Everyone wants to wake up healthier and lose weight fast. Luckily there are things you can do every morning to push your body closer to the healthiest it can be. And while there is no quick fix (to lose weight, have boundless energy, and look and feel years younger by dinner) there are small steps you can take to become healthier, more energetic, and detox your body over time. Detoxing is a way of allowing your cells to do the important work of staying healthy, by eating better, getting sleep, exercising, and taking care of yourself, every day.
Going into a long weekend of fun and relaxation shouldn’t mean falling off a cliff, healthwise, since consistency is the key to being healthy. If you make a habit of starting the day right, everything flows so much more easily from there. Committing to yourself and taking these little steps to being healthier is the way to see long-term health and wellbeing changes, says Nicole Rose, RD and master in nutrition, who practices in Ridgefield CT, and who loves to help her clients take the necessary steps to detox and get healthier, day by day.
“Overhauling your health or diet all at once can be overwhelming,” she says. “Instead take small steps, do something to detox every day, even days a week, and that will lead you to wellness.” Here are her five tips for making your body healthier, and they all add up to allowing the body to work less hard to process junk food, and spend more time getting healthier, one day at a time.
Give yourself positive things to do, rather than tell yourself you can’t have certain foods
Rose is a big believer in eating more plant-based foods, adding healthy fruits and vegetables to your plate, but not being too harsh on yourself or setting unrealistic boundaries and telling yourself you can’t have certain foods you may love. “If you put someone in a box and they want to get out of that box, and when they eat that off-limits food–whether it’s meat or junk food–it’s like they fail,” she explains, which is why I don’t like labels (such as vegan). But if you help them do a little better every day, they feel like they are winning, conquering their bad habits by adding good ones, and eventually, they feel so great they want to keep going.”
Wellness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or be complicated. It can start with jumping jacks in the morning, or dry brushing, or keeping a healthy salad dressing made in a mason jar in the fridge. But the more little things you do to be healthy, the more they add up, says Rose, and these wins beget bigger wins, and suddenly you are living a healthy lifestyle.
Little things to detox help take the burden off your body.
Her detoxing morning rituals and healthy habits for Rose includes any combination of these five ideas. Rose also believes that detoxing is a way of getting rid of what’s unhealthy, which is an easier and simpler path to wellness since it allows the body to work less hard to eliminate toxins in our food, which allows you to stay healthy. Then she advises her clients to add clean foods, especially plant-based choices which are rich in antioxidants. Rose advises clients to avoid acid foods (from animal products) and add alkaline foods (which grow in the earth) to allow your body to get healthier, naturally.
“Doing all these little things (like dry brushing or waiting to eat until you’re hungry in the morning) is a bonus, and will help you feel like you’re winning, so you want to keep on taking care of yourself, by eating healthy for the rest of the day,” she adds. And while there is no one-size-fits-all for diets, she loves working with her clients to help tailor their programs to fit their needs and their lifestyles and add more plant-based foods to their plate.
Small steps otherwise it’s overwhelming and you end failing.
1. Drink water and lemon for digestion, immunity and weight loss
Lemon Water first thing is the number one thing I advise. It helps your body by adding antioxidants first thing. You can add apple cider vinegar or ginger if you like, which is antibacterial and antifungal. I call it your morning flu shot. Start with water and lemon in the morning to alkalize your body and let it start to get the toxins out. Drinking hot Lemon Water in the morning has been linked to weight loss and improved immunity, so especially now, while coronavirus is still a threat, drinking this first thing will supply nearly 30 percent of your vitamin C for the day, boosting immunity and giving your body a healthy start to the day.
2. Go outside 15 or more minutes to start your day
This is such a simple thing. Go outside for 15 minutes in the morning to start your day and get sunlight. You can walk, bike, jog or just do sun salutes, or stretch by reaching for the sky, but the important thing is to let the sunlight hit your eyes and send a signal to the brain that you’re awake, set restart on the day, “this is a bright new start,” which works to reset your circadian rhythms and signal your body to wake up!
A new study shows that bright sunlight within an hour of waking up will help you fall asleep earlier in the evening (as will avoiding bright light within 2 hours of bedtime) so if you’re sleep deprived or anxious and having trouble getting to sleep, head outside within an hour of waking to reset your body’s natural clock. There’s the added benefit of getting vitamin D which your body needs to metabolize nutrients like calcium from the food you eat, and boost your immune system. For energy and immunity, better sleep and a healthy metabolism, get a dose of early sunlight!
