#1: Drink a Pint of Water as Soon as you Wake Up
We all know the importance of water, right?
We evolved from water. Our body is made up of approximately 70% water. We are basically a walking, talking, big mass of mostly water.
First thing in the morning your body is dehydrated from 7+ hours of no water. Drinking a pint of water before you do anything else will give your body the top up it needs to start the day.
In Dr. Batmanghelidj famous book “The Body’s Many Cries For Water“ he explains, in great detail, the importance of drinking water. He believes that often we are not hungry but thirsty as the body confuses signals for water.
Drinking 2 litres of water per day is a good starting point for most adults. Performance, concentration and sickness are all symptoms of dehydration. Your intestines will also squeeze and extract water from your feces if you are really dehydrated and nobody wants their body made up of that type of water, do they?
#2: Start a Workout Habit of 7 Minutes a Day
It doesn’t take long to form a new habit, usually in less than 30 days.
Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start by just developing an exercise habit rather than killing yourself at the gym.
Using my Daily 7 Minute Workouts is a great start:
1. Choose one movement pattern for each day of the week (Monday – Friday)
2. Movement Patterns include: Squatting, Pulling, Lunging, Pushing, Bending
3. Try to perform as many of that movement pattern as you can in 7 minutes
My advice would be to run through your 7 minute workout nice and early before breakfast. Early workouts work in tune with your hormonal system and leave you not thinking about exercise for the rest of the day.
Start your 7 minute exercise habit today and before long it will feel as natural as brushing your teeth!
#3: Ditch the Table Salt and Start Eating Real Sea Salt
The majority of people are still overloading themselves with processed salt.
Salt isn’t actually the problem, it’s the type of salt that matters. Did you know that human blood has the same salt content as sea salt?
Table salt is highly processed, often using chemicals, that leave it clean, white and absent of all those precious trace minerals. Most table salt resembles something you would find in a science lab rather than in nature.
There are lots of great unprocessed sea salt brands out there. Look for sea salt that is slightly grey in colour. My favourite is a French sea salt is called “Gros Sel de Guerande”.
Buy a good brand of sea salt and it will last you for months.
#4: Set Up an Organic Food Delivery
Eating seasonal food is important. The more local seasonal food your eat the less time it has spent in transit and the more nutrients the food will have. Fresh fruit and vegetables lose nutritional value from the moment they are picked.
To ensure you get the most seasonal and local food I recommend you sign up with a Local Organic Food delivery service like Riverford (the one I use) or Abel and Cole.
Organic Delivery is great because:
1. You get fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to your door weekly
2. You get to try some weird and wonderful foods that maybe you have never tried before
3. Organic food is not drenched in nasty pesticides and other chemicals
4. It actually works out cheaper than buying from the supermarket
5. It saves you time and effort of shopping each week
Set up an Organic food delivery today and you will be amazed at some of the great food you will be eating!
#5: Start to Breathe Deeply Through Your Belly Again!
Stress causes shallow breathing through the upper chest and neck. The more shallow you breathe, the more of a stress response you get.
Have you ever watched a baby breathe? They breathe deeply through their bellies right? As we get older and stress starts to creep into our lives we start to take that breathing from the belly and shift up and into the chest and neck.
Shallow breathing causes headaches, upper back and neck tension! As well as keeping you highly charged and your hormonal system on overdrive.
Learn to slow down your breathing and take your breath to your belly. Deep breathing through the diaphragm stimulates the “Parasympathetic Nervous System” and causes the body to relax.
1. Try taking 10 deep breaths counting to 5 on the IN breath and 5 on the OUT breathe
2. Push your belly OUT as you breathe IN and pull the belly IN as you breathe OUT
3. 2 thirds of your breath should come from your belly and 1 third from your chest
Take some time each day and learn to breathe deeply. It’s a wonderful stress reliever!
#6: Re-Assess Your Medication and Make Some Changes
The sale of Drugs, whether over the counter or via prescription is a multi-million pound industry. Many people are far to easily convinced to take drugs based on TV ads or Doctors recommendations.
The truth is, ALL drugs are poison to the body. It takes a lot of energy for the body to process drugs and most drugs have side effects.
If your are suffering from a sickness or disease then start to question what may be out of balance in your life. Are you stressed out, eating dead foods, dehydrated, lacking in quality sleep?
If you have been taking medication for a long time then book an appointment with your doctor to reassess your situation. Don’t just reach for the drugs every time you have a headache, backache, constipation etc. Start to question the source of the problem rather than addressing the symptoms every time.
#7: Eat More Living Food
If you want to bring life into your body then you need to eat live foods. Dead foods only equal a dead body!
So think about what foods you are eating. Do you eat fresh and seasonal foods (see action #4) or are you eating packaged and processed foods?
