When you’re working hard to make your dreams and goals a reality, I know it can be a real challenge to balance that with making your health and wellness a priority. I also know you’re gonna need a lot of energy to get it all done. So, I’ve put together a collection of quick + easy ways to protect your health and boost your energy.

For the most part, these healthy practices won’t take any extra time from your day and are easy to implement (because you’ve got enough to think about and do without adding complicated health regimens).

You’ll find tips and tricks here for 5 different wellness categories:  eat healthier, move more, decrease your exposure to toxins, de-stress, and sleep more + better.

I’d planned to limit it to 3 things for each category so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming, but I couldn’t control myself in the Eat Healthier category. So, there you’ll find 5 tips (plus a bonus tip with a freebie for you).

Let’s get started!

 

Eat healthier

Eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to keep your energy up, improve your focus and productivity, and improve your overall health and longevity.

But I know when you’re juggling so many things, it’s easy to let your healthy eating habits slip.

One of the easiest ways I know to get a variety of nutritious foods into your diet, boost your energy, and get your day off to a healthy start is by drinking smoothies.

If you’re not sure how to make a really healthy and tasty smoothie, sign up below for my Superfood Smoothie guide for tips and a collection of my best smoothie recipes . . .

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Superfood Smoothie Recipe Guide! 

 

Here are a few other really quick and easy ways to eat healthier . . .

 

1. Eat a handful of nuts everyday.

This is a super easy and quick way to boost your overall health and life expectancy. There are lots of studies indicating that regular consumption of nuts and seeds can protect you from diseases like heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome, and increase your life expectancy.

Nuts also seem to be associated with having a lower body weight and BMI (contrary to the popular belief that because they’re high in {healthy} fats, they’ll cause weight gain).

Be sure to eat them raw because heat can destroy some of the nutrients. Besides just eating them plain, try adding them to smoothies or oatmeal, sprinkle on salads as a garnish, or use chia seeds to make chia seed pudding. One of my favorites is raw sprouted pumpkin seeds

 

2. Eat the healthiest thing on your plate first.

Here’s another way to boost your health that doesn’t take any extra time. By eating the healthiest thing first (which will basically always be a vegetable), you’re eating the most nutrient-dense food, which helps you feel full because you’re meeting your body’s needs.

You’re ensuring that you get all the goodness from the foods that are gonna give you the most energy and health benefits, and you leave less room for anything on your plate that might be not-so-healthy.

 

3. Eat a probiotic-rich food everyday. 

There’s a lot of research coming out about the importance of our gut microbiome (the naturally occurring bacteria in our guts) to our overall health. We now know that these bacteria affect so much more than just our digestion, like our hormone balance and immune system.

Eating a probiotic-rich food everyday is easy to do and will help support your gut’s healthy bacteria.

Yogurt is probably the most widely-known example of a probiotic food, but personally, I think this one is questionable. However, if you are gonna go with yogurt, first make sure it says on the container that it contains live cultures (some don’t!), and choose one that is whole fat and with no (or only a little) added sugar (some yogurts have as much sugar as a candy bar or Coke!).

A better choice, in my opinion, is kimchi, which is a fermented cabbage dish originating in Korea — I swear it tastes better than it sounds! You can sort of think of it like a Korean version of sauerkraut (okay, that’s probably not helping me sell it). I think kimchi is delicious, and it’s becoming easier to find in mainstream grocery stores here in the U.S. (I’ve seen it in Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Whole Foods).

If you happen to be a fan of sauerkraut, there are some fermented sauerkrauts out there with probiotics. Read the label closely to make sure they contain live cultures. These don’t seem to be as common as kimchi, at least where I am in Texas, but I’ve seen a fermented sauerkraut at Trader Joe’s.  (Note — this isn’t the gross stuff in the can that my parents used to put on their hotdogs when I was a kid; you’ll find fermented sauerkraut in the refrigerated section.)

Another option is kombucha, which is a fermented tea drink. If you’re new to kombucha, try the Live brand. They’re a little higher in sugar, but they’re designed to taste like soft drinks and they’re really tasty. I like the Pure Doctor flavor best, which is fashioned after Dr. Pepper.

Whichever brand you go with, make sure it has live cultures and that it doesn’t have too much added sugar (9 grams max, and be sure to check the serving size on the bottle).

Last, if you’re okay with dairy, kefir is highly touted as one of the best probiotic foods available. It’s a fermented milk product (I know, that sounds disgusting, but think of it sort of like a drinkable yogurt).

Plain kefir has a very tangy flavor, so I would say it’s an acquired taste. If you try kefir, be sure to check the label for the sugar content — there are flavored kefirs that taste better than the plain, but they usually have A LOT of sugar and will undo the benefits of the probiotics.

Note — In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced kuh-FEAR.

 

4. Drink mushroom coffee.

Okay, I know this one sounds really weird, but this mushroom coffee tastes just like regular coffee to me (and not like mushrooms at all).

The mushrooms added to the coffee have been shown to improve productivity, focus, and immune function. I also like this coffee because it’s Fair Trade, organic, and tested for pesticides and mycotoxins.

You brew it just like you would your regular coffee (I make mine in the French press, but it works with a drip coffeemaker or pour-over, too). If you’re gonna drink coffee anyway, why not get some added health benefits from it (without adding any extra time to your hectic day)?

Not a coffee drinker? They also have mushroom cocoa! They have two varieties — one that promotes relaxation and reduction of anxiety and stress and one that supports your hormones and adrenal system for a natural energy boost. I use both!

 

5. Eat mindfully. 

I suppose technically this one might add a little more time to your meal, but the benefits are worth it and will more than make up for the extra few minutes.

By eating mindfully, I mean focusing on your food and the moment (not mindlessly eating it while you’re preoccupied with something else — like when you look down at your plate to discover all your food is gone and you barely remember eating it).

This also means taking just a moment to be grateful for the food you have, and then really savoring what you’re eating.

It also means slowing down . . . be deliberate about each bite, and chew your food thoroughly (I know I might sound like your mom, but turns out she was really on to something!).

Eating mindfully like this can help improve your digestion (including potentially decreasing bloating), prevent you from overeating (something I always have to be mindful of as a foodie!), de-stress with a much-needed break from a hectic day, and enjoy your food more.

 

FREE Clean Eating Recipe Guide

Over 50 delicious whole-food recipes that are healthy + quick!

 

Move more

Exercise doesn’t have to be about long workouts in the gym. Here are some quick and simple ways to work more movement into our day to keep you energized and limber . . .

 

1. Stand up more throughout the day. 

Whether you’re working a desk job or running your own small (or large) business, there’s a good chance you find yourself sitting in front of a computer a good portion of the day.

You’ve probably heard about the dangers of sitting too much, which has been linked to obesity and blood clots (even in healthy people who get regular exercise — scary).

Standing up throughout the day is a simple thing to do, but so easy to forget.

A great tool to help with this is the Stand Up! app (and it’s free!). You can set it to send you a reminder at the time intervals you choose, and even designate certain days or time frames for it to work (like only weekdays, or only during 9-5, etc.).

Most of the recommendations I’ve read say to stand up every 30-45 minutes

 

2. Do a mini-workout during commercials.  

You might know by now that I love watching my favorite TV shows as a treat/break from working, especially when my brain has reached its limit and is done for the day (but I do keep this in check, or otherwise I’d never get done or make any progress toward my goals!).

If you’re a TV watcher, you could make this time productive by doing a mini-workout during the commercials (assuming you’re watching network, DVR, or OnDemand and there are actually commercials).

A quick google search tells me that the average commercial break is around 3 minutes. So an easy way to do it would be to set a timer and do either 30-second or one-minute intervals of different exercises.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees

 

3. Use the 7-minute workout app when you’re short on time.

With a 7-minute workout that requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, you basically take away all obstacles to not exercise.

You can download this 7-Minute Workout app to your phone and always have a quick and effective workout with you that can be done pretty much anywhere on even the most hectic day. I’ve even done this one in my pajamas.

 

Decrease your exposure to toxins 

Some people will argue that “everything’s toxic” so why bother, and it’s true that there are toxins everywhere that are out of our control (and that we aren’t even aware of).

But that just makes me want to be that much more vigilant about avoiding the ones that I can control. Especially when some of them are really quick and easy fixes, like these….

 

1. Replace body lotion with organic oil.

Beauty products are a common culprit when it comes to potentially toxic chemicals and ingredients. A quick, easy, and all-natural fix is to swap out your body lotion for an organic and unrefined oil like olive, coconut, avocado, or sesame oil (just be sure it’s NOT the toasted variety, or you’ll be walking around all day smelling like a tasty Asian dish).

I’ve read that oils are actually more effective than creams because they absorb more deeply into the skin. I keep my oil in the shower and apply it before drying off. This makes it easier to apply and it’s supposed to help with absorption.

 

2. Use a natural deodorant.

This one might not be for everyone and I get a lot of push-back on it because, let’s be honest, natural deodorants don’t work quite as well as regular antiperspirants. And they don’t control wetness at all (it’s the toxic aluminum in regular antiperspirants that do this).

But, I’m okay with this personally because it’s worth it to me to limit my exposure to the toxic ingredients in antiperspirants, and I also don’t think it’s healthy to use something that blocks your sweat glands.

The good news is that natural deodorants have actually improved considerably in recent years. I’ve been really pleased with this one.

 

3. Replace your plastic storage containers with glass containers. 

This one is better for you and the environment, so it’s a double win! Our household is almost plastic-free now, and it was an easy transition that I’m really glad we made.

I use glass canning jars (aka Mason jars) to store a lot of our staples. I recommend buying various sizes and using only the wide-mouth variety — it makes it a lot easier to get food in and out of them.

I have the older version of this set of glass storage containers for storing leftovers, meal prepping, and taking meals to work.

 

Practice good Self-care

I feel like this is often the first thing to go when we get overwhelmed with multiple priorities (this has definitely been me), but I think it’s so important to carve out some time for self-care.

It restores your energy reserves, inspires your creativity, and keeps you grounded and centered so you can actually enjoy what you’re working for.

Here are three easy ways to work in a little self-care . . .

 

1. Make time for mini self-care breaks throughout the day using the Pomodoro technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that I’ve been experimenting with lately.

The idea is that you use a timer to divide your working time into set intervals with short breaks. The standard seems to be 25-minute work intervals, with 5-minute breaks in between.

Besides helping me be more productive when I’m working on my business (not the main point here so I’ll tell you more about that another time), it also ensures that you’re taking regular breaks to rejuvenate between work sessions.

You can use these little breaks to work in some self-care throughout your day.

It can be something as simple as doing a mini-meditation, going outside for some sunshine and fresh air, or a snuggle session with your pets.

I don’t think these short self-care breaks can replace a longer dedicated time for self-care, but I do think it can make a big difference to help you be happier, less stressed, and refreshed throughout your day.

 

2. Use time spent waiting or commuting for personal enrichment.

Another aspect of self-care is learning and enriching your mind. I love to learn, but I never feel like I have as much time as I’d like to devote to this. One way I make up for it is using time spent waiting or commuting to devote to personal enrichment.

Personal enrichment can be exploring topics you’re passionate about or want to learn more about through podcasts, books, audiobooks, or blogs.

Think about times during your day or week that you’ll have some involuntary downtime, and use it to enrich your mind. And be sure to always have something ready to go (keep a book in your bag, your tablet for reading blogs, or podcasts queued up on your phone + your earphones.

It’s a great way to learn something new, be motivated or inspired, or escape with some good fiction. These little pockets of time can really add up (and let’s be real — you could finish an entire book waiting for your gynecologist appointment!).

 

3. Set aside 5-10 minutes in the morning to journal, write or say your affirmations, and review your vision and goals.  

I consider this self-care because keeping your vision and goals top-of-mind can be really nourishing for your spirit.

I have my vision and goals written in my planner, and I review them every morning before going to work. It makes heading to the j-o-b a little easier because it reminds me that it’s only temporary and that I’m using it to fund my dream and goal of eventually taking my business full-time.

What . . . did you say you don’t have a vision and goals written out?? Not to worry — I’ve got you, girl — head over to my blog post where I walk you through a step-by-step process for creating your vision and goals.

 

De-stress

When it comes to stress, there are basically two things you can do — avoid the stressors you can, and manage the stress that you can’t avoid.

Even stress from positive things (like a product launch or buying a home) can have the same harmful effects as stress from negative things.

Since avoiding stressors tends to be a little more involved (and a lot harder to control), these three simple + quick techniques focus on helping you manage your stress in healthy ways to reduce the negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health . . .

 

1. Try the French press method of meditation. 

This is something I came up with when I was trying to get back into my meditation practice (an ongoing challenge!).

I wanted to first just get back into the habit of meditating with a short daily meditation. Once the habit was re-established, then I would start upping the amount of time I meditated.

Anytime you can anchor a habit to something you’re already doing every day, you’ll increase your chances of making it stick.

I wanted to do my meditation in the morning, so I anchored it to something I do every single morning — making a cup of coffee with my French press.

The coffee needs to steep for 4 minutes, so as soon as I set the timer for the French press, I would start a mini-meditation while the coffee was steeping.

