healthy living

Small Changes Lead to Healthy Living

There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to leading a nutritious and healthy life. Unhealthy habits can start to add up – even if they seem like minuscule actions at first – and can make an impact on your mood, your energy levels, and your gut health. Today, we are going to break down some common unhealthy habits that people tend to practice and offer alternatives. In addition, we will share some healthy alternatives to some common kitchen ingredients that could be impacting your gut health. 

Unhealthy Habits People Tend to Practice In the Morning

1. Brushing Your Teeth Right After Breakfast 

While it might seem like common sense to brush your teeth after eating, brushing too soon after a meal can actually do more harm than good. Your teeth are in a vulnerable state right after eating – especially if you consume acidic items such as coffee – so brushing them during this period of time can weaken your enamel. Instead, brush your teeth first thing in the morning and floss and rinse with water after eating. 

2. Keeping the Blinds Shut

It can be easy to feel sleepy in the mornings and you might find yourself wanting to avoid opening your blinds; however, we recommend opening up your blinds to help your body adjust and better understand that it is not night time. Introducing light into your day early on can give you a boost of natural energy. 

3. Forgetting to Drink Water

In general, the morning time is characterized by small actions that prepare you for the day ahead. Between the hustle and bustle of preparation, it can be easy to forget to hydrate your body. Your body is especially dehydrated in the mornings. We recommend refilling your water bottle before bed so that it is ready to go in the morning. 

4.Taking a Hot Shower 

A hot shower can be extremely relaxing but can leave you feeling more sleepy than you would want in the morning. In order to avoid making yourself more tired, consider taking a cold shower in the mornings. This is also a great way to stimulate your vagus nerve and boost your level of feel-good endorphins. 

5. Spending Time on Your Phone

How you start your day affects the trajectory of the rest of the day. If you choose to start your mornings by scrolling on your phone, this can lead to stress overload and a day full of distraction. Instead, try focusing your time on what is going to set you up for success. Some alternative activities include exercising, meditating, and journaling. 

Alternatives to Common Kitchen Ingredients That You Might Purchase

Soda to Sparkling Water - Soda can offer a delicious crispness that plain water or other beverages just can’t seem to get right. However, they are also packed with artificial sweeteners that can negatively impact your gut health. Consider switching out soda for sparkling water – you will still get the carbonation from the bubbles without the added sugar. 

Sugary Creamer to Honey and Cream - Those pre-made creamers in the grocery aisle can seem like an easy way to recreate that delicious coffee from the coffee shop, but in reality they are just offering you a boost of artificial sweeteners to your diet. Instead, consider opting for honey and a whole creamer to sweeten up your coffee. 

Seeds Oils to Olive Oil - Seed oils tend to be more affordable and offer more flexibility in the kitchen, but they can contribute to inflammation in your digestive tract and overall body. Instead, consider purchasing a high quality olive oil for low-heat cooking and garnishing as well as avocado oil for high-heat cooking. 

Iceberg Lettuce to Nutrient Dense Greens - Are you an avid salad eater during the week? Iceberg lettuce is a high-volume and neutral green option, but in relation to other greens, it does not hold much nutritional value. Instead, consider purchasing spinach or other nutrient dense greens to help liven up your weekly salads

Milk Chocolate to Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate in comparison to milk chocolate contains more cacao and typically does not contain milk. Although the dark chocolate tends to be more bitter, it can be a great way to satiate your craving for chocolate while minimizing your fat and sugar intake. 

How These Habits Are Hurting Your Gut Health 

Indulging in alcohol can be extremely detrimental to your gut and overall health. Alcohol raises your blood pressure, leads to anxiousness/other adverse moods, weakens your heart muscles, causes inflammation, and deregulates your bowel movements. Alcohol can alter your gastric acid production which causes conflict in the way your body gets rid of waste and can lead to bloating. 

Overeating can be a hard habit to overcome. Overeating can be an emotional response or it could stem from the lack of time that your body has to signal to you that it is satisfied. In order to get a signal from your body that you can stop eating is by eating slowly. That will give your body the time it needs to digest the food and send you a signal that you are full. Overeating can cause unhealthy weight gain, bloating, and abdominal pain. 

Staying up late and sacrificing your sleep negatively impacts your gut health. Your body needs restful sleep, because it uses that time to prepare your body for the next day. A lack of sleep can cause inflammation, bloating, and constipation. 

Consuming a poor diet can lead to malnutrition, constipation, and abdominal pain. Unhealthy foods tend to be filled with saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, and other artificial ingredients that will promote inflammation and fatigue. Your body needs whole foods in order to get a healthy dose of nutrients. These foods may contain gut health enzymes and pair wonderfully with a bloating supplement to achieve a healthy digestive tract.

All in all, achieving a healthy lifestyle requires dedication to the beneficial habits rather than the unhealthy ones. A habit, by definition, is hard to overcome, but with these small changes you are bound to reap the benefits and understand their importance. If it helps, consider implementing these new habits one-by-one to ensure success!

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