The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t very long ago that humans were spending the majority of their time outside farming, hunting, gathering, and traveling. Of course, we have come a long way since then, and now studies have shown that the average American spends around 96% of their life indoors. Between houses, buildings, and automobiles, people usually spend as little time outdoors as they can, only using their outdoor time to move between buildings and automobiles.

Most people would agree that this change has been for the better—we no longer need to worry very much about severe weather, such as snow or wind, and we are able to regulate the temperatures of our surroundings to make us more comfortable. While there are a lot of benefits that come with living indoors, humans are naturally outdoor creatures. There is a part of us that longs to be outdoors, and spending more time outside can be very beneficial.
The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

The benefits that come from spending time outdoors are significant and beneficial enough that some forms of therapy incorporate spending time in nature into their treatment programs. Nature therapy offers some incredible benefits that are not found elsewhere. There is something about spending time outdoors that is therapeutic. Here are some of the life-changing effects of nature therapy.

The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy #therapy #nature #selfcare #lifestyle

Lowers Levels of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Spending time in nature can have significant impacts on mental health. Nature therapy has been shown to decrease levels of stress, depression, and anxiety by lowering levels of cortisol, a chemical that has been linked to stress. Additionally, there are essential oils and certain scents that are found in nature that have a calming and uplifting effect on the body as well. Lavender is one of these. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy to relax the body and induce sleep.The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

Teaches New Skills

Nature therapy does not consist solely of standing outside doing nothing. Often, nature therapy programs consist of outdoor activities and adventures that teach the participants new skills. Some of these skills include skiing, horseback riding, archery, mountaineering, and more. Learning new skills has been shown to increase happiness and confidence, as well as strengthening a person’s determination.
The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

Replaces Bad Habits

It is well-known that the best way to rid oneself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. Because of this, substance abuse rehabilitation programs often use adventure therapy as part of their treatment modalities. Not only does spending time outdoors prevent the recovering addicts from abusing substances, but it also acts as a replacement habit that they can use to cope with their emotions without needing to depend on drugs or alcohol.

Fosters Good Qualities

People who engage in nature therapy and the outdoor activities that are a part of nature therapy naturally develop good qualities. Integrity, dependability, and maturity are some of these. The challenges they face during their adventures are real and demanding, and they often require teamwork, thoughtfulness, creativity, and determination to solve. Because the participants are engaging in real-world activities that test their grit, they naturally develop or strengthen many other good qualities that will benefit other aspects of their lives as well.

Teaches Responsibility

Nature therapy is often used for behavioral reformation programs that work with teenagers and young adults. Part of the reason is that it teaches responsibility. Many teenagers and young adults do not understand responsibility or refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Nature therapy is a way for them to learn the importance of responsibility in a fun and non-threatening way.

Strengthens Interpersonal Skills

Many people have problems with developing and/or maintaining interpersonal relationships. People with mental health problems or substance abuse addictions are especially impaired in this department. Because the activities that nature therapies organize involve so much teamwork and communication, participating in nature therapy strengthens interpersonal skills. This is an incredible benefit because interpersonal skills are important to have for every aspect of a person’s life.

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Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

**This post contains affiliate links, you may read the full disclosure**

Over the weekend i was feeling so crappy, Mother Nature came with my monthly subscription and sucker punched me. It was worse this month than the last couple months and I was nauseous, not hungry, moody, tired, just the works. Bleh.

I had a serious craving for something sweet and crunchy when I noticed the bananas that were overly ripe. My very first thought was “BANANA BREAD!”. I ran the idea by Christopher and he agreed we needed walnut banana bread in our life. I have been eating gluten free for a few months now and I feel so much better. I’m not toppled over in pain, not bloated from inflammation, and lesser migraines. 

Despite the pain and anxiety I was experiencing I decided to tackle the grocery store by myself (HUGE deal) because it was 9:43am, how crowded could Lowe’s Foods be? I picked up the ingredients needed and a few extras like the Starburst jelly beans then made my way back to Christopher’s. Ya know, I’ve never been a jelly bean kinda girl, but the Starburst jelly beans satisfy my soul. 

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas (3 bananas yield ~1 1/2 cups or 337 g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (depending on ripeness of bananas // or sub honey)
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or dairy-free milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oats 

Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mash banana in a large bowl. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Last add almond meal, gluten free flour blend, walnuts, and oats then stir.
  3. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
  4. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be fall apart from being too tender.

