By Cindy Prodgers – Nourishmint Coaching
Last month I spoke about the Nourishmint approach to optimum weight and wellness and this month I am delving a little deeper into 5 decisions I made last year that have significantly transformed my health. I am someone that prefers simplicity in all aspects of my life and this extends to my wellness habits and practices. Take a read below for 5 simple wellness choices you can make this year.
Water as my drink of choice
You’ve heard it a million times before, drink more water! And that’s exactly what I decided to do last year as a consistent, daily practice. The results were tangible and within 2 weeks my skin looked brighter, I had a bit more energy and noticed a healthy shift in my digestion. Since then I have made it a practice to drink 2 – 3 litres of water every day and invested in a high quality, insulated water bottle which goes with me everywhere.
Why drink more water? Seeing as our bodies are made up of around 60% of water it rings true that staying hydrated is essential to optimum functioning. When the body is sufficiently hydrated some common benefits include: increased energy levels and cognitive function, improved digestion and relief from constipation, healthy bladder and swift removal of toxins from the body and regulated appetite as the brain can get confused between thirst and hunger – this is because in the very early days of our species, we used to derive a lot of our liquid intake from eating fruits and other liquid dense foods.
I have been drawn to the wholefoods lifestyle for some time now but wanted a framework from which I could learn and understand what this way of living is all about. WildFit entered my life at just the right time, as I was experiencing an upswing in debilitating digestive issues which I later discovered were being caused by soya products to which I have a major intolerance.
Through a 6 week training programme I was introduced to the WildFit way…which is very simply, a return to the ideal homosapien diet. Before convenience foods, refined sugar, wheat and dairy products were so readily available for human consumption. The experience of living in a body devoid of these everyday food types was enlightening…I noticed a dramatic change in the quality of my sleep and sustained energy levels; my skin started glowing and my hair and nails growing at a rapid rate. My cognition started to improve and I felt a renewed sense of mental clarity approaching tasks that before seemed a little overwhelming. My mood picked up and my stress levels felt much more balanced. Overall I felt completely in tune with myself and realised that the experience of Lockdown had had a significant impact on my emotional wellbeing which was now slowly but surely healing as my body felt stronger and properly nourished.
Adapting to a WildFit Lifestyle means raising your consciousness around everything you consume and paying attention to your food dialogue and belief systems around food and eating. This ties in beautifully with the Nourishmint Consciousness and feels perfectly aligned with what I teach as part of my wellness philosophy.
I kicked off with a Celery Juicing protocol last year which then moved onto a more varied green juice combining various green vegetables and sometimes green fruits. The impact on my sense of wellbeing and energy levels was really quick. Tangible benefits include: improved digestion, reduced inflammation in the body, improved immunity and better blood sugar balance.
What I learnt quite quickly was that preparing juice daily is a bit of a grind and is likely to reduce your chances of making the habit consistent because it is time consuming. I now do a big batch of juice once a week and then freeze it, taking out each day’s allocation the night before and letting it defrost in the fridge for consumption first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The Juice stores well in the freezer and is best stored and served in a glass for that fresh, zingy flavour.
Important to note: keep fruit consumption to a minimum if you want to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and regular appetite levels.
I’ve been a fan of gentle movement for years now and veered away from heavy exercise due to ongoing back and neck pain issues. As my energy levels started to pick up last year I felt strongly called to return to exercise but realised I had lost a lot of muscle tone and strength in my body and so starting with a strength training regime felt like the right thing to do to get going.
6 months later and I am astounded at how much stronger and fitter I am. I have continued to work with my Biokintisist (essential if you are strength training with prior injuries) and taken up a regular running practice and make sure I plan in a strenuous hike at least once a week somewhere in the CT Mountains.
I follow a simple formula when it comes to moving my body and it looks something like this: Monday and Thursday: 5km Run, Tuesday and Friday: Strength Training, Wednesday and Saturday: Yoga & Rest, Sunday: Hike
And I like to think about the return on investment for my effort in this way:
Gentle Movement = medicine for the body
Weight Training = builds strength & stamina
Cardio Exercise = purges stress chemistry & boosts serotonin levels
If you are wanting to return to an exercise and fitness regime…start slowly, pick an exercise that you really enjoy (even better if you can do it in nature) and if needs be, invest in a coach or trainer to help you get on your way. Alternatively, work with someone like me to help you set a roadmap to get to your ultimate exercise and fitness goal.
A lot of things did not go my way last year, starting off with losing my full-time job right before the hard Lockdown started in South Africa. Whilst I am not pessimistic by nature, I found myself feeling low and fearful about my security in these new economically precarious times. I already have a practice of gratitude in place and I wanted something to ramp this practice up which led me to the age-old saying ‘’Count Your Blessings” but with a 2020 twist.
The practice I now cultivate daily is to actively notice everything that is working in my favour each day. As simple as, “today I am working from the comfort of my home and don’t need to fight traffic”, to “today is the most perfect morning for my 5km run when the weather forecast suggested it might be raining”, to “today I received a new Client enquiry”. Whilst these might seem like normal, trivial things that happen to us in our daily lives… Once we start to frame these differently and choose to see them as life working in our favour, the perspective shift creates a happy brain chemistry cocktail on tap.
The more I cultivate this habit of shifting my perspective, the less anxious I feel because I am choosing to focus on what is working out well for me, instead of what isn’t. Can this work for those of you facing dire financial stress? Battling to find work in the current economic climate? Struggling with social isolation because of Lockdown restrictions? Suffering with some sort of chronic health condition? Yes it can and quite instantly too but remember it is a practice…meaning it is something that needs to be done with consciousness, intention and repetition at regular intervals. Starting your day off in this way is a really effective way to make it stick…pair up with your morning hot drink or if you have a crazy household in the mornings, perhaps schedule this thought habit into your morning shower, drive to work or any other time when you can be alone and uninterrupted with your thoughts.
I hope you’ve found these 5 simple wellness strategies useful and rest assured that everything I promote and teach, I have tried and implemented successfully myself. If you are keen to raise your wellness consciousness this year and implement your own Nourishmint Formula, I am on hand to help you build this and implement this sustainably, as your Nourishmint Coach and Accountability Partner.
For more information on Nourishmint Consciousness, my personal wellness philosophy and my service offering, take a look at my website: www.iamnourishmint.co.za and join my Community: on Facebook: