Three cheers for life improvement! Here are some tips, developed for a clean living reboot.

Eat a diet largely comprised of fruits and vegetables.          

Duh, right? Fresh foods require regular shopping, hands on preparation, and more money than eating processed, ready to go foods. A trick that I’ve developed to make clean eating less tedious is to steam and cut vegetables as soon as they’re brought home, which allows me to turn them into a snack or meal in no time. When getting started, it’s important to realistically evaluate how many fruits and veggies my household goes through to eliminate costly waste. Start with a small shopping list and scaling up as you replace processed foods with fresh produce.

Use a guided meditation to evaluate how the body feels.                   

Shifting the focus away from the demanding, achy mental and physical parts of ourselves is helpful.  This 3 minute meditation from UCLA MARC eases you into relaxation, and offers a break from tension and stress. It is a simple free practice for enhancing your life.

Diet because you love yourself- not because you want to change yourself.                      

Healthy eating is often about losing weight. Weight loss can be life changing. It can also take over your life. I have a great body which has always served me well. My weight has gone up, it’s gone down, and naturally ebbs and flows with my valuable, exciting life. Body shaming is a national past time. Do your diet goals serve you, first and foremost? They should!

Walk out the door and spend some time moving, completely unplugged.  

Technology gives us an unusual urgency to engage constantly. Make the conscious decision to spend one hour a day tech free. Give your mind room to roam free, observe and connect with your surroundings. 

 The foods/drinks that are most loved are best enjoyed in moderation.                                                                  

Coffee. Hot spaghetti. Whisky. Cape Cod potato chips with Red Hots in them. I hold the common belief that if one is good, twenty must be better. Not true! Consider the wisdom ‘absence makes the heart grow stronger’. It’s fitting, as the toll that a regularly consumed bag of chips has on the heart is significant. Another pearl of wisdom- anticipation is a key component to enjoyment.

When experiencing pain, anxiety, or stress, focus on breathing and being present in the moment.    

Turbulence when flying is a great example of a stress causing situation. It can be unbearably uncomfortable, especially when there are still hours left in a flight. What to do? Close your eyes. Slow your breathing, which will slow your heart rate, all while clearing the mind. When you employ this self soothing practice, it takes you back to the moment. Grounding in the present is a vital tool to alleviate stress and anxiety.