2013 has been challenging in many ways and on reflection somewhat out of balance – too much work, not enough play. This is never good for a healthy mind and body, however much you love your work, as I do.? So despite being someone who is somewhat cynical of the obligatory new years resolutions, I am going to make a few changes, but changes that are not punishing or life-reducing (no scales, tape measures? or crazy detoxes in my new years plan), rather nourishing, sustainable additions to improve my physical and mental well-being:
1/ Make some proper downtime each week. Even if it’s only a few hours one evening a week, I need to put down the computer and have a change of focus and energy – do something fun!
2/ I am guilty of something I am forever chastising my patients about – eating while distracted. So often I am sitting at my dining table, food in front of me and my laptop open. I am reading a health blog or watching a fascinating lecture from the Royal Society of Medicine or some such. All very worthy, but still NOT OK.? Every time I eat while focusing on things other than savouring my food,? I am significantly inhibiting my digestion and probably overeating. It has to stop.
3/ Lots and lots more fermented foods:? a lot of my reading and research this year has been around the benefit of eating fermented foods. There are so many health gains to be had, so having a regular intake of raw (unpasteurized) veggies i.e. sauerkraut or any other fermented veg; kefir – a form of fermented dairy that has different beneficial strains of bacteria to yogurt and high quality, long-fermented yogurt. All of the above can easily be made at home, so my new years day will include making a big batch of sauerkraut and ordering some kefir grains so I can start making my own kefir too.
4/ Keep things in perspective and stop fretting about the little niggles in life…. stress changes your biochemistry, making you far more prone to ill health. Poor sleep, compromised immunity, low functioning digestion, lack of feel-good brain chemicals, excess acidity levels – just a few health issues that are readily triggered when we are stressed. Stress IS a killer, a trigger for many diseases, so keep a check on anxiety levels;watch for? those little irritations that can become overwhelming; and if you’re feeling out of control, take a long, hard look at what’s going on and get on top it. Otherwise illness will follow.
So here’s to a very happy and healthy 2014 to all of you. Remember, being healthy is the best gift you can give to yourself and those you love. Make your health a priority and then you are on form for whatever life throws at you, good or bad 🙂