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

The loaf can be put in the freezer for up to a month but trust me, it will definitely get eaten before then. You can eat the slices of banana nut bread with honey too, which is equally delicious.

I’m still new to the gluten free lifestyle so if you have any recipes I’d love for you to share them! It can be a little overwhelming with all of the labels and hidden words, so know what I can have is half the battle. 

Hygge Your Home Life: 3 Tips to Stay Cozy All Winter Long

Coziness can be hard to come by during the winter months. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date on all the different techniques in home life.

Having a unique home life not only allows you to show off your own individual style to guests and family alike, but it can also better equip you to beat the freeze so you can chill in peace. Hygge is one trend in particular that emphasizes comfort and relaxation as principles to reach modern luxury.

Hygge Your Home Life: 3 Tips to Stay Cozy All Winter Long #hygge #family #living #home #cozy #winter

So, what is hygge? Hygge is a long withstanding tradition that many Scandinavian countries participate in. This lifestyle trend is often related to home life through cozy textures, simplistic  settings, comfortable furnishings and activities.

#1: Keep Comfort In
It’s easy to forget all the ways winter can invade your space. Winterizing your home is a helpful way to manage unwanted leaks of cold air and chill.

There are plenty of ways to ensure that your home is functioning at its best ability during winter months. Some easy things to consider are blocking drafts from entering at the bottom of doors and windows, adding plush rugs throughout your space or lowering the thermostat.

Hygge Your Home Life: 3 Tips to Stay Cozy All Winter Long #hygge #family #living #home #cozy #winter

Why not save a little money while you’re at it? Financial peace of mind is just an added bonus to enhancing your home’s ability to keep the cold out. Here’s a painless DIY project for creating draft stoppers to save money on your monthly energy bill.

#2: Invest in Coziness
Comfortable living is care-free living. If you’ve been waiting to devote some time and money to your interiors, now is the perfect time.

Have enough plush pillows and throw blankets to fill each of your living spaces. Get that new coffee maker that you’ve been waiting to buy for months to truly enjoy the effects of a delicious cup of joe.

Don’t forget to dedicate yourself to one of the most important aspects of your life. Sleep is often overlooked and while it’s fine to indulge in some catnaps on the sofa, upgrade your bedroom mattress to catch some natural zzz’s. Keep costs reasonable without giving up quality by finding some cost-effective memory foam options online.

#3: Take Care Of Yourself
Don’t let winter freeze your heart. Give into the mantra of sound body, sound mind. It’s easy to find ourselves in a rut during winter.

Hygge Your Home Life: 3 Tips to Stay Cozy All Winter Long #hygge #family #living #home #cozy #winter

Combat adverse effects by getting yourself out of a slump. Self-care can take shape in many forms. Keep things interesting by incorporating new activities that promote your life and overall health. With all of our free time inside, it may be the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or skill.

5 Self Love Tips For Beginners

**This post contains affiliate links, you may read the full disclosure**

Are you having a hard time loving yourself? If you’ve thought about it and your answer is yes, you’re not alone. Self love can easily be lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Self love is very important as it helps in decision making, how you cope with things going on in life, and the friends you choose.

5 Self Love Tips For Beginners #selflove #selfcare #Confidence

Forgive yourself // this is a big one for me; we are all human and we all make mistakes. No one can change the past so instead of carrying it around acknowledge that “thing” then forgive yourself and let it go. No one is perfect, be less hard on yourself instead of nitpicking. 

Practice self care // self care can be minutes, hours, or days the choice is up to you. Your self care can be a routine you do weekly, on the weekend, or nightly. I love turning off my lights and turning on my himalayan salt lamp, the glow, it’s so relaxing. I add a few drops of lavender oil to my diffuser to help relax my mind. Something as small as taking a walk for fresh air can improve the mood you’re in or it can be larger like purchasing a new bra that helps to make you feel confident.

Learn to live intentionally // when you do things with intention you get the best results, right? Why not live your life the same way. If your intention is to have a healthy life, you’ll choose supporting decisions that are healthier like taking the stairs or eating fruits over sweets. If you see yourself accomplishing the decisions you’ve made then you’ll feel better about yourself. The intention doesn’t have to be crystal clear, it all starts with a pebble sized thought that can turn into a snowball.

Practice mindfulness // when you’re mindful you know what you want and how you feel. Be mindful about who you are rather than who you think people want you to be. 

