Five days away, and I'm looking forward to 2007, it should be a good year, seven's a lucky number.. I'm also looking forward to the Tibetan (and Chinese) new year which comes in February. No resolutions, nothing that I wouldn't already be doing, so here's some of my favs, a top ten for a holistic, healthy new year!
1. Spirulina. Superfood, blue-green algae which contains 60% all-vegetable protein, essential vitamins & antioxidants like beta carotene, the rare essential fatty acid GLA (being tauted as super brain food), sulfolipids, glycolipids and polysaccharides. For me it fights off colds, assists metabolism and keeps energy levels stable. Also for the kiddies, there's Kidz Greens which contains spirulina and other good greens. I've chucked out the multi-vitamins, which are not needed when taking whole food supplements like these. And then theres..
2. Maca Powder. Known as Peruvian ginseng, it is a root grown in Peru but not related to ginseng at all. It does give you amazing energy, again boosting the immune system, providing high amounts of nutrients and enzymes. You can mix into just about anything and I recommend fruit smoothies.
3. Evening Primrose oil. This is mainly known for balancing women's hormones, keeping us on the level and is also good for the skin. I can honestly see the difference in my skin when I take it regularly, and when I don't. I'm only 37, but hey, the fine lines are creeping in, and taking this keeps them at bay! Not only that, but recent research in Australia has shown that a combination of Evening Primrose Oil and Fish oil has positive effects on children with ADHD, it lessens hyperactivity, assists concentration, and behaviour improves. This is all big in the essential fatty acids world, and here in England the government is considering providing supplements to all school children (don't think they've considered any veggie options though)-- anything to keep them in their seats...
4. Rooibos Tea (red bush). This tea comes from South Africa and is high in antioxidants (cancer fighters and immune boosters) and is naturally caffeine free good for having a break from coffee.
5. Yoga. Even if its only a couple of sun salutations a day (which is what I tell myself), its worth it and body and mind will thank you.
6. Meditation. Find the time, make the effort (you'll be rewarded). This should have been number 1 really. A simple technique for beginners is to sit quietly and follow your breath. In breath, out breath and watch your thoughts, when you find yourself thinking-distracted, say 'thinking' and go back to the breath. There's beginners classes all over the place, and you can learn from watching a dvd, listening to a cd etc. Its not a magic pill, and you may feel worse at first, when you realise how much crap is in your head all the time! but the more you do it, the more you will benefit. Perhaps it may not effect you in that way, it may have an effect like, maybe you won't need that extra coffee today.. and research done on long-time meditators has shown they have a physiological age 12 years younger than their cronological age and that of non-meditators.
7. Organic Vegetable Box Schemes. What better way to stay healthy than to have a box of organic, local veg delivered to your door. There are a lot of programs out there so try and find one in your area.
8. Eat more veg and fruit. Specifically more raw food and sprouts are great too! About a year ago while I was pregnant with my daughter, I purchased a juicer. I had one in America and it sat collecting dust. I picked up this book The Juice Master's Ultimate Fast Food by Jason Vale and it really got me going. This was at the end of the pregnancy and it gave me the energy boost I really needed. Since then I've been juicing and blending a fruit smoothie every morning (except when it broke and I had to wait 3 months for the replacement!!). I highly recommend it for a terrific energy boost, and for losing weight as well (Jason Vale has written other titles about that). It can be a pain to get started, but once the habit is created, then its no problem.
9. Relax. Like take a walk in the country or anywhere in fact, sit in nature, have a warm bath with essential oils, or just have a cup of tea and put your feet up.
10. Be here, now.