Often it’s because we set the bar too high, and with limited time and family demands, your good intentions just become a buzz kill. As a busy mum with two teens, and a business owner, I know how challenging it can be to change tack, and make improvements. Fortunately, working in the wellness industry, I’ve learned lots over the years from colleagues who are nutritionists & life coaches. Nutritional Therapist, Sally Wisbey and I hammered out what we feel are eight great tips for making lasting, positive changes. A mini road map, as it were, to set you on your way!
- Get the kids in the kitchen! Block out an hour or so each week to teach your kids how to make something healthy & delicious. If they are old enough, why not suggest they make something for one meal a week. When kids take ownership, they have more interest, plus it’s a fun way to spend time together.
- De-clutter. Less stuff means less stress. It’s that simple. The less stuff you have to sort, take care of & clean up the better. Don’t feel guilty about donating old toys or throwing out your children’s old art or school stuff- take pictures and create a file- you’ll always have the memories, but more time & space. I love the book The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay.
- Lighten up. It’s hard to make improvements when feeling negative. When you feel yourself losing patience or feeling bad- STOP and think of a few things you are grateful for or something funny one of your kids did. Take a holiday from complaining & fault finding as well. AND, don’t let yourself get triggered as much - “A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually.” - Rita Mae Brown. You don’t need to attend every argument you are invited to.
- Set mini nutrition goals for you and your family. Sally suggests ditching the diets & forced healthy eating & instead, committing to a number of little things like trying 2 new vegetables, fruits or healthy dishes each week. Switch from juices to smoothies (much healthier with the fibre) & instead of swearing off all sweets, try cutting back on a few things that are especially unhealthy- like sodas & items with lots of refined sugar.
- Plan your life. Buy yourself a lovely looking journal or planner & start writing! I could not get by with out my daily ‘to-do’ lists, but just as important are ‘don’t do’ lists! What behaviours or habits might be worth dropping this year
- Tackle low energy. If you feel run down, lacking energy & are experiencing ‘brain fog’, Sally advises reducing sugar, gluten, & refined carbs & eating less junk. She also suggests supplementing with a few great nutrients which are not usually found in a regular diet or multivitamin like bee pollen, spirulina, ginseng & rose hips (all found in Bee Energised energy & focus).
- Boost immunity to help dodge illness & allergies. This is one of the worst cold & flu seasons on record. Studies show that a healthy immune system can help ward off illness. Sally advises taking it easy on sugar which can compromise immunity. It is also important to do at least some form of light exercise daily- why not get your children to take a short run or brisk walk with you? Along with eating well, Sally also suggests adding in a few natural nutrients which support immunity which are not usually found in a regular diet or multivitamin - like bee propolis, elderberry, olive leaf & beta glucans, which can be very effective for strengthening natural defences (find them all in Bee Prepared immune formulas which is suitable for most ages). Adding in a probiotic (Optibac makes a nice one for kids), & vitamin D will also help.
- Power down. We all know about the colossal benefits of meditation. But sometimes it’s hard to take a chunk out of the day to do it. However, even a minute or two can have huge benefits. Put down the devices (and make it a rule that kids don’t keep devices in their rooms overnight). Meditating is sometimes a tough habit to get into- especially getting kids on boards, but our pal, Life Coach Mandy Lehto, informed us that a study showed reading an engrossing book for just 6 minutes can lower stress levels by 68%. So at the very least, try to get the whole family reading at night.
Immune Strengthening Smoothie to Help with Colds, Flu & Allergies
Whisk up ingredients in a Nutribullet or blender, should make 2-3 smoothies. Don’t have all the ingredients? Don’t stress, create your own combo with whatever you have from the list below.
- 2/3 cup Pineapple- the bromelaine has anti swelling properties & a study showed it can improve in nasal drainage, swelling and help restore free breathing
- 2/3 cup Mango or cantaloupe melon - vitamin a is important for healthy mucous membranes throughout the respiratory tract
- 1 banana (rich in iron, zinc and potassium)
- 1 cup nut milk (dairy causes mucus to build)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger or ½ tsp powdered an anti inflammatory that helps reduce nasal swelling and other symptoms
- Capsule contents of 2 Bee Prepared daily immune formula- rich in quercetin which has natural antihistamine properties, plus a healthy immune system has been shown to help with allergy symptoms (available in Holland & Barrett & selected Boots)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsps of grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp powdered turmeric helps reduce inflammation
- 1/3 cup coconut milk