3. Dry Brushing before you get dressed
Sweat is important and we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you to start your day with an activity that makes you sweat, even if it’s jumping jacks. But there is another way to rid your body of toxins in sweat and that’s by opening your pores and stimulating the skin with dry brushing. “People love dry brushing. You feel good, and it’s believed to help your lymphatic system,” Rose says. The idea is that by brushing your skin you slough off any dead cells and allow your pores to breathe, Dry brushing devotees do it to release toxins through the skin. The bristles stimulate and open pores and may make it easier for the body to sweat out toxins, which lowers the number of toxins flowing through the lymphatic system. Rose tells clients to start doing it every day before their shower. “This is a way to feel like you’re doing something healthy. You don’t have to conquer something big.”
She adds that if you like the brushing, you’re going to start feeling good about your life and loving your routine. “You have to enjoy your morning and getting into it is part of a healthy lifestyle.”
4. Eat less … keep it simple, don’t eat until you are hungry
Changing up your breakfast is a big help in losing weight and feeling better. Everyone is trying intermittent fasting to lose weight, but Rose thinks there’s a simpler and less harsh approach. Don’t eat until you’re hungry and even then keep it simple.
“Maybe start by pulling back on what you are eating. If you wake up and you’re not that hungry, just wait to eat. My advice, and there’s no delicate way to put this: Start by not eating until you have a bowel movement because we don’t want to put today’s food on yesterday’s garbage.”
Then, Rose advises, eat a small piece of fruit in the morning, instead of a big omelet or smoothie with 19 different ingredients. A simple piece of fruit like a peach, an apple, or a handful of berries is a perfect start to a clean day. “This gets your digestion going but is less work on your body to digest, so you can continue detoxing from the night before. The whole idea of detoxing is to give your body less work, so your liver and kidneys and intestines can do their job to cleanse your system. You want to start the day by cleaning out.”
Start by giving your body less work to do, during the beginning of the day. “The less digestive work your body is going through, the healthier you are going to be,” she adds
5. Eat More Plants (Follow the principles of the Alkaline Diet)
When you eat foods, the metabolic waste is either acid or alkaline, and the more fruit and vegetables and plant-based foods you eat, the more alkaline your body becomes, which is considered healthier in avoiding diseases like cancer. The flip side is that meat and dairy leave an acid metabolic waste and can increase your risks of chronic diseases. There are myriad studies now that link red meat and processed meat to cancer risk, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and mounting scientific evidence that diets rich in plant-based foods and high in fiber lower your risk for all these diseases and conditions.
According to the Alkaline Diet, choosing more alkaline foods will improve your daily health and help you avoid long-term diseases, including cancer. Says Rose: “I am not a fan of meat and dairy. It creates acid in your body, and your body has to go thru so much work to neutralize the acid. Eating animal foods like meat and dairy leads to inflammation. I try to keep it simple. I tell clients to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s the small things that make a difference. Cutting out meat and dairy is the diff between your body being acid and alkaline and if they understand that they can choose healthier foods.
“I don’t say. eat vegan but I try to lead by example and show clients how to shop, cook and eat more plant-based foods, which inevitably makes them feel great, as they try it.
“If you tell them what they can do, like eat more plant-based foods, as opposed to what they can’t do, like cut out a specific food they may like, then they feel like they have won the lottery. You let them do all these healthy things and choose healthy foods. That’s a win.”
Ultimately the detox you do will make you feel positive, and give you the sense of taking control of your health from the very start of the day onwards. You want to feel empowered to become the master of your own life, she adds. “Ultimately you are giving people the power to be healthier.”
“The love you have for your self, the happy talk, all adds up to make a healthier lifestyle. Small changes like these allow you to live a better life.”
Wellness doesn’t take crazy amounts of money or time. It’s these morning detox moves. And then carry that forward throughout the day. It’s making yourself a simple dressing, she adds, that you can keep in a mason jar and put on your greens at lunch to make them tasty. It’s all these little strategies that add up.
Recipe for Healthy Dressing. Use whatever amounts you prefer, to your taste
- Coconut oil
- apple cider vinegar
- Manuka honey (which is anti-bacterial)
- fresh garlic
- fresh ginger
- Optional: Add tahini to make it creamier, which has calcium from sesame seeds
Take these little steps and others that will set yourself up for success, Rose explains. “I care about consistency, that’s where you’re going to see progress. One morning at a time. Build a relationship with your wellbeing.”
Nicole Rose, MFRD has a Masters in Nutrition and is a Registered Dietician. “I eat sleep and breathe this lifestyle,” she says, practicing in Ridgefield CT. “On a personal note, I have never felt better than now at 47. For the past 25 years, I tried everything. I loved Diet Coke and Tic Tacs and gum. But I don’t do those things anymore. I got informed. And I don’t want those things anymore. It’s nothing to do with willpower. It’s knowing what you feel like when you are doing something great. It’s building yourself up.”