Simple swaps you can do to make your life 100% healthier

It’s so easy for your health to fall by the wayside because just trying to deal with work, kids, a spouse, parents, friends and putting dinner on the table every night is enough already, right?! But the funny thing is, the healthier you are, the more energy you’ll have to power through your to-do list. So I’m going to make it easy for you and give you some simple swaps you can do to improve your health, without really feeling like you’re sacrificing time or energy.

Around the home
Commercial cleaning products which are full of chemicals and toxins which you don’t want in your home! The residues of cleaning products can stay in our homes and offices for a long time and leave us exposed to them on a daily basis.

SWAP it for… try making your own – truly natural, low-tox and budget-friendly!

All-purpose cleaning spray:
• 10-15 drops of eucalyptus OR orange oil
• ½ cup white vinegar
• ½ cup water

Add these ingredients to a clean spray bottle and use for kitchens, bathrooms and benchtops. For more heavy duty cleaning (like ovens and showers), sprinkle bicarb soda on any grease or soap scum build up and then spray with your homemade cleaning spray. Leave it to bubble for around 10-15 minutes and then come back and gently wipe it clean.

To your diet
Snack foods – even when we are trying to eat healthy snacks, many of us forget to add protein which helps to boost energy, mood and also keeps us feeling full and less likely to crave a sweet treat. Next time you reach for a piece of fruit or plain crackers as a snack…

SWAP it for… a protein-containing snack – try to include a source of protein and something fresh with most snacks. Examples include: apple with almond butter, cheese and cucumber, carrot and hummus, fruit and nuts, greek yoghurt with berries or a chia pudding

To your lifestyle
Making time to slow down and be mindful is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle in our increasing hectic and busy world. Being constantly stressed and busy causes our bodies to release lots of adrenaline, cortisol and stress hormones. In excess, these hormones can negatively affect hormonal balance, energy, sleep and mood.

SWAP it for… try downloading a mindfulness/meditation app on your phone (I like Smiling Mind, Headspace and Calm) and listening to it for 5-8 minutes EVERY night before bed. Even if you feel like you are not good at it and your mind keeps wandering that’s totally fine – even trying to be mindful slows down the body and you will get better at it with time, you just need to stick with it!

To your bathroom
Ditch the anti-bacterial handwash – ESPECIALLY if it contains the ingredient ‘triclosan’. Triclosan is banned in many other western countries including the USA for its damaging effects on the immune system. Start the switch today by checking out the amazing low-tox home and body products from Nourished Life.

SWAP it for.. a simple un-fragranced soap and water is good enough to do the job and won’t negatively affect your immune system at the same time.

To your daily routine
Do you eat in a rush? At your desk? While driving your car? Studies have shown that the way we eat is almost as important as what we eat. This is possibly one of the reasons that many European cultures enjoy lower risks of cardiovascular disease despite consuming more wine, bread and saturated fats than Australians. Many of us tend to quickly smash a kale salad or a green juice at our desk while answering emails instead of taking time to relax, socialize and slowly enjoy and appreciate our food.

SWAP it for..
The social way of eating is hard to replicate on a work day but you can make small changes such as trying to eat your meals in a relaxed environment (no, not at your computer, on your phone or in front of the TV) get away from your electrical devices and focus on chewing well and really tasting your food. If you are working in an office, take (at least!) 15 minutes to walk outside and enjoy your lunch without distractions. Take a few deep breaths before returning to work or being busy.

About the author

Belinda Kirkpatrick is an expert Nutritionist and Naturopath in Sydney. She specialises in natural fertility, family and women's health care. She is the author of Healthy Hormones (a practical guide to balancing your hormones) and is the founder of the SEED Concept and also Seed App for iPhone.

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