Guest post by Sherry of This House of Joy
Are you as healthy as you want to be? Are you dealing with a chronic illness? I have learned a lot over my two years of fighting Lyme disease. I wish I could go back and change the way I was living before. Since I can’t, I want to share with you what I would tell my younger self.
I would tell my younger self that we should be good stewards of the body God has given us, and I would share these five baby steps to wellness. I pray that you will be blessed by all of the wonderful folks who have shared their tips on drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, detoxification, eliminating toxins from the home, and eating real food.
#1 Drink More Water
Making sure you drink enough pure water is the simplest (and most affordable) thing you can do to nurture your body. Notice I didn’t say “liquids,” I said WATER. Why do we need pure water?
- The human body is approximately 75% water and 25% solid matter and the brain is 85% water and extremely sensitive to dehydration.
- Although beverages contain water, they also contain dehydrating substances (ex. caffeine), so the body loses more water than it takes in when drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol.
- Dehydration can cause fatigue, dry skin, low urine output, dry mouth and sinuses. It can affect your blood pressure and impair judgment and coordination. Unintentional Chronic Dehydration (UCD) can cause stress, headaches, back pain, allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, and many other degenerative health problems.
- Water helps reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression and is a great source of energy.
- Drinking water separates the sensations of hunger and thirst.
How much water should you drink per day?
Aim to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day. To make it easy, portion it out in a large thermos at the beginning of the day. Ensure you are getting enough minerals by adding a pinch of sea salt to each glass of water you drink.
To find out more, check out:
- Are You Dehydrated?
- Easy Steps to Increase Water Intake
- 20 Health Benefits of Drinking Water
- Homemade Flavored Waters
#2 Get Enough Sleep
If you are not getting adequate sleep each night, I encourage you to do everything you can to make that a priority. Fatigue is a big problem in itself and chronic lack of sleep can lead to even bigger problems. Your circadian rhythm affects your sleep-wake cycle, hormone release, and body temperature among other body functions. Poor sleep can be linked to chronic disease, pain, and weight gain.
For more information about sleep deprivation and effects on health, check out:
- Sleep Deprivation Risks
- Improving Your Sleep May Be Key for Preventing and Treating Metabolic Disorders
For tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, check out:
- Getting Your Beauty Rest
- Essential Oils for a Better Night’s Sleep
- 9 Herbs for a Restful Nights Sleep
- Sleep for a Healthy Pregnancy
- Helping Toddlers Sleep
- 20 Ways to Induce Sleep Naturally
#3 Eat Real Food
My grandma always said to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. What’s on the perimeter? The real food! Do your best to avoid packaged, processed foods and go for fresh produce, meat, eggs, and dairy. I love what Hippocrates said: “Let Thy Food be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine be Thy Food.” Good in, good out…it’s as simple as that.
Take baby steps to:
- Eliminate packaged and processed foods.
- Switch to organic options when available.
- Print out a copy of EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 to help you prioritize your purchases.
- Learn what the stickers on fruits and vegetables mean.
- Avoid GMOs and other harmful ingredients.
- Seek out pasture-raised meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
- Eat seasonal produce for peak freshness and nutrition.
Here are 31 real food baby steps if you need more ideas!
Switching to a real food (and mostly organic) diet can be daunting at first. We all have different budget constraints and that is ok. Just ease into real food, work with what you have and don’t beat yourself up.
If your food budget is stressed enough as it is, I encourage you stop and read Dear Mom Who Can’t Afford Organic Food. I hope it is a real blessing to you!
Here are some resources to help you stretch your dollar and get inspired to make some changes:
- Top 10 Ways to Save Time and Money When Shopping for Organic Food
- Tips for Living a Real Food Lifestyle
- Real Food on a Budget: A Comprehensive Guide
- 20 First Steps to a Real Food Diet
- A Real Food Diet is an act of Worship
- Practical Ways to Eat Well When You Can’t Afford Organic Food
#4 Detox Regularly
Unfortunately, we live in a toxic world. We would go crazy trying to avoid everything…in fact, we’d have to live in a plastic bubble (A BPA free plastic bubble). All joking aside, I can’t stress regular detoxification enough. I’m not talking about crazy fad detox diets or a bottle of pills that claim to “colon cleanse.” I am talking about simple, gentle ways you can detox your body on a regular basis.
There are many gentle detoxification strategies. They range from detox baths in clay or salts, to dry skin brushing, oil pulling, and coffee enemas to foods that promote detoxification. If you have the resources, you can also try acupuncture, chiropractic, infrared saunas, and colon hydrotherapy to speed things along.
Basic Detoxification Tips:
- Why Everyone Needs Glutathione
- Detoxification Tips for Beginners
- Easy Detox Plan
- Why Should you, and What can You do to Detox, even When Pregnant?
- How to Make a Soothing Lavender Detox Bath
- How to Make a Detox Bath
- Epsom Salt Detox Baths vs. Real Salt Detox Baths
Dry Skin Brushing:
Colon Cleansing/ Coffee Enemas:
- No Way, I’m Not Doing That
- How I Take My Coffee (It’s Not What You Think!)
- A Candid Colon Cleansing Conversation
Detoxifying Foods & Beverages:
#5 Minimize Toxins in the Home
There’s no point in spending time detoxifying while continuing to use toxic cleaning and personal care products or chemicals around the home. Little by little, switch over your favorite products to more natural alternatives. You can buy more natural options in the store or make them yourself. You can find a wealth of recipes online these days!
If DIY is not your thing, use the EWG Skin Deep Database to find non-toxic cosmetics and personal care products. Every year, they release an updated Sunscreen Guide. To learn more about safe cleaning products, check out the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Non-Toxic Cosmetics and Personal Care Products:
- Making the Switch to Natural Make-up
- A Make-up Artist’s Tips for Selecting Safer Cosmetics
- Top *Safe Cosmetic* Picks for a Flawless Face
- Top *Safe Cosmetic* Picks for Classic Eyes
- Homemade Tooth Powder & Mouth Wash
- Naturally Clean for Baby
- Do Natural Deodorants Really Work?
- DIY Raw Honey Lip Salve
Minimizing Toxins Around the Home:
- Recipe for a Toxin-Free Kitchen: 10 Homemade Kitchen Cleaners
- Hidden Toxins Around the Home
- Getting Clothes Clean Without Toxins
- Why Switch to Glass Storage Containers?
- Preventing Colds and the Flu With an Air Purifier
- Is Your Water Toxic?
- Are There Toxins in Your Mattress?
- 3 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes that Work
- Nighttime EMF Protection
- Keep Your Air Fresh This Winter
What is the ONE thing about health and nutrition that you’d like to tell your younger self? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Sherry and her husband live in California with their two precious children. In two years, she went from surviving to thriving with Lyme disease, so she is passionate about teaching people how to overcome health challenges naturally. She writes about allergy-free cooking, holistic health, and life at This House of Joy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, G+, Twitter, and Instagram.