The fresher the food the better. Try steaming or eating some of your foods raw to get the maximum nutrition from them. Boiling vegetables only leaches all the vitamins and minerals out into the water. So if you do boil vegetables make sure you use the water to make soups and sauces.
#8: Get to Bed by 10:30pm, it’s When, Not How Much Sleep that Counts
The human being operates on what is called a circadian cycle.
We evolved from nature and have always been influenced by the fall and rise of the sun. In the mornings the hormone Cortisol is stimulated, this prepares the body for action. In the evenings Cortisol levels should be reduced and Anabolic hormones are released to stimulate tissue regrowth and repair during sleep.
If you go to bed too late then you miss out a large portion of the the Growth and Repair cycle which usually runs from around 10-2am. From 2am to 6am most repair is mental rather than physical.
We are creatures of the earth and need to work with our hormones rather than against them.
It’s not necessarily how much sleep you get that matters but more when you sleep that counts!
#9: Take Your Shoes off and Start Earthing
How often to you touch your bare feet on the grass or earth?
Earthing is based on the principle that we have lost our connection with the earth. If you think about it, do you ever walk around in bare feet anymore? Our ancestors used to have constant connection with the earth and this is something that has been lost today.
There is lots of research coming out now that shows positive reasons why we should all get out there and dance on the grass or paddle in streams.
Just connecting your body to the earth will give you lots of natural energy.
So get out there today for 5 minutes and get connected back with nature.
#10: Avoid Wheat for the Day, You Won’t Regret It
Wheat is a major problem and probably the most influential food action your could take today.
It’s not actually the wheat that is the problem but the wheat’s protein Gluten that is the real nasty. The sticky protein Gluten is a big irritant to most peoples gut.
Being Gluten intolerant doesn’t just mean having gut problems like wind and a bloated stomach. Gluten can also cause an auto immune response from Leaky Gut Syndrome resulting in: Arthritis, Headaches, Back Pains, Depression and more.
Gluten is everywhere so be careful. Common foods include: Breads, Pasta, Sauces, fillers in Sausages, and Cereals.
You can take a food sensitivity test to find out if you are Gluten sensitive or you can avoid Gluten for 30 days and see just how amazing you feel without it.
#11: Free Your Mind With 5 Minutes of Meditation
Stress is the number one killer. Meditation offers you a chance to take your mind away from the daily grind and be with yourself for a few minutes.
There are many ways to mediate, here are 2 of my favourite methods:
1. Sit quietly and breathe deeply through your belly. Concentrate on your breath as you breathe through your nose. Count each breath and see how high you can count.
2. Again sit or lie quietly and breathe through your belly. Concentrate your vision on an object about 10 feet in front of you. Keep your eyes relaxed and focus on that object ONLY.
If you do start to think about your worries and problems don’t give up just accept them and refocus on your meditation.
Start with 5 minutes and work up to 30 minutes per day.
#12: Avoid Drinking Caffeine in the Afternoon
Coffee and Tea both contain caffeine which adds extra stress to your body and mind.
The stress that caffeine causes effects your nervous system. With every cup of caffeine your adrenal glands release hormones that fire up your system and prepare it for action. As the system gets fired up glucose is released into the body to give it energy. This energy response all dates back to our survival days when we needed energy to fight or run from wild animals. We don’t usually need this energy anymore so it gets stored in the liver or in the fat cells for later.
The roller coaster that the blood sugar levels are put on due to caffeine intake and subsequent cortisol and insulin responses is very damaging to the body. Adrenal fatigue is all too common these days, as is Insulin Resistance and Diabetes.
Caffeine really does get on your nerves so take a break from it as much as you can, especially in the afternoons when you should be winding down.
#13: Choose BIG BANG Exercises and Save Time
If your goals are to improve your fitness and lose fat then you shouldn’t waste your time with small exercises.
Small exercises only target small muscle groups, like the biceps or triceps. To get a quicker response from your workout you need to focus on big exercises that hit large muscle groups.
Here’s my list of top 5 Big bang exercises:
1. The Lunge – a basic movement that not only works most muscles of the body but improves your balance and movement skills
2. The Row – pulling your hands towards you is excellent for recruiting most of the muscles in your back. Perform this exercise standing up and you will use the legs and core muscles too!
3. The Squat – uses most muscles in the body but in particular the buttocks and thighs
4. The Push Up – avoid the bench press and stick to the push up. The push Up targets the chest, triceps and core muscles and you can do them anywhere.
5. The Deadlift – again uses most of your 600 muscles but heavily works the back of the body so great for posture
Put these exercises together in a circuit in the same order as above and you have a quick and highly effective workout.
#14: Take a Walk in Nature
There is nothing more natural and uplifting than taking a walk in nature. If your mind is busy, you are feeling the pressures of the day, or you simply need a break from the office. Taking a quick stroll through a park, fields or woods, is great for the soul.
Walking in nature can offer you some active meditation. A time to let yourself go and reassess your situation. Remember we all come from nature so get out there and reconnect.
#15: Plan Out Your Meals for the Week
OK, don’t turn your nose up at this suggestion. A little planning can go a long way.
There is nothing worse than opening the cupboards and finding them bare. Empty cupboards usually means eating and drinking things that you know you shouldn’t.
Take 5 minutes and write down a list of meals for the week. Once you have your meals jotted down, split each meal up into ingredients required. You then have your shopping list for the week.
This is a simple technique that only has to be done once a week, but the time and aggravation it saves is well worth it. Also, once you have written down a few weekly lists you can combine them to save even more time.
#16: Follow the Rainbow Diet
It’s a fact that different coloured vegetables contain different nutrients.
Next time you are out grocery shopping try and choose as many variations of colours as you can find. The brighter and more colourful your shopping basket the better.
#17: Dream about What You Really Want
Do you know what you really want out of life? Have you ever taken the time to think about it?
Setting goals and taking control of your life is important for your overall happiness. There is something very intrinsically rewarding about achieving a goal. Generally the harder and longer a goal takes to achieve the more rewarding it will be.
The subconscious mind has a clever way of finding solutions for you but you have to set it a goal first. Dream big and don’t worry about how you will get there, just let your subconscious take care of it.
Here’s my proven goal setting technique:
1. Close your eyes and dream about what you want your life to be like in 5 years. How will it look and feel?
2. Now ask yourself what skills you need to achieve your dream? List them down.
3. Next work backwards and plan out your pathway to your dream. Where will you need to be in 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 month, 1 month, 1 week?
4. Write out your road-map and stick it on the wall. Tick off each week as you progress towards your 5 year dream.
This technique is highly effective. Don’t sweat over the small stuff, it will sort itself out. As I said before trust your subconscious to find a way. Take control of your life and you could be living your dream in only 5 years!
#18: Spend More Time Standing
For some people the idea of standing more often terrifies them but the truth is sitting down is not very good for our backs.
When we sit down huge amounts of pressure is transferred to the lower back, far more than when standing. It always amuses me when people say their back hurts and so they need to sit down. If you have a bad back you are better to either lie down or stand up.
I’m sure you know that we live in a sitting world. We sit going to work, at work, going home from work, and finally at home in the evening.
Try to spend more time on your feet. One simply technique to prevent prolonged sitting at work is to set a stopwatch on your computer. Every 50 minutes take the time to get up, move around, drink some water and look at something other than the computer screen. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will become by using this simple method.
#19: Turn the Lights Down and Chill Out in the Evening
Dig out those candles, dim the lights, and play some soft music. In the evening it’s time to relax and work with your hormones not against them.
I mentioned earlier how we are influenced hormonally by the sun and how these hormone levels change throughout the day. Well, in the evening we should be winding down and preparing to sleep. Bright lights and stimulating TV will activate the cortisol hormone. High cortisol levels should naturally occur in the morning when its time to wake up and get going, and not in the evenings.
So in the evenings try to avoid all stimulants, relax and wind down the right way.
#20: Limit Your Fruit Intake to 1 Piece Per Day
What? I know what you are thinking. Reduce fruit, I thought that was good for me?
Fruit is good for you but only in small doses. Fruit contains high amounts of sugar. I know it’s the natural sugar Fructose but it’s still sugar.
Sugar is the largest cause of obesity today. No its not fat, its sugar. Sugar consumption has drastically risen over the last 50 years and fat consumption has drastically dropped, but we are all in worse shape than ever. We have more gyms, medical practitioners and health carers than ever before but we still can’t stop the obesity epidemic. Stop sugar and it all goes away!
Here’s my quick guide to Fruit and Sugar:
1. Avoid all Sugars including syrups and artificial sweeteners (they are even worse than sugar).
2. All ingredients that end in “ose” are a sugar. For example: Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Maltose etc.
3. Limit fruit to one piece a day. Only eat seasonal fruit. Fruit is not a meal.
Fruit has changed a lot over the years. Our ancestors would have eaten fruit that was much smaller and more sour. They would have only eaten it when it was in season and usually to fatten up for the winter.
Be very very careful with fruit and sugar!
#21: Do Something Different
Remember the feeling you last had when you did something different? We are creatures of habit and although most habits keep us safe they don’t always challenge us.
Have some fun by changing a habit and doing something you haven’t done before. It can be as simple as taking a different route to work or waking up in the middle of the night and looking at the stars. The challenge is to experience something new.
Spend 5 minutes looking through Google for something new. Try a new sport, join a new club, start a new business, try a new hobby, reconnect with an old friend, go to the theatre, book a weekend break.
Life is short. It’s amazing what happens when you try something new. With new experiences come more new experiences. Without change you get the same results so get out there and explore.