Take the compliment // instead of rejecting the compliment or saying something negative instead say “thank you”. I struggled with this for so long, i had no idea that it was off putting when i replied with what i thought was wrong about myself or situation. I understand how uncomfortable it can be. I love giving compliments! I think there is so much hate in the world that a compliment can turn someone’s day around and make them smile. Think about it, you wouldn’t hand out a compliment if you didn’t mean it, right? If you’re uncomfortable or don’t know what to say then just say “thank you” and smile.

If you practice these self love tips you’ll be on your way to being your true self, you can find more self care tips and learn to enjoy the free time you have made for yourself. You only get one life to be you, so why not be the you – you were meant to be. Everyone is unique and beautiful, the sooner you realize this the sooner you’ll be your best self.

10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday

I’m not going to lie, some days are better than others. I’m trying to be more mindful as I go about my day, doing so I’ve picked up on things that make me happy. I can enjoy these thing that make me happy almost everyday if not everyday. 

It makes me happy to be in nature too, I don’t do it nearly enough though. A trip to the beach a few weeks ago reminded me of that. Since summer is drawing to a close maybe a few hikes will be in the books for the fall/winter, I do love going to the beach during the winter too though. It has such a different feel, I just love it.

Anything i can do to put a smile on my face or have a moment of calm in the anxiety driven mind I have; I’ll take it. 

10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday #life #happiness #happy

  1. Watching my kitty sleep – and boy does he sleep a lot, he is pretty much level expert. 
  2. Seeing all the beautiful colors in the sky from dawn to dusk.
  3. Gazing at the moon and stars – if I didn’t know any better I’d think I was an alien.
  4. Reese’s Pieces – need I say more?
  5. The love I have in my heart – it’s full and I try to be kind and spread it around all day. It takes 2 seconds to say “thank you” or give a compliment.
  6. Practicing mindfulness everyday – it really helps to keep you grounded.
  7. Having a sense of fulfillment in my life – it’s been awhile if ever I’ve felt this. I started a new job September 10th, I have a loving family and friends.
  8. Fluffy blankets – I love getting lost in all of its puffiness.
  9. Crystals – I have my favorites that I carry around with me daily but I love them all. I’m currently carrying around a tumbled Rose Quartz.
  10. Sleeping in – I absolutely love to sleep so on the weekends I do take advantage.

What makes you happy everyday?

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump

We’ve all had those periods before… those times when we feel stuck in a rut. Times when we can’t see any progress happening in either our personal or our professional lives… and we’re not even sure what kind of progress we want. Times when it’s all too easy to just hide in your room, binge a show on Netflix, and eat your weight in Cheetos.

But it doesn’t take long to realize that that’s not really what we want. And so, here are some helpful suggestions to get you out of that slump, and back on track.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Take the Power Back

A million different things can spur this kind of phase, from a difficult breakup, to a professional failure, to stress and anxiety, or even boredom. The cause doesn’t really matter. What’s important to realize is that no matter what led to your slump, you have the power to overcome it. You really do! You have the power to return to a thriving, joyful, goal-oriented person. But it may not happen all at once, and it won’t happen if you just sit there and wait for something to happen to you.

That’s what can be the most alarming thing about a slump. We might fall into a pattern of thinking that “if only…” something would happen, it’d fix us. If only our ex came back, if only inspiration could strike and you could write a hit single, if only you won the lottery, or an amazing opportunity just dropped into your lap… It’s important to not depend on external sources to get out of this slump. It’s yours to own, and yours to conquer. Even if everything in the outside world is working against you, you have the power inside of you to make positive change in your life, and it starts as soon as you decide it does.

 

Get Depression Treatment, If Necessary

As I’m writing about getting out of a slump, I want to be clear about something. While all of these approaches can help to mitigate depression, there are many factors that contribute to your likelihood of depression, and not all of them can be eliminated simply through healthy habits. If you really do have clinical depression, you might need outside help from a professional. If you feel sad and hopeless the majority of the time, if this “slump” is lasting more than a month, or if you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it’s important to reach outside of yourself for help. Life doesn’t have to be this way, and things can get better.

Alright, with that disclaimer taken care of, let’s look at some habit changes that will really change your motivation and mood patterns.

 

Work Out. Really. Just Do It.

I know you’ve heard it a million times, and I know that it’s just turned into white noise but really. Listen to me: Exercise. Exercise really has a powerful effect on our mood. Some studies have found daily exercise (even non-strenuous exercise) is just as powerful as medication in alleviating depression. Additionally, it can greatly help us get better sleep (a common challenge in “the slump.”)

