By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” (www.TheHealthyMotivator.com)
CAN DO TIP Week #16 Think Nutrient Dense!
“Them belly full but we hungry” – Bob Marley, 1975
Let’s spring into this new season with 3 simple, “can-do” healthy habits to live healthier and feel more amazing than ever!
- Take the “kitchen sink approach” to breakfast!
Imagine a baby is crying because it needs breast milk but is given water. The baby might drink it but very soon will be crying again because its nutritional needs have not been met, even though its little belly is full.
How often do our bodies cry out in the form of pain, fatigue, weight gain, and a whole host of other problems because we ignore its cries for specific nutrients? Breakfast is an excellent way to satisfy your taste buds and fill you up while giving your body the nutrients it needs to function at optimal level.
I take the “kitchen sink” approach to breakfast by tossing in as many nutrients as I have in my cupboard into one bowl of oatmeal. Chia seeds and flaxseeds (Omega 3, protein, fiber), coconut oil (MCFA – medium chain fatty acid converted by the liver into energy –not fat!), cinnamon, (anti-inflammatory, may lower blood sugar levels), apples, walnuts (antioxidants, may lower risk of cancer), organic raw honey or dates, almond milk, pinch of sea salt (enzymes, vitamins, minerals). Plus, these ingredients can be combined with fruit and water in a blender for a delicious breakfast smoothie!
The major benefits of a nutrient dense breakfast? There are many, but chief among them are (1) Vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants help fight disease (2) Helps you lose weight by filling you up, so you eat less during the day (3) Increases concentration especially important for youth in school and adults in the workplace. (4) Increased energy for physical activity.
- Let water break your fast!
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying – one of the simplest, most powerful things you can do for your body is to drink water first thing in the morning – room temperature or warm is best. It flushes toxins from your system, aids in elimination, and can even help alleviate pain such as stomach cramps or other digestive issues. In fact, MedicalDaily.com reports that warm water can actually improve circulation and halt premature aging.
- Morning breath is a good thing!
As human beings we take an average of about 23,000 breaths per day, 8 million per year. Luckily breathing is automatic, and while we don’t have to actually remember to do it; we do need to remember to do it correctly. Oxygen provides nutrients to the organs and tissues and also helps get rid of metabolic toxins (like carbon dioxide).
Try this breathing exercise first thing in the morning: Sit or lie in down comfortably. Take a slow, deep breath inhaling through the nose. Hold the breath for 3 seconds, then exhale slowly until all or most of the air has been expelled. Repeat 10 times. Sit still for a few moments as you become aware of every inch of your body from head to toe. Feel your energy.
Practice these 3 healthy habits over the next 30 days. Who knows? You might just “spring” into a whole NEW YOU!
Monifa Maat is a certified fitness expert, nutrition activist and author/creator of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow™. “My mission is to inspire people to adopt simple, sustainable healthy habits to prevent chronic lifestyle diseases”.