Guide to a Healthy 2014- with FREE Printable!

guide to healthy 2014
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If you’re like me, you have goals to be healthier in 2014.  Whether you are suffering from an autoimmune condition, experience digestive distress, want to lose weight, or have simply overdone it through the holiday season (like me!), you may be able to benefit from a reset for the new year!  Below, I will detail my suggestions for how to get on track and live your healthiest year yet!

Paleo Diet

I suggest adhering to a strict paleo diet for 30 days to start 2014 off.  What does a paleo diet include?  Lots of grassfed and pastured eggs and meat, tons of veggies, some nuts and fruit, and plenty of good fats like ghee and coconut oil.  What should you avoid on a paleo diet?  Grains of ALL kinds: wheat, barley, rye, corn, rice, oats, etc.  Also, dairy should be avoided, although butter and some raw or cultured dairy may be ok for some (it’s best to eliminate these foods to begin with, then try them later to see if any intolerance is present), as well as sugar.  If you are struggling with an addiction to sweet, sugary, carb-y foods, you would do yourself a huge favor by eliminating all sweeteners during this time, including honey and maple syrup, in order to work on your habits and give your body a chance to reset.  Legumes should also be avoided and include peanuts, beans and lentils, although green beans and peas are okay.  If you have candida overgrowth or serious carb cravings, white potatoes are best avoided during this time as well.  A paleo diet is not truly a “diet”, but a lifestyle change.  I suggest trying it for 30 days, but you will probably want to stick with it beyond that once you find how much better you feel!

Change Your Habits

All alcohol, tobacco and other substances should be eliminated completely as you start 2014 off.  These things are bad for your body for obvious reasons, but let’s just say that an occasional glass of wine wouldn’t be the end of the world after your 30 days! 😉

Drink more water.  You can use this handy little quiz to determine how much water you should be drinking, based on your weight and other factors.

Supplements

When making major diet changes, you can get more bang for your buck if you include some essential supplements.  My top three are probiotics (good brands are Biokult or Gutpro), Fermented Cod Liver Oil (this is the kind my family takes; we like the cinnamon flavor), and {food grade} Diatomaceous Earth.  With both the probiotic and DE, you may want to start out slowly with dosages, working your way up to the full dosage of probiotic as described on the bottle, and a TBS of DE daily.  Coconut oil can and should be consumed along with foods throughout the day, but can also be added in as part of your supplement regimen at 1 TBS per day.  We take our DE first thing in the morning, mixed in a small amount of water, followed by a full glass of plain water, and take the rest of our supplements at night, so as to avoid any interactions.

Additional Food and Drink

Nettle tea, which is rich in vitamin K, as well as minerals, should be consumed as an infusion (tea) daily.  You can find plain nettle tea bags or loose dried nettle to use in a tea infuser.

Cultured foods and beverages (pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, beet kvass) are best homemade, but reputable brands can be found at health food stores, including Bubbies (which makes delicious pickles and sauerkraut!), and several brands of kombucha, which have no other added ingredients.

Homemade bone broth is an essential part of healing and nourishing your body.  It is one of the single most important foods you can add while you are healing during this time.  Recipes can easily be found online, but a basic bone broth consists of using bones from a pastured animal, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, some chopped celery and carrot sticks and a diced onion, as well as salt and pepper.  Fill a stock pot with the ingredients and filtered water, bring to a boil and then let simmer on low for 3-24 hours (some people leave a stock pot of broth on their stove top at all times, supplementing it as they go, and at three cups a day, this isn’t a bad idea!).  A good bone broth will gel up when refrigerated.

Lots and lots of vegetables are a key part of getting nutrients into your diet, and green, leafy vegetables tend to get overlooked in most people’s diets.  You can easily add kale or spinach to a morning smoothie, as well as get creative with salads to boost your intake.  The key is trying to ensure you eat vegetables with every meal, and snacking on them is a bonus!

Organ meats are another essential food that most modern diets do not include.  It is fairly easy to find liver from pastured beef at bigger health food stores, but reasonably priced organs can also be purchased from local farmers or online.  Because my family does not care for the taste of liver, I’ve made capsules out of dehydrated liver following this recipe, which we take along with our other supplements in the evenings.  I give one capsule to each of my boys, two to my husband (am I the only one shoveling supplements into my willing participant spouse?), and six throughout the day for myself since I’m pregnant.  This takes the guesswork out of preparing a food we don’t really care for while still getting the nutrients into our bodies.  Plus, the b vitamins in organ meats are very useful when detoxing.

Take Time for YOU!

Taking time daily to spend in prayer or meditation (even if it’s just five minutes!) is crucial to mental health and staying de-stressed.  Spending your time in reflection and communication with God helps to refocus your attentions and keep you calm throughout your day.

Take a walk!  Try to get out for a quick walk daily to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Exercise a few times a week.  Additionally, if you can find the extra time to exercise a few times a week, whether you’re a weight lifter, runner, or simply enjoy stretching, take some time to be active.

While you are undergoing these changes, especially if you are dramatically changing your diet and adding in good things like probiotics, your body will detox and begin to get rid of stored up toxins.  This is good for you!  It can also make you feel awful.  Detox baths are an excellent way to relieve detox symptoms (which can be as gentle as slight fatigue, or as extreme as flu symptoms, headaches and digestive distress as your body adjusts) and help your body eliminate toxins.  Ingredients you can use in your detox bath include Epsom salts, baking soda, bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar.  A cup of any one ingredient can be beneficial in a very hot bath, in which you should soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, but preferably until water has cooled.  You can find some good information and recipes from the Healthy Home Economist here.

Finally, goal to read some books that might help you along in your journey.  Some I suggest include Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride (details and information on healing severe health problems), It All Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (details a paleo-style diet and why our modern diets are making us so sick) and Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (part paleo diet informational book, part cookbook, this book also has 30 day meal plans which are customized towards whatever your goal may be: weight loss, autoimmune conditions or even blood sugar regulation).

I know this is a lot of info to take in, and you may not get it all at once for the first 30 days, so I’ve created  little printable for you to download and print in order to hang on your refrigerator as a reminder.  You can even put it in a picture frame and use a dry erase marker to mark off what you’ve done for the day or week and keep track of all of the wonderful things you’re doing for your body!

Healthy 2014 Printable copy

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Click below for a printer-friendly version!

Healthy 2014 Printable

Here’s to your healthiest year yet!

What are you doing to improve your health this year?

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be beneficial for my readers.

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