13 Tips to a Healthier YOU in 2013!
1. Drink enough water
Your body is two-thirds water. Your body cells will react adversely when they are starved of water – fatigue, headaches, sugar cravings and hunger could all be symptoms of dehydration. What is enough? The latest research suggests 8-12 cups a day.
2. Eat more green vegetables
The benefits of eating green, leafy vegetables are immense – from improved circulation and a stronger immune system to cancer and heart disease prevention. There are so many wonderful greens to choose from (broccoli, kale, bok choy, watercress etc) – find greens that you enjoy and eat them often.
3. Enjoy being healthy
Being healthy is not about deprivation, shame or denial. Cooking and eating healthy food is a wonderful experience that you will naturally cherish once you allow yourself too. Try creating a positive attitude and environment around you and enjoy the process of becoming happier and healthier every step of the way.
4. Trade in your margarine and butter for Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may have got a bad rap in the past, but studies now show that there are a myriad of health benefits available offered in the oil of this tropical fruit. Not only does coconut oil lower cholesterol, control blood sugars levels and help brain function, it tastes delicious too!
5. Avoid processed food
A great rule of thumb: eat food that comes from plants and not those made in a plant. The human body was not designed to consume chemicals and highly processed ‘foods’ and doing so wrecks havoc with the natural functioning of your body. Major culprits to look out for include high fructose corn syrup, Trans fat and MSG.
6. Do your best to stay on good terms with the people who matter in your life
The quality of your relationships in life influences your overall wellbeing and health. It’s important to cultivate healthy relationships that support your individual needs, wants and desires in life. Life is too short not too.
7. Get enough sleep
Giving your body sufficient sleep makes it easier for you to make healthier choices, lose weight and enjoy life. The amount of sleep an individual needs to function optimally varies, but most people require more than 6 hours a night.
8. Include exercise as a part of your daily life
You don’t need to be a marathon runner to reap the many benefits of exercise. Even just a few minutes a day is better than nothing – experiment with an exercise style that works for you. Why not try something new this year? Try yoga, tai chi, martial arts, walking in the outdoors, swimming or recreational sport.
9. Chew your food
It seems pretty obvious, right!? But, unfortunately, in the rush of modern day life most people gulf down their meals, without chewing their food properly. Taking the time to really chew your food greatly improves digestion, ensures that you don’t over-eat and allows you to completely enjoy the flavours in your meal.
10. Find a way to love your job or find a job you love
Stress can be toxic to the human body; whether it manifests itself as heart disease, depression, unwanted weight gain or any of its other guises. If you are unhappy with your job, but you are not in a position to change careers this year, do your best to find ways to enjoy your current career.
11. Switch to whole grains
Study after study has shown that it is not so much the quantity of carbohydrates that matter, but rather the quality or type of carbohydrate. Instead of filling up on refined carbohydrates, try a variety of healthy grains. Whole grains contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins.
12. Replace soda drinks with healthier options
Drinking one or more sodas a day doubles your risk of developing type 2 diabetes! Instead of drinking empty calories that don’t serve your good health, try drinking water with fresh mint or lemon and herbal teas. Green tea is another great substitute when you’re in need of an energy boost.
13. Empower yourself through making healthy choices
Whether it’s learning how to read food labels, finding an exercise regime that works for you or choosing a health care practitioner who supports your health goals – make 2013 the year that you take control of your health.
 Sugar sweetened soft drinks and Type 2 Diabetes, Nurses Health Study 2, 1991 – 1998.