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Okay, now, you’ve probably resolved to work out steadily several times in your life. But that’s the thing about the slump… it sucks away your resolve to get things done, and you find yourself constantly thinking “I’ll start tomorrow.” Here are some ways that you can really make it happen:

  • Sign up for a class. If you’re having a hard time being self-motivated, then a class can really help you get the exercise you need. Sign up with a friend; someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Break it down into tiny steps. If “going to the gym and running 3 miles” is just too daunting a task, break it down. Force yourself to change into gym clothes. Then to drive to the gym. Then to go in and walk once around the track. I know this sounds silly, but it’s almost like tricking a child into going to bed by just doing it in tiny phases. “Fine, just brush your teeth then you can play more. Okay, now just get your pajamas on. Now we’re just going to read a book in your room, you don’t have to sleep yet.”
  • Delay your reward. Did you get home from work today looking forward to nothing but that Kit Kat bar in the pantry? Go ahead and tell yourself you can have the candy bar… but only if you work out first. Remember that it’s going to taste that much better for being a reward.

 

Write Down Some Very Small Goals

The slump feeds off of a very particular sick cycle: (1) You know you need to do stuff, but (2) you feel crappy and don’t want to do it. (3) You don’t do it. (4) You feel annoyed with yourself, and even more crappy. (5) You keep not doing it… or anything.

Even small goals accomplished can break the cycle. So start here: write down a list of really incremental goals. Even small things that don’t seem like they should classify as “tasks.” Like… finishing washing the dishes in the sink. Doing a load of laundry. Making a call that you’ve been postponing. After you’ve made the list, resolve to do three things on it every day. Sure, maybe they’re tiny things that you would have had to do anyway: taking a shower, filling the gas tank, etc. But as you get in the habit of ticking off three things each day, you can start getting more ambitious: clean out the car, make a healthy meal for yourself, go to a dental appointment.

What’s really great about this method is that you start feeling better about yourself because of these small victories. Pretty soon, you’ll start to crave that victory more and more.

 

Watch Your Intake

Okay, now it’s time to do a little bit of a detox. Often, in the slump, we start to rely on unhealthy habits to get us through. We over-eat sugar, over-utilize caffeine to get going in the morning, or over-drink, just… because. Take a look at any unhealthy habits that you’re using as a crutch and consider how they could actually be harming more than helping. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine all have a major influence on our energy levels, and even our moods, leading to peaks and crashes that you just can’t afford anymore. Start to moderate your crutch-substances as much as possible.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Write Down Some Very Ambitious Goals

Now that you’ve taken care of some small goals, start thinking about bigger ones. And I mean bigger. The kinds of things you put on your bucket list. The kinds of things you build a 5-year plan around. What do you want to accomplish in life? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become? Start thinking really seriously about future goals and realize that they’re yours to make come true. As you write them down, and start to think about them more and more, your pathway will become more clear, and you’ll be able to break down the ambitious goals into smaller goals that you can start in on one day at a time. Perhaps it could be useful to you to create a vision board that can remind you of those goals and visualize them more clearly.

 

Talk To Someone Every Day

In a slump, we tend to withdraw. It can become a terrible cycle, because we move ourselves away from the resources that could help us feel more positive. And yet… being around people can just feel like too much. This is especially true if you’re not someone who naturally thrives off of sociality. If that’s the case, then you might have to make this something on your daily checklist of small goals. But it’s worth it, I promise.

Even if you’re the most introvert-y of introverts, you need other humans. We’re social creatures, and our greatest joys and happinesses come from relationships. And so, it’s time to flex your happiness muscles by flexing your sociality. Make a goal to have at least one real conversation each day; I’m not talking about saying hi to the bus driver. I mean actually talking with someone. Give a friend a call and catch up. Ask a coworker about their day. Smile at someone next to you in the checkout line and see how they’re doing. Not every interaction is going to be everything you want. But the vast majority of them are going to enrich your day.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Appreciate a Miracle

This last one might seem strange at first. I mean, you can’t just schedule a miracle… that’s why they’re called miracles; they come out of nowhere! Hear me out. There are things in this earth that make us pause and take notice. Beautiful things that remind us that life is exciting, and rich, and worth savoring. Everyone probably has their own list. But this is mine:

  • Spend time with a dog.
  • Learn a new scientific fact.
  • Read some poetry.
  • Get up close and personal with nature (i.e. sit under a tree, dig your toes into the sand, find a beautiful view, go on a hike.)
  • Do an activity with children.
  • Go somewhere where you can see the stars.
  • Say twice-daily prayers of gratitude.

How Travel Feeds the Soul

After taking a long trip, you can come back a different person. There’s something about the experience that changes you. But what exactly is it? I’ve long claimed that travel is good for the soul. (It’s a good fallback when people ask you why you’re spending your savings on trips overseas instead of investing in property.) But researching it more has shown me some solid evidence on how travel can actually feed the best parts of ourselves, make us better people, and strengthen those aspects of our lives that give us lasting happiness.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

New Settings Force Us to Think Differently

A study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal posited that professionals who lived and worked abroad were more creative than their counterpoints at home. Why? Adapting to another culture than our own forces us to develop cognitive creativity. And that creativity carries over into parts of our life. We’re able to creatively problem-solve, as in the case of one study that found that students living abroad were 20% more likely to be able to solve a particular computer problem.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Think about how many ramifications that could have in our daily life. Not only does it make us better at work. It also makes us better in our relationships, because we’re able to understand multiple points of view. We’re able to express ourselves better creatively, a practice that literally helps you physically and mentally heal.

Most of all, it gives us a welcome new perspective on our own lives, which is the foundation of most experiential rehab programs. New environments, new experiences, and new perspectives can all help us problem-solve trials and challenges in our day-to-day lives. We learn and practice new skills that greatly serve us in our future.

 

Travelers Are More Trusting

The world can be a scary place, right? Sometimes, the more we listen to sensational headlines, the more it seems like just about everyone is out to get us. However, when you actually take a step outside of your comfort zone, instead of reading about it in the newspaper, you’ll usually find two amazing truths:

  1. Most people are good
  2. You can handle this

Traveling automatically puts you in a vulnerable situation. Clueless about your environment, about the shortcuts and social cues that locals take for granted, about the resources, cultural norms, and environmental dangers, it’s easy to fall prey to scams, over-inflated prices, and petty theft. And if you like movies like “Hostel” or “Taken” you might start believing that a ticket to Europe is equivalent to a casting call for a horror movie.

But once you stay in a couple hostels, you realize this: the people who will actually steal your stuff are the exception, not the rule. And once you’ve been helped by a few friendly locals, you realize that most people will not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in need. In fact, a couple weeks abroad will probably make you feel ashamed about how you treat foreigners in your own hometown. This doesn’t mean that you stop taking smart precautions, like keeping your phone secure, or keeping your hotel’s phone number handy. However, it means that you trust those precautions, as well as the people around you.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

And then there’s that second truth: You can handle this. It’s all about making a practice of overcoming fears. Traveling encourages you to step out of your comfort zone over and over again. When you do so, you usually find that you can handle those things that come your way. I’m not about to promise you that you won’t run into any challenges as you travel. However, once you get lost a couple times and then manage to get yourself out of a jam or two, you’ll start to gain confidence in yourself. And as you do, you become free from fear.

 

You Learn to Love the Small Things

Something that never ceases to amaze me about travel is how it helps us to appreciate even the most commonplace things. With a traveler’s eyes, I’m transfixed by everyday things, fiercely snapping photos of the town square locals walk past every day, awed by churches that they attend each week, stunned by a meal that is just a regular dinner to anyone else.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Because of this, it makes me start to think about those things that are unique to the place that I call home. I love watching how enchanted travelers are by the fat squirrels in London’s Hyde Park, creatures that to me are little more than a nuisance. I love talking to people about where I’m from as I travel, because it often sends them into a flurry of excitement, talking about their trip to one of the West’s National Parks. And when I come home, my time away has just made everything familiar that much more special. Travel makes me grateful for those things that I’m otherwise inclined to take for granted. And as you know, gratitude is one of the most direct routes to happiness and fulfillment.

The Long-Life Diet

The Long-Life Diet

Alright, so you’ve tried the ice cream diet, the Atkins diet, South Beach, and of course, anything that promises to get you ready for bikini season.

Are you sick of it yet? Checking waist measurements and daily checks on the bathroom scale? The truth is that extreme diet techniques are really just fostering an unhealthy relationship with our bodies. It’s time to try something new: the long-life diet.