The point is to find something you can anchor your meditation to, and also that your meditation doesn’t have to be super long to be effective. Granted, longer than 4 minutes would be better . . . but 4 minutes is definitely better than none at all!

Even a one-minute meditation can help you feel relaxed, calm, less anxious and stressed, and more focused. Here’s an example of a guided one-minute meditation you can follow.

 

2. Practice good breathing technique.

My best friend Sarah and I took a meditation course one time, where we learned that I apparently suck at breathing. Turns out I’ve been breathing wrong my whole life . . . who knew?!

My breathing tends to be shallow and all in my chest, but we learned that your breath should go all the way into your belly and your belly should actually rise and fall with each breath.

You would not believe how long it took me to master this and actually make my belly rise with my breathing (and I use the term “master” loosely here . . . still a work in progress!).

But wow, I can seriously feel a difference in my body when I focus on my breathing and take those deep belly breaths. My body and mind instantly feel a little more relaxed and calm.

Practicing better breathing (or a breathing exercise) can easily be incorporated into your day without taking up extra time.

Clearly, I am not the person to teach you about proper breathing technique. But you know who is? Dr. Andrew Weil. He says, “If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.”

That’s a pretty powerful statement! He has a {free} series of short breathing exercises that I highly recommend — you can find them here. He’s also written an audiobook devoted to the subject of proper breathing for health and healing.

 

3. The Serene Shower 

This is a practice shared with me by my friend Mari, the photographer (who took the photos of me for my website!).

She uses this to help her feel calm and relaxed and to “wash away the stress of the day” before going to bed.

To take a serene shower, just light some candles, play some relaxing music, get some essential oils that promote relaxation (lavender is a good choice), and take a nice warm shower in this environment right before bedtime.

She says it really reduces her anxiety after a tough day and helps her sleep better through the night.

 

Sleep more + better 

Speaking of sleeping better, I believe getting enough quality sleep is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT things you can do for your health and wellbeing.

Especially if you’re trying to increase your energy, focusing on your sleep needs to be a priority.

I could write a whole post just on this topic, but for now here are 3 quick + easy things you can do to help improve your sleep . . .

 

1. Decrease the temperature at night to 67 degrees F or below.

Your environment can really impact your quality of sleep. One super simple fix that doesn’t require any extra time is adjusting your thermostat.

Between 60 – 67 degrees F has been shown to be the ideal temperature for sleeping. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to switch to this temperature around an hour before your bedtime.

 

2. No caffeine after 2 pm 

I’ve tested this and it’s true — having caffeine later in the day will really jack up your sleep.

I don’t strictly follow this one because I do still drink green or white tea after 2:00, but I almost never drink coffee (the only high-caffeine beverage I drink) after 2:00.

But when I do, it makes my sleep really restless and I tend to have bizarre and disturbing dreams. I wake up feeling groggy and weird.

If you tend to drink caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, try switching to white tea (it has one of the lowest caffeine levels of all the teas), decaf coffee (which still has a little caffeine, so I wouldn’t drink too much of this), herbal teas, or mushroom cacao that boosts your energy.

 

3. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. 

If you like to cut loose on the weekends (no judgment here), this one might not sound too appealing (and may not qualify for the “quick + easy” category).

But, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is such a game changer when it comes to the overall quality of your sleep.

And it can help you be more alert, focused, and productive throughout the day (a big bonus if you’re a side hustler or entrepreneur with a biz to run).

If you are gonna have a late night, try to limit it to one per week. And try to make time for a nap the next day. This is better than sleeping late, because that will disrupt your sleep cycle and schedule. A nap early in the day will help make up or the lost sleep and might not be as disruptive to your body’s internal schedule.

If you want to learn more about how to improve your sleep, I really learned a lot from the book, Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson.

 

Okay my friend, I hope these tips will help you work a little more wellness into your day so that you can have the energy, focus, and optimal health needed to pursue your big goals and dreams so you can live your best life.

If you have any tips or tricks for quick + easy ways to boost your energy and wellness, please share them in the comments below!

PS:  One of the simplest ways I know to get a variety of high-energy, nutrient-dense foods into your diet is by making your own smoothies. For a free guide with smoothie recipes loaded with energizing superfoods, sign up below to get it by email:

FREE Clean Eating Recipe Guide

Over 50 delicious whole-food recipes that are healthy + quick!

 

 

Photo credit:  www.picjumbo.com

 

 

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