Ways to maintain the good life
Keep the good vibrations rolling through the cooler months with a few tips on how to maintain/improve your flow through how you eat, drink and move through life. If you’re consistently mindful of your lifestyle choices you shouldn’t ever need a massive overhaul and you'll find your good health is something to respect and protect.
These are simple things that are easy to find around you. I'm not totally sure what reishi, ashwatanga, cordyceps or lions mane is so none of that kind of thing but I can recommend a dear friend who is the only person I would seek plant based herbal healing from. She has also just released a book that shares the medicinal benefits of the plant realm and what you can incorporate into your daily life, some things will be very familiar to you.
Most importantly the following is a holistic approach to maintaining your edge, staying sharp and keeping your internal flow steady and strong. Eating well is a major part of it but not something that flies solo in staying healthy. I'm no expert but over the years I have spent a lot of time personally fine tuning my lifestyle so I have the energy to do all the things.
DRINKING WARM OR HOT WATER
A famously easy way to improve digestive flow. More easily absorbed by the body which means faster hydration. There is no scientific evidence to suggest drinking lemon water in the morning improves digestion but it does create an appetite to continue a fresh approach during the day.
I use the 750ml size Swell bottle, which keeps hot in winter for 12 hours. A Sprig of mint or basil is nice and also a digestion ally.
FRESH LOCALLY GROWN VEGETABLES + FRUITS
FRUIT 2+ (1 serve = 1 apple)
Vegetables, greens & fruit are living organisms and once separated from their life source slowly die, this is also sped up by refrigeration. Food grown further away and transported by road combined with the distribution process ultimately affects vitamin and mineral content.
A fact rather than a shameless promotion! Fibrous, full of the good friends we need to happily high five life and ridiculously easier to digest than meat plus they taste so much better and reduce your carbon imprint. During the cooler months cooked beetroot, butternut pumpkin and zucchini are especially good for digestion, but there is really no discrimination. The body generally needs warmer food during the cooler months - digestion is smooth sailing.
Vegetables take between 30-50 minutes to partially digest, pulse and grains about 2 hours. Meat takes about 12 hours (^&#!). Add leafy greens, herbs and evoo for extra slippery goodness. Splitting heavier meals half and half over a few hours is also helpful.
Especially good quality extra virgin olive oil & avocados. They also help food slip on through.
Packed with potassium which is awesome for smashing water retention and moving things along. High in fibre. Tasty with Coyo yoghurt and prunes.
yoghurt. I like Coyo because it has nothing added, just straight up coconut plus ABC probiotic cultures and it tastes the best.
Oats are packed with melatonin and potassium, two things that help increase relaxation. Oats also cleanse the palate too and are easy on the digestive tract.
I really like oats, banana, hemp seeds for protein, bee pollen, cocoa nibs, cinnamon & peanut butter. To be honest i'm not well educated on the additional powders available to add to smoothies. I have dabbled but find if they don't taste good I won't use them, I especially don't like chalkiness. Hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein. They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. I like fair hemp seeds.
ANCIENT + WHOLE GRAINS, LEGUMES, SEEDS, FERMENTED THINGS + NATURAL PROBIOTICS
Ancient grains include varieties of wheat: spelt, khorasan wheat/kamut, freekeh, bulgur, farro, einkorn, and emmer. Whole grains include the grains millet, barley, teff, oats, and sorghum; and the pseudocereals quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia.
Legumes include adzuki beans, anasazi beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, lava beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, split peas.
Good quality pot set natural yoghurt (with lactobacillus acidophilus,bifidobacterium and lactobacillus casei) sauerkraut, kimchi & miso, apple cider vinegar and kombucha.
SWEAT IT OUT
Every Saturday when you pickup your whole foods there is an amazing opportunity to take your effort to the next level. The Locals Market is the only market in Australia that is located within a space that can improve your well-being in more ways than one.
Paramount Recreation Club offers something for everyone.
They also run a 15 day trial for $15.
YOGA, MOVEMENT + MEDITATION
Movement melts the tension stuck in your muscles and joints and practised meditation and breathwork improves oxygen to the heart increasing blood flow thus improving digestion. Yoga asanas work to twist your torso, build strength in your core and encourage over all flow in the body. Yoga flow.
One Hot Yoga in Potts Point is my studio. Set at 37 degrees the flow is slow, with longer held poses and definitely combines a mind and body workout. If you are keen to try a hot yoga practise be well hydrated beforehand and remember to breath! The heat is just a sensation and a deep calm breath will help overcome this.
If I can't make it to class I practise at home. This is not negotiable for me and is on par with eating well, drinking enough water and sleeping 9-10 hours every night. Alomoves is an app I use for home practise and Christian Ralston has just started online classes. He has 3 free to download that are awesome.
Kings Cross Track Club every Tuesday under the Coke sign in Kings Cross to meet awesome people who love to run together and hang out afterwards. An approachable pace for everyone that takes you to the Opera House and back. Check their website for the schedule.
Setting an intention for your motivations is the best way to begin and receiving direction from a meditation teacher is ultimately where you should begin.
So many apps, so little time! The word is out - mediation is the modern way to turn on, tune in, drop out. A few good ones to start with would be:
SLEEPING EARLY + WAKING EARLY
My sleep is influenced by my natural circadian rhythm. I go to bed at 9pm and I wake up at 5.30am to start my day. I have also experienced bouts of insomnia over the years, especially after an operation a few years ago. I took Melatonin as recommended by my general practitioner and the insomnia passed in 4 days and my natural sleep cycle resumed and continued.
HERBALIST + NUTRITIONIST
If you would like to further incorporate plants as medicine in your life I would recommend connecting with Erin. A herbalist, nutritionist, health expert and wellness writer. She resides in Byron Bay but conducts face-to-face appointments via Skype.
This is a sneaky one at the very end, a contentious subject.
If you like a drink to chill then at least drink good quality wine. Life is too short to drink shit wine, I'm sure you've heard that before. Organise yourself and have a little stash so you don't have to hope for the best at the nearest bottle shop upon a recommendation from whoever is there on the night pushing a variety that they need to move.
One bottle of cheap and thoughtlessly made wine under the guise of a pretty label can surely turn all your other good intentions south especially in your gut. Towards the end of my drinking days I only purchased wine from Joel at DRNKS he offers quality organic or biodynamic juice sourced from family-owned labels and is made with limited to no additives. You can then educate yourself a little in the long run and they can deliver the same day etc. Have fun and don't forget to hydrate.