since sugar has little to no real long-term nutritional value.
Your body requires adequate water to move nutrients and enzymes throughout the body. But how much water does your body need? The rule of thumb is to drink at least half your weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink at least 50 ounces of water per day. Don't stop there, the more the better!
Although it’s hard to find, adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your appearance. Your body spends most of your sleeping hours regenerating itself, rebuilding cells, balancing hormone levels and brain chemicals. Adequate sleep will not only help you look good, it will help you feel good as well. Neurochemicals that control mood and pain levels are produced during sleep, which is why so many chronic pain patients are found to have an underlying sleep disorder. So, even if you are not the raving beauty you wished you were, proper mood can lead to proper perspective, and at least it won’t bother you as much. There is, of course, no such thing as perfect, and there’s nothing like a good night sleep to put those nagging doubts and insecurities into perspective.
Adequate Sleep: Make a habit of getting enough sleep. Most experts claim seven to nine hours per day is the required amount. Some experts say that setting the total amount of sleep to coincide with the natural 90 minutes per sleep cycle is best. This would mean either 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep per night. Five cycles would mean 7.5 hours, six cycles would be nine hours of sleep. Try experimenting with setting your clock for either 7.5 OR 9 hours, depending on your schedule, so that you can complete each and every sleep cycle naturally. On the other hand, if you find that 8 hours or 8.5 hours is what makes you feel best, by all means, do what works for you.
Napping: Make a habit of grabbing naps. Humans were meant to take naps. That’s why those of us who are permitted to live according to our normal biological cycle (babies, small children and the elderly) take naps. Humans are designed to nap during the afternoon. Current studies show a natural rise and fall of hormones that indicate a programmed “nap” time in the afternoon. That famous mid-afternoon slump isn’t just lack of sleep at night, a heavy lunch, or stress – it’s your instincts kicking in and telling you to take some down-time. Take a nap during the weekend if you can. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday, get up at your normal time and then take a nap in the early afternoon. It doesn’t need to be a long nap, a simple twenty minute “cat nap” will do just fine! Your body will thank you. And hey, if all you end up doing is resting in a cool room with your eyes closed and clearing your mind, that’ll help too.