Okay, I’m no nutritionist, and I’m certainly not going to patent a book and turn my lifestyle into a brand. However, I do know this: beautiful=healthy! We always look our best when we’re treating our body right. And sometimes, this means cutting back a lot, especially on empty calories. Other times, it means adding essential things into our diet. Best of all, this is the kind of diet that’s going to give you results that you can straight-up measure in dollars and cents. It means a better quality of life, and longer to enjoy it in. Don’t wait until your body starts to rebel to treat it right. Read through these tips for the long-life diet and start making them a part of your life.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Drink Water, Not Sugar
A recent Gallup poll revealed that half of Americans drink soda every single day. And among people who drink soda, they average about two and a half glasses a day. And here’s the kicker: one single can of soda already exceeds the recommended limit of sugar per day. One can of soda has about 39 grams of sugar, while the recommended amount per day for a full-grown man is 37 grams. (It’s even less for children and women.)

More and more, scientific evidence is showing that there’s a strong link between sugar and the leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease and diabetes. So, start opting for water more often. It doesn’t have to be fancy; tap water is perfectly safe to drink in America. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of plain water, get a good filter for your tap, and/or look into flavor drops that you can gradually wean yourself off of. You might even try out infused water, which can give you a refreshing taste of herbs or fruit without any added sugar.

Get a Variety of Produce
What’s the best thing you can eat in order to lower your risk of cancer? Once you’ve cut out cigarettes, and reduced the amount of alcohol you consume, the best thing you can do to resist cancer is eating more antioxidants. You don’t need to be going to town on goji berries to get antioxidants working for you. Antioxidants are in just about every fruit and vegetable, and different antioxidants have different roles in the body. So, in order to keep your body actively fighting disease effectively, you need to have a wide variety of nutrition. Don’t just fall back on one thing when you feel the need to be more healthy. Get a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try new things at the grocery store, and find creative ways to make smoothies, salads, and snacks made of fruits or veggies a part of your daily diet.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Extra bonus: getting lots of antioxidants is great for your hair and skin. In fact, probably the fastest change you’ll see in your appearance from the long-life diet is from antioxidants. Here’s a guide for more specifics.

Cook from Scratch
Alright, you’ve probably heard a lot about the raw food and/or paleo diets. It’s not necessary to make a complete lifestyle change and go completely raw in order to have great health. However, those paleo nuts are on to something: we’re healthier when we reduce the amount of processing that our food gets. Admittedly, some things are important, like grinding down wheat for our flour, or cooking potatoes so that they’re easier to digest. However, if your diet currently depends on pre-packaged meals, box mixes, or all those other shortcuts that grocery stores offer, then you should look for ways to move towards “fresh” and “homemade” more often. Pre-packaged foods are more processed. They’re full of preservatives, and extra salt, sugar, and fat in order to make them taste good for longer.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

When you go fresh, you just don’t need those crutches… and you’re better off without them.

Don’t Eat More than You Need
It’s hard to keep track of what’s actually healthy, right? As soon as leading authorities decide that eggs are great for you, someone else starts bashing that egg, saying that it will definitely give you heart disease and ashy skin. Well, doing some research and trusting only peer-reviewed studies and vetted recommendations can give you more clarity. But in the meantime, there’s one thing that all studies of life expectancy agree on: higher calorie intake (beyond what it takes to sustain an individual) is correlated with lower life expectancy. Now, this might sound like I’m just saying “don’t be fat” but it’s not just that. People who consume a lot of calories and work them off by being really active can still carry a higher risk. In fact, it’s the leading theory for why women have a longer life expectancy than men: women tend to eat less calories!

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

In the Standard American Diet, most of us have access to more calories than we need, and we learn to depend on overeating just to feel normal. When you cut back to smaller portions daily, you learn that your body doesn’t actually need all that, unless you’re running a 10k every day. So, if you’re exceeding the recommended calories for your body type, start cutting back. Of course, you should be exercising for your health, and eating to support that exercise. So don’t cut calories at the expense of your energy in a workout.
But most of all, what we need to do is make the calories count. Yes, your body needs the calories and energy. Starving yourself isn’t going to do your health any favors at all. However, not all calories are created equal. You have 600 calories of a chocolate malt, or 600 calories of a good square meal.
Exercise Daily
Modern life doesn’t require us to move around very much. But if you want to be healthy and happy, you should do it anyway! Make a habit out of recreational walks, dancing, or physical projects at home. If nothing else, set a schedule for you to put your home treadmill to use more often.