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Every January people panic over what type of detox to attempt or foods to eliminate and by the third week, the bad habits are usually back with vengeance. No need to fall off the wagon before February! So this year we decided to implement healthy choices all year long not just for January. We all know that the key to success is moderation. Instead of trying to quit every bad habit cold turkey, we are going to change it up on monthly basis. Every month we will decrease or eliminate an unhealthy habit. Below are a few tips and tricks to get the year started right!

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Photo via Byrdie

Limit alcohol intake to once a week. If your job requires a lot of socializing try to drink 1:1- one water to every one alcoholic drink. This will help ward off dehydration. Drinking extra water will also create the feeling of fullness.

Limit sugar intake to once a week. The trick with sugar is getting it out of  your system. Sugar is the devil and really the worst thing for your body. Start reading labels and thinking about what is in the food you eat. Hidden sugars will derail any healthy diet. If you have a sweet tooth reach for the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a good sugar to eat in moderation and you bypass all the gross chemicals in junk food candy.

Switch dairy to a non-dairy choice. There are so many dairy alternatives available now. Soy, coconut milk, rice milk, and almond milk (which comes in many varieties). First and foremost milk is for baby cow consumption not human consumption. Dairy causes inflammation and is acid forming in our bodies. After pasteurization, all enzymes, proteins and vitamins have been destroyed and therefore milk provides no real health benefits.

A fibrous diet is a happy one. If you suffer from constipation or lack of regularity, add a cruciferous vegetable to your diet. Broccoli, Red or Green Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels and Kale all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and are very high in fiber. They are all also crunchy and easy to cook with.

Drink as much water as possible. Eight glasses always sounds like a lot, but it really does help the entire body. Your eyes and skin will be clearer and your body will function at a higher level when hydrated.

Exercise is the best cure for the winter blues, a few extra holiday pounds and overall wellness. Exercise allows us to sweat out toxins(salt, sugar, alcohol), increase circulation, increase blood flow and release endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good!

 

Today is Valentines Day or the one day a year that people celebrate love. During the month of February we are writing posts about all things heart healthy. The heart is also refered to in romantic terms and symbolically linked to feelings of love and loss. Of course the truth is, it is our brains doing the “feeling”, but if you have ever loved or lost you may have felt an actual joy or pain in your ticker.

When we are falling in love our brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in our brain that make us feel amazing! Exercising, having sex and laughing all cause endorphins to be released.  Eating chocolate has also been linked to endorphin ‘highs’. Endorphins are naturally produced in our brains and are addictive in the sense that we keep repeating actions that will give us these feelings of happiness and euphoria. This may explain why no matter how many times we get our hearts broken we still seeking out and fall in love.

So whether you have a Valentine today or not, do something that is good for your heart! Watch a funny movie, go do your favorite exercise, buy some delicious chocolate or love your partner! The path to a healthy heart is not only what you put in, it is also about what